BY ROBERT NISBET This was a very good league opening for the Bluebirds, who were able to play a great deal of enterprising and varied football on a surface which grew more and more difficult in a fall of steady rain.
The visitors, entering the First Division after back-to-back promotions, looked sprightly enough the opening exchanges and we saw a threat from two raiding wingers in Bluebirds’ Danny Williams and Major’s Josh Jones. Jones was nearly in on goal in the 4th minute but was denied by a fine covering block from Sean Pemberton, and it was Williams who set up an opening goal a minute later, when his fine run and cross set up a crisp finish from RICKY WATTS
The Bluebirds seemed keen to stick with the passing football of their pre-season friendlies, but needed to vary the mix more on a greasy surface, so that two of the best displays came from players capable of driving through strongly in the mud, Watts, who had a fine game in midfield and the ever-reliable Pemberton, who was superb in a defence in which Alaric Jones, Matthew Broome and Antonio Facciuto kept Major to just two shots, neither carrying through to keeper Steve Hall. Early in the second half the visitors pumped in a series of crosses and corners but almost everything was whacked clear solidly by a defensive header
The Blues had shown though that the ball that could do the damage was the quick low cross into the box and, after Watts’ early goal, the side scored a second in the 40th minute when Tom Dyson got clear on the right and crossed to WILLIAMS’ feet for him to square the keeper up and shoot into the top corner.
The visitors did get back into the game in the first part of the second half, but never really threatened Hall’s goal, and slowly but surely, the Blues moved from a steady base of defence and counter-attack to a final quarter of a hour when the Major goal was being peppered by a young group of clever forwards. Danny Williams will bother most defences this season and Ben Fawcett and sub Jack Wilson making their Welsh League débuts produced some lovely footwork and a willingness to shoot. A high point was the moment when a Williams cross opened the Major defence for shots from Wilson and Fawcett to be blocked. Before that Williams had treated the quite sizeable crowd to a flying scissors kick which flew just over the bar and another shot which crashed back off the post. The Major defence knew they had been in a game.
Next Saturday, 18th August the Blues are at home to Pontypridd Town.
Haverfordwest: Steve Hall; Matthew Broome; Antonio Facciuto; Sean Pemberton; Alaric Jones (Jack Wilson, 50); Elliot Scotcher; Tim Hicks; Ricky Watts; Ben Fawcett (Leon Luby, 80); Dan Williams; Tom Dyson (Nicky Palmer, 60).