It was always going to be an acid test for Haverfordwest County yesterday, and so it proved.

After 52 minutes, they were level with champions Connah's Quay Nomads, only to go one to lose 4-1. It was a lesson in how quickly games can turn at the top level of Welsh football.

The Bluebirds now have three games in the next nine days, in what already looks a crucial period......

Morrison’s men arrive meaning business:

Andy Morrison is one of Welsh football’s more colourful characters, and the sort of manager you wouldn’t question when ordered to run through a brick wall.

But he is also a former professional footballer, and the term professionalism was very much in evidence with the champions this weekend.

They took nothing to chance and arrived in Pembrokeshire a day early, and by the time Morrison himself strode onto the turf at the Meadow to deliver his pre-match walk at 1.45pm, his players were out. The tannoy music prevented me from fully eaves dropping on what was said, but it was clear research had been done on how Haverfordwest play and there was a plan to counter it.

The Nomads briefly appeared on the ropes when pegged back to 1-1 but like all good sides, they came through a tricky spell and then responded with intensity. And on the sidelines, Morrison didn’t let up from the first minute to the last.

That’s what having a squad laced with experience and quality does for you. The Haverfordwest season won’t be defined by this result against the champions, but yesterday showed them just how far the bar has been raised by being back in the Premier.

Eight minutes of agony:

Having said all that, as convincing as the win turned out things could have been different in the early stages of the second half.

Seconds after the restart, Nicky Palmer seemed certain to put the Bluebirds 2-1 up as he met Marcus Griffiths’ whipped cross from the right, only to head wide with the goal at his mercy. Just minutes later, the Nomads struck twice in 60 seconds and what should have been 2-1 to the home side was 3-1 to the away one.

Had Palmer’s nod gone in, would the Bluebirds have gone on to get a result? I’m not so sure, the way the Nomads attacked at will in the second half it would have required a gargantuan effort to keep them out.

But again, the first eight minutes of the second period rammed home the ruthless nature of Premier football.

Pole axed early on:

Wojciech Gajda wouldn’t have been signed to sit on the bench all season, but his league debut remains on hold.

Wayne Jones was set to give him his chance yesterday before things went awry in the warm-up - with the former Hearts keeper picking up an ankle injury and being replaced by Steve Hall at the 11th hour.

Hall responded by making a number of smart saves, especially in the first half as the Nomads dominated the opening 25 minutes, and the final scoreline was perhaps harsh on him.

But with a trip to Barry Town United looming on Wednesday, the extent of Gajda’s injury remains to be seen.

Wilson’s work rewarded:

Gajda would have been one of four changes from Jones yesterday, with Jack Wilson also noticeably being given a start.

The youngster impressed a lot from the bench last season, scored goals in pre-season, and made an obvious impact after coming on against both Cardiff Met and Newtown. He’d almost made an unarguable case for starting yesterday and his manager seemingly agreed.

It wasn’t the easiest day for the Haverfordwest front three and the sign of one of Wilson’s forward partners, Danny Williams, deep inside his own half trying to win the ball 25 minutes in was telling.

But the Hakin youngster won the free kick which led to the equaliser and his play nearly created a second goal moments later. There was enough flashes of threat to suggest he will be in the XI again for Barry.

Crowded out:

All top flight clubs have to deal with the concept of no paying spectators right now, so it would be short sighted to bang on about it affecting the Bluebirds.

But it there is irony about the ban being in place at The Meadow.

Half of Hakin as seemingly outside the fence yesterday while other supporters secured vantage points without having to enter the premises.

It’s no secret that Haverfordwest and big crowds have not gone hand in hand in recent years, but at a time when there is no Pembrokeshire League football, local interest would inevitably intensify. The club have been very vocal about wanting to engage more with the community, and when it’s the perfect time to now do so, the concept is being curtailed.

On that note, there was a minute’s silence pre-game yesterday for two fans who were loyal figures with the clubs, Malcolm ‘Mackie’ Williams and Keith ‘Wobbly’ Jones. They will be missed

Points before plaudits:

Haverfordwest now lie 10th with two points from their first three games, but let’s offer some perspective here.

They opened up with a creditable draw in Cardiff Met, fought back twice to gain a point against Newtown, and were holding the champions at half time yesterday. It’s a been a summer of change, there are new faces bedding in, and adapting back to life in the Premier was never going to be easy.

But for all the positives, Jones and assistant Mark Murison will know that plaudits won’t win points. When you’re newly promoted in any league, the first win on the board is a monkey off the back, and to get it this week the Bluebirds will need to perform at Barry on Wednesday before an equally tough trip to Bala on the weekend.

Following that, it’s a home game against Penybont.

There’s no reason for panic, but after the initial high of being back in the big time, the honeymoon period is over.

A big week lies ahead.