Bluebirds Suffer In Quest For Title And Promotion

Briton Ferry Llansawel and Haverfordwest County players observe a minutes silence in memory of Ferry's reserve team coach Jonny Thomas.

Bluebirds Suffer In Quest For Title And Promotion

Welsh League leaders Haverfordwest County suffered a blow to their title hopes in a 3-2 home defeat against Briton Ferry Llansawel.

The Bluebirds are fighting it out with closest rivals Llanelli Town to be crowned champions and earn promotion to the Welsh Premier League.

Both clubs were due to be in action on Friday evening, but Llanelli’s match at Port Talbot Town was postponed.

That gave County the chance to extend their lead at the top of Division One, but they slipped to defeat against 10-man Ferry at Conygar Bridge Meadow.

Haverfordwest County new signing Elliott Scotcher pictured in action for Merthyr Town.

The visitors led three times with Scott Tomlinson heading Ferry’s second half winner.

Haverfordwest suffered only their second defeat of the season and now face a tough trip to play Cambrian and Clydach next Saturday (February 10).

Ferry went ahead when Ian Hillier headed in from a corner, while captain Sean Pemberton made it 1-1 after 20 minutes. Pemberton was unmarked when his headed into the net following a free-kick by Matthew Broome.

It was 1-1 at half-time and then Ferry regained the lead when former Carmarthen Town centre-forward Tyler Brock cut inside and shot low under goalkeeper Connor McFenton into the net.

On the hour Brock was dismissed for a second bookable offence, not retreating at a free-kick, and 10-man Ferry were punished when Dan Williams lobbed into the net.

At that stage County must have felt confident of earning the win they needed, but they were beaten 3-2 when substitute Matty Hughes scored on 62 minutes.

Briton Ferry Llansawel goalscorer Ian Hillier.

It was a hard fought, entertaining match which could have gone either way.

County went close to equalising for a third time when Kristian Speake went for goal and goalkeeper Luke Probert tipped the ball around a post.

Ferry move up to 11th in Division One thanks to their fifth league win of the season, but Haverfordwest are one point ahead of Llanelli at the top having played a game more than their rivals.

Former Merthyr Town and Barry Town United player Elliott Scotcher has signed for Haverfordwest.

Scotcher, 23, is from Tenby and Bluebirds chairman David Hughes said: “I am delighted that a local player of Elliot’s quality has joined our club. He is a player that we have admired for several years.”

Roy Keane was the manager who took Scotcher to Ipswich Town on a two-year scholarship contract, while the Wales under-17 international has also played for Cardiff City’s Academy, Cardiff Met and Aberystwyth Town.

Haverfordwest County: Connor McFenton, Matthew Broome, Alaric Jones (Joe Leahy 61), Sean Pemberton (capt), Tim Hicks, Ricky Watts, Declan Carroll, Greg Walters (Nick Palmer 79), Kristian Speake, Dan Williams, Steffan Williams (Leon Luby 75). Subs not used: Nick Jones.

Briton Ferry Llansawel: Luke Probert, Sam Baker, Daniel Kingdom, Rory Healey (capt), Luke Harris, Ian Hillier, Steve Davey, Scott Tomlinson, Steve Hughes, Gareth Jones, Tyler Brock. Subs: Tom Da Silva, Matty Hughes, Liam Hughes, Ray Pennock.

Referee: Ryan Kenny.

Welsh League Division One results, Friday: Haverfordwest County 2, Briton Ferry Llansawel 3; Port Talbot Town v Llanelli Town, postponed; Taffs Well 1, Goytre United 1; Ton Pentre 1, Cambridge and Clydach 1.

Fixtures, Saturday, February 3: Afan Lido v Goytre, Caeru Ely v Penybont, Cwmbran Celtic v Cwmamman United, Monmouth Town v Undy Athletic.

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