HAVERFORDWEST COUNTY 3 LLANELLI TOWN 1
Perhaps even more disappointing than the loss of their unbeaten record stretching back to May, 2016, was the manner in which the Reds succumbed to the defeat, with an error-strewn display which allowed their opponents the upper hand for much of the time.
Admittedly they were without their twin strike-force of Lee Trundle and Jordan Follows, but even so they could have exerted far more pressure on the home side but failed to do so, seldom testing ConnahMcFenton in the Bluebirds` goal.
The writing was on the wall as to how the contest would develop as early as the 4th minute when the hosts went ahead after a cross by Steffan Williams saw Reds` keeper Scott Coughlin divert it clear but only as far as Greg Walters, who took full advantage by shooting home just inside the near post.
County were playing with confidence, putting the visitors` defence under pressure, and Coughlin was forced off his line to just boot clear from Joe Leahy when and overhead clearance by Williams sent him on a run towards goal.
The visitors were hard pressed to keep the home side at bay, and a header from Sam Rodon from a Dan Williams corner just cleared the bar.
Another chance arose when a misplaced pass by Jordan Davies afforded Dan Williams a run into the box, but Coughlin did well to come out and block his finish at the expense of a corner.
A rare Reds` counter attack led to James Loveridge finding Chris Jones in the middle whose initial miskick then ended up at the feet of Liam Samuel, but his shot deflected around the post off a home defender.
Samuel then turned provider, when a superb pass sent Loveridge clear down the left, but his delivery into the box was too strong, but neverthelessthe ball was kept in play and recycled back into the middle, but Loveridge just failed to make a connection.
Apart from these brief forays, the Bluebirds were still very much on top and posing plenty of problems, and when Dan Williams sent over another corner, the header by Sean Pemberton was just off target.
Another effort by Ricky Watts deflected off a Reds` defender and sailed fractionally wide, but somehow the visitors managed to reach the interval just the one goal down and hoping for a better performance in the second half.
In an attempt to achieve this aim, they made a double substitution. with Anthony Finselbach and Sam Wade replacing Kurtis March and Robert Thomas, but even this could not prevent a further home success eight minutes after the restart.
Dan Williams was gain involved, as from his corner the ball dropped down in the area and was not dealt with effectively by the Reds` defence, allowing Leahy to drive it home from close range.
With a mountain to climb to get back into the contest, the visitors still continued to offer little in the way of attacking options, and it came as something of a surprise when they did pull back a goal in the 69th minute.
Antonio Facciuto instigated the move down the left before delivering a low cross into the middle which was met by Samuel to shoot over McFenton.
This gave the visitors hope that they could still salvage something from the contest, and they came within a whisker of levelling matters when Jones struck a ball into the goalmouth which rolled along the line without anyone able to get a touch, before ending up past the far upright.
The Bluebirds celebrated this escape in the best possible way by notching up a third success on 77 minutes following a corner to the far post which was headed down and met by Nicky Palmer to steer his finish past Coughlin.
This turned out to be the end of the scoring, but with the Reds now having being deposed as league leaders by Goytre United after their 3-0 win over Cwmamman, the clash between the two at Stebonheath next Saturday takes on a huge significance. Kick off is at 2.30 p.m.
McFenton; Broome; Speake; ;Pemberton ©;Rodon; Palmer; Wats; Walters; Leahy (Hicks, 75);
D. Williams; S. Williams;
Subs. not used; Jones; Luby; Davies; N. Jones (GK).
Coughlin; March (Finselbach, 46); Facciuto; R. Thomas (Wade, 46); C.Thomas; Bevan; Jones; Davies; Clarke ©; Samuel (Lewis, 83); Loveridge;
Subs. not used; Morgan; Graves.
Haverfordwest County – Walters, 4; Leahy, 53; Palmer, 77.
Llanelli Town – Samuel, 69.
Haverfordwest County – Rodon; Broome.
Llanelli Town – Davies.
REFEREE; Ryan Kenny (Swansea).