BY ROBERT NISBET
The last two games between these two sides have seen goals going in at the rate of one every 13 minutes, and this Cup-tie, occasionally chaotic but always exciting, certainly held the interest.
With Tim Hicks, Danny Williams and Antonio Facciuto unavailable and Tom Dyson returning, manager Wayne Jones had to shuffle his pack and although there were some really fine individual performances, the series of moves worked down the flanks and through the midfield did not quite hit the degree of cohesion we might expect to see very soon as the team settles into its new stride.
But the Blues side were always ready to attack with invention, Bridgend Street were a good side who were well able to take advantage of the width of the Meadow to create some dangerous chances, and referee Tom Bevan kept a firm but un-fussy grip on what could have been a rather fraught game. All the ingredients were there for a good-spirited and exciting game.
The Street took the lead in the 23rd minute when Elliot Scotcher was penalised for a challenge in the box and the experienced PAUL FOWLER put away a solid spot kick. Scotcher was able to make up for this in the 37th minute when his beautifully-weighted cross saw SEAN PEMBERTON drive home a trade-mark header. But the Blues were able to go into a half-time lead by repaying that compliment, this time when LEE TRUNDLE went over in the box and was able to crack his penalty past keeper Damien Lack.
Neither side was able to get a real grip on the game through most of the second half, although the match statistics will tell us that the Blues put in 26 shots on goal in the course of the 120 minutes. But the 90 minutes ended with an explosive burst of 3 goals in 6 minutes. In the 83rd minute, after Steve Hall had pulled off one really blinding save, FOWLER produced the best finish of the afternoon when he found space to smash a 25-yarder into the top corner. And in the 87th minute came a goal nearly as good when Leon Luby, who had an excellent afternoon, flighted a lovely ball over from the left and JACK WILSON crashed his shot in from a tight angle. But still the Street would not be beaten and CALLUM SMITH got another equalizer in the 89th minute.
Extra time was still a tense affair but now was the moment for BEN FAWCETT to get into the action. In the 105th minute, out on the right with nowhere obvious to go, he managed to curl a lovely ball into the net and the Blues were 4-3 up. In the 105th MICHAEL NESSBERT got another equalizer, so the Blues’ final winner had to wait until the 111th minute, when Fraser Finlay played a ball through, Ricky Watts crossed, Wilson headed back across the goal and FAWCETT rounded off a good move by driving home.
Next Saturday, 15th September, the Blues are at home to Afan Lido.
Haverfordwest: Steve Hall; Ricky Watts; Leon Luby; Alaric Jones (Curtis Hicks,80); Sean Pemberton; Tom Dyson; Jack Wilson; Elliot Scotcher; Fraser Finlay; Lee Trundle (Ben Fawcett, 75); Elliot Thomas (Martyn Carroll, 64). Sub not used: Kyle Stuart (g/k)