Bluebirds wear Undy down

Haverfordwest County 2

Undy Athletic AFC 1

A WIN by a penalty and an own-goal in the last ten minutes doesn’t sound too spectacular, but the Bluebirds on balance deserved the win after a game which saw many mistakes but a great deal of effort and craft.

Conditions were tricky with a hard surface and gusty wind making control difficult. But the Bluebirds left the ball-over-the-top style they have tended to use lately and went for more of a close-passing game which was often quite exhilarating in the build-up but which could not crack the Undy defence until the 80th minute.

Undy by contrast played a quicker, more direct game and threatened on several occasions, but were often let down by some poor finishing.

With Greg Walters and Lee Hudgell industrious in midfield, the Blues built up several attacks in the first half, but Rhys Dalling and Steffan Williams were finding it a little harder than usual to get round two stubborn Undy full backs, and Hudgell, who is capable of splitting a defence wide open with a single unexpected pass, did not quite have luck on his side, as the ball bobbled and turned.

After Kieran O’Brien had taken a nasty knock and the Blues’ side was re-shuffled, Ricky Watts added more fire-power to the midfield but although the Blues had sixty per cent of the play, it was Undy who came nearer to scoring when James Gwilt saved superbly from Ben Lawrence and then spurned a cross from Gareth Cuckmore.

On the stroke of half-time Sean Pemberton conceded a yellow card and a free kick on the edge of the area but Dan Morgan blasted his shot over.

The second half started with the same contrast in styles. Undy’s Chris Parry blazed over wildly, and an exquisite five-man Bluebirds’ move saw keeper James Smallcombe do extremely well to turn a Dalling shot on to the post.

Pemberton headed over from a Hudgell corner and the Blues were exerting some pressure but Undy still looked dangerous on the break.

The danger materialized in the 70th minute when a free kick from the touchline was powerfully headed in by sub Ben Roberts.

The Blues rallied and Smallcombe brought off another stunning save to turn over a stinging shot from Kristian Speake.

A minute later, in the 82nd minute, a rash trip in the penalty area gave the Blues a spot kick and Steff Williams hammered it into the top corner.

The winner came three minutes later after a spirited run by Steffan Davies who forced his way into the area and set up a scramble which saw Dalling’s final flick deflecting in off a defender. The Blues finish the season in fourth place.