Cymru Premier: Haverfordwest move into pole position in Play-Off Conference

Elliott Dugan celebrates scoring his superb strike. <i>(Image: Sgorio)</i>
Elliott Dugan celebrates scoring his superb strike. (Image: Sgorio)

AFTER signing off the first phase of their Cymru Premier campaign with an impressive 2-1 win over Connah's Quay last Tuesday, Haverfordwest County are setting their sights firmly on the play-offs for Europe.

The Bluebirds will travel to The Oval to take on Caernarfon Town in the first of 10 crucial Play-Off Conference matches this Saturday, 11 February.

Elliott Dugan’s stunning long-range effort and Jordan Davies' penalty proved enough to secure a superb win under the lights at the Ogi Bridge Meadow.

The Bluebirds had not taken to the field in three weeks, but they dug deep to end second-placed Nomads’ impressive 15-game unbeaten league run.

"To beat Connah's Quay, who haven't lost a game since September in the league is extremely pleasing," said Bluebirds boss Tony Pennock after the game.

"They've had to put a shift in, and you could see it at the end, with my boys going down with cramp.

"It's a great win to finish phase one, we are disappointed we are not in the top six, but it's up to us now to see how high we can finish."

The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly Dugan's stunning strike, which looped over keeper Andy Firth and into the net from almost 30 yards.

A stylish flick from Henry Jones had set up Dugan up for the goal, which will live long in the memories of the 417 supporters who turned out.

"I can't remember scoring one like that since I was six years old, I thought I was offside at the time," joked Dugan after the game.

"I turned and just thought I needed to hit it. And as I looked up from behind the ball, I thought that's going in!.

"We dug in and it was just a torrid, dogged game, we had to scrap for every first and second ball, it wasn't one of the prettiest games.

"But for us it was just so good to get the three points."

Early on Jordan Davies’ strike from a tight angle hit the side netting, but after Duggan's brilliant opener after just four minutes, the Nomads quickly hit back.

A corner landed at the feet of Nash, who poked home from close range to draw his side level with just nine minutes on the clock.

With the half-hour mark approaching, Henry Jones was brought down the box by Callum Morris, and Davies slotted his ninth league goal of the season from the penalty spot.

In the second half Dugan forced the back-tracking Firth into a save and Lee Jenkins’ header from a corner went just over, but the midfield and defence had to work overtime as the Nomads stepped up.

Wilson came close to doubling the lead from distance when forcing Firth into a diving save late on, but Haverfordwest held firm for a superb home win.

HAVERFORDWEST: Z. Jones, Wilson, Watts (Humphreys 88′), Jenkins, Patten, Abbruzzese, Rees (C), Veale, H. Jones (Evans 62′), J. Davies, Dugan (Richards 71′). Substitutes not used: Idzi, Borg, Woodhouse, H. John,

CONNAH'S QUAY: Firth, Disney, Horan (C), Nash, Harrington, A. Williams, Morris, Edwards (Roberts 90+1′), J. Williams (Franklin 81′), Malkin, Wilde. Substitutes not used: Foulkes, Owens, Bennett, Sodhi.

Attendance: 417.