Haverfordwest County 5-4 Bridgend Street: Fawcett is the hero in nine-goal thriller
Haverfordwest County and Bridgend Street played to an enthralling nine-goal affair, with substitute Ben Fawcett claiming the match ball.
Haverfordwest had only conceded the one goal this season before today, with the Division Two outfit breaching the Bluebirds defence four times.
It gives Wayne Jones a winning start at Haverfordwest, in his second spell as manager having taken over from Sean Cresser in midweek.
Bridgend Street drew first blood. Jeff White earnt a penalty after being brought down. Captain Paul Fowler hit a powerful penalty to give the visitors the lead.
Sean Pemberton saved Haverfordwest’s blushes, getting the Bluebirds back on level terms. Scotcher crossed the ball in and the skipper scored with a diving header.
Harry Burge almost restored Street’s lead, with his close-range shot going agonisingly wide of the post.
Just before half-time, Haverfordwest were presented with a penalty. Nathan Jones brought down Lee Trundle. Trundle stepped up and sent Lack the wrong way to give Wayne Jones’ side the lead.
Haverfordwest had taken a foothold in the second half, enjoying long spells of possession. Pemberton went close to doubling his tally.
It was a frantic final ten minutes of normal time. Ben Fawcett had a header go just wide of the post as an assurance goal. They were made to pay, Callum Smith scored with an easy finish, tapping home to an unguarded net after a lay off from David Brooks.
Three minutes later though, Luby played a ball over the top to Jack Wilson and scored from the near post, drilling his shot into the corner.
With virtually the last kick of the game, Paul Fowler scored with a superb long-distance strike, with Hall failing to keep it out, sending the game to extra time.
David Brooks had an early chance in extra time but Hall saved with an outstretched leg on two occasions. Up the other end, Findley hit the post for Haverfordwest.
The Bluebirds regained the lead through Fawcett. He scored with a sweetly struck effort, hit just under the crossbar.
It was end-to-end stuff and Nathan Jones put a cross from David Brooks, just wide of the goal. As half-time approached in extra time, Michael Nessbert scored with a thundering effort in the box, after a corner wasn’t cleared.
Just a minute as play resumed for the final fifteen minutes, Ben Fawcett scored his hattrick. Jack Wilson played a cross to Fawcett and his header from close-range gave the home side the advantage.
Haverfordwest’s job was made easier, as influential attacker David Brooks was shown a second yellow card in as many minutes.
Bridgend Street were denied a penalty in the dying embers of the game, as Jeff White went down in the box after Fowler lofted a free-kick on half-way. Michael Nessbert was shown a second yellow card, reducing Bridgend Street to nine.
Haverfordwest held out for the victory and booked their name in the draw for Round Three of the Welsh Football League Cup.
Bridgend Street now travel to Caldicot Town next week, whilst Haverfordwest County are at home to Afan Lido.
Hall, Watts, Luby, Jones, Pemberton (C), Dyson, Wilson, Scotcher, Findley, Trundle, Thomas
Fawcett, Carroll, Hicks, Stewart.
Lack, Carro, Jones, Berry, Martin, Bancroft, Brooks, Fowler (C), White, Smith, Burge
Nessbert, Finn, Dingle, Lewis.
(Featured Image: Bridgend Street AFC)