JD Cymru South:

Afan Lido 1

Haverfordwest County 1

Haverfordwest County ground out an important draw against battling Afan Lido on a cold dry evening under lights.
Player/coach Tim Hicks, starting up front, opened the scoring with an early far post header and just before the interval former Bluebird, Kaid Mohamed, grabbed an equaliser.
This result sees the Bluebirds move to the top of the table on goal difference, if only temporary as second place Swansea City have home advantage against Llantwit Major on Saturday.
Bluebirds boss Wayne Jones also had to shuffle his squad as teenagers Jack Wilson and Harri Rowe were both missing due to illness, plus Kurtis Rees was serving the start of a three-match ban.
In came Jake Merry who started at left back but eventually moved to the right when Miles John picked up a knock in the second period. He was replaced by new signing Corey Saunders who put in an assured performance bearing in mind that this was his first game for eight months.
Goalkeeper Kelland Absalom also put in a very promising display, his distribution and skilled kicking into a strong wind often relieved pressure and he pulled off a stunning save to deny Chris Jones in the second period.
Skipper Sean Pemberton was rock solid at the back alongside the impressive Scott Tancock. However, Pemberton picked up a dead leg and was replaced by the returning Jack Britton in the second half, the latter settled in central midfield taking over the role of Ricky Watts who switched to centre back.
Nicky Palmer had an outstanding night, the box-to-box-midfielder was a constant thorn in Lido’s side.
The Bluebirds got off to a bright start as the visitors opened the scoring in the 11th minute, Fawcett weaved past a couple of defenders on the left before pulling it back to Watts whose cross was met by Hicks at the far post who looped the ball over Steven Cann and into the top corner.
Mohamed broke clear but his tame shot was comfortably saved by Absalom however, a couple of minutes later and just before the break, the Lido striker made no mistake from close range though the Bluebirds camp protested as there was more than a hint of offside.
Minutes later and Lido’s Chris Jones put his close-range header agonisingly wide, a let off for the visitors.
At the start of the second half Kieran Howard, who has just signed a contract with the Bluebirds from Penybont, flashed a low 20 yard shot wide of the target. Lido took control of the game for much of this second period and the Blues defence had to work extremely hard to stave off constant pressure. Absalom pulled off a stunning save to deny Jones from distance. However, the Bluebirds finished the game strongly and a couple of half chances went a begging late in the game. During this period Jack Britton was prominent and his box to box play was impressive. Both sides had to eventually settle for a point apiece which, most agreed, was a fair reflection of the play over the course of 90 minutes.
“This is a really tough place to go on a poor pitch,” said Haverfordwest County manager Wayne Jones.
“Happy we took the lead, but I felt Kaid (Mohamed) was offside when Lido levelled matters. It was important we didn’t lose as we ground out a draw which keeps us in the hunt for the title. All the new signings put in encouraging performances. Lido are a good team and I'm sure that they are capable of taking points off our rivals at home."

Afan Lido: Steve Cann, Ben Symons, Sean Hanbury, Lewis Holmes, James Parry, Jack Hurley, Liam McCreesh (Captain), Bradley Flay (86 Adam Llewellyn), Chris Jones, Kaid Mohamed, Sacha Walters.

Substitutes not used: Scott Coughlin, Kieran Parsons, Stephen Morris, Patrick Finneral.

Haverfordwest County: Kelland Absalom, Miles John (58 Corey Saunders), Jake Merry, Sean Pemberton (Captain) (69 Jack Britton), Kieran Howard, Nicky Palmer, Ricky Watts, Ben Fawcett, Marcus Griffiths, Tim Hicks.

Substitutes not used: Ryan Hughes, Kyle Stuart.

Referee: Kim Fisher.

Assistants: Joseph Proietti & Matthew Johnson