Pontypridd Town 1-5 Haverfordwest County: Bluebirds rampant as they brush aside new-look Pontypridd side
Haverfordwest County recorded a comprehensive victory over Pontypridd Town in tough conditions at Leckwith Stadium.
The Bluebirds are back into the top three with the victory, whilst Pontypridd saw relegation rivals Port Talbot Town pick up three unlikely points against Cwmbran Celtic.
Jack Wilson scored a brace for the Bluebirds having come on as a substitute, whilst Kaid Mohamed opened his Bluebirds account with a league debut goal. Danny Williams and Sean Pemberton were also on the mark for the West Walian side. Player-manager Gavin Beddard scored Pontypridd’s only goal.
It was the second meeting between the two sides in the space of the week, following Haverfordwest’s comfortable victory at the Bridge Meadow in the JD Welsh Cup last week.
Pontypridd handed a number of debuts to new recruits as Lee Baldock, Taylor Harding, Paulo Marenghi and Dean Clifford all played a part in the second consecutive defeat to Haverfordwest. They will, however, be sweating on the fitness of forward Luke Gullick who exited the game early following a hamstring injury.
Beddard who has opted to continue on as a player despite his appointment had the opportunity to open the scoring in the first minute. A ball was played over the top to the player-manager and after outmuscling Pemberton, his slight touch went just the other side of the post.
Haverfordwest were the first team to score and it came through Kaid Mohamed. The 34-year-old’s run wasn’t tracked by the Pontypridd defender and there was Mohamed to sneak it past the outcoming Clarke to open the scoring.
Their lead was short lived though as Pontypridd replied minutes later. Lewis’ corner in the box caused problems and following a scramble Fox’s low cross forced Hall to save, front-man Gavin Beddard struck one home to level up proceedings.
Haverfordwest had the chance to restore their lead following an Elliot Scotcher corner but having pulled away from his marker, Sean Pemberton headed over from yards out.
A few moments after Pemberton’s miss, he did put Haverfordwest in the lead for their second goal of the game. Pontypridd was caught napping and after working the ball in from a short corner, centre-back Pemberton scored with a strikers finish as he powered an effort in past Clarke to give the Bluebirds the lead.
Ponty was dealt a blow as influential forward Luke Gullick pulled up with an off the ball injury. He was replaced by Dean Clifford, who made his league debut for the Dragons.
In the second half, Pontypridd captain Aiden Lewis attempted to drill a shot just outside the box past Hall, but the Haverfordwest keeper was alert to it.
Haverfordwest did get their two-goal cushion just before the hour mark. Fawcett played a low ball into Danny Williams and the youthful striker delivered with a powerful close-range strike.
The home side were pinned in by their opponents and were unable to move out of their own half.
In search of a goal to get back into the game, Ponty committed bodies forward but had to be wary of the strength of Haverfordwest on the counter-attack.
Substitute Jack Wilson had only been on the pitch for five minutes but made a quick impact. Wilson stroked the ball past Clarke for his first of the game.
In stoppage time, Wilson had a second in as many minutes. Elliot Scotcher broke through Pontypridd’s offside trap and unselfishly laid it off to Wilson who tapped it home for Haverfordwest’s fifth.
Clarke, Wheeler (Spicer 79), Harding, Rutherford, Iheanacho, Fowler, Lewis (C), Baldock, Beddard, Gullick (Clifford 37), Fox (Marenghi 71)
Goals: Beddard 15
Hall, Hicks, Luby, Pemberton (C), Jones, Thomas, Williams (Davies 83) Scotcher, Bevan (Dyson 54), Fawcett (Wilson 79), Mohamed
Goals: Mohamed 10, Pemberton 26, Williams 56, Wilson 84 & 90.