Home » Blain heroics set up thumping win

Blain heroics set up thumping win

The Pembrokeshire Squad: Training hard on Sunday ahead of the game

Carmarthenshire League 1

Pembrokeshire League 7

At Stebonheath Park

PEMBROKESHIRE made the journey to Stebonheath Park in Llanelli to take on their counterparts from the Carmarthenshire League in the rebooted SB Williams Inter- League Cup, and the game lived up to it’s pre-match billing, including everything from top-class saves to a plethora of goals, with a red card thrown in for good measure.

The Pembrokeshire Squad: Training hard on Sunday ahead of the game
The Pembrokeshire Squad: Training hard on Sunday ahead of the game

The hero for the Pembrokeshire side was West Dragon’s goalkeeper Peter Blain, who produced some outstanding saves early on to keep his side in the game, with the hosts looking certain to open the scoring on several occasions in the opening quarter of the game.

Pembrokeshire slowly grew into the game, and perhaps were unlucky not to take the lead when Hakin’s prolific marksman Nicky Woodrow headed home from fellow Hakin player Ashley Bevan’s first time cross, the Swansea linesman however ruled that the striker had strayed offside.

Carmarthenshire had enjoyed a lot of possession down the left hand flank and the visitors right back Steve Allen had found himself under pressure for the majority of the opening period, however when he was eventually awarded some space to attack just before half time, he produced a fine through ball that again set Woodrow free.

Woodrow showed his experience in front of goal by providing a perfect ball to his strike partner Rhys Dalling, who slotted past keeper Darren Greene at the second attempt after Greene had done well to keep out the Goodwick mans initial effort, sending the visitors in at the break a goal to the good.

Carmarthenshire came out with all guns blazing at the start of the second half, determined to get back level in the game, however they were once again frustrated by the incredible Blain.

This led Pembrokeshire manager Gary Dawes to shuffle his pack, as he brought on the experienced Chris O’Sullivan in midfield to sure things up. It immediately paid dividends as Jonny Horgan, who had grabbed a brace on the weekend against Carew, hit a fine volley into the top corner after Woodrow had set him up, to double the visitor’s lead.

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Carmarthen were not prepared to just lie down though, and again they tested the abilities of Blain, who kept out a stinging Rob Jones drive, a Louis Jackson freekick and a great effort from substitute Adam Jones in a blistering five minute spell from the home side.

The game turned on it’s head when Pembrokeshire broke away on the counter and with Rhys Dalling clean through on goal, centre back Ashley Thomas in his desperation, had no chance but to haul him down, conceding a penalty, and receiving his marching orders from referee Dave Morgan. Allen stepped up to put his side 3-0 up, and with the game all but gone Carmarthen could’ve been forgiven for giving up.

However they responded almost immediately as Loughor striker Rob Jones turned home an Adam Jones cross to finally breach Blain’s defences, but when Dawes brought on fresh legs in attacking areas, it was curtains for the hosts.

A woeful mistake by goalkeeper Greene allowed Woodrow to grab his first, before Horgan completed his brace with a brilliant chipped finish.

It was left to the Hakin boys to complete the rout as Ben Steele smashed home before Woodrow too grabbed a second to go along with his two assists to complete a hard-earned victory.

Pembrokeshire Coach Steve Briers was delighted with the result and in particular the performance of keeper Blain, and said the county side are already looking forward to their next game:

“It was fantastic to see two top sides going at each other and really showing pride in playing for the badge on the shirt.

“The scoreline suggests that we have ran out as easy winners, but that couldn’t be further from the truth as Carmarthenshire were really a very strong side.

“They were dominant in the opening exchanges and if it wasn’t for Blainy (Peter Blain) then we really would’ve been two-nil down inside the first 20 minutes. “It was a difficult opening period for us and they were particularly strong down the left hand side, with Steve Allen adjusting to their wingers pace and trickery after the opening 10 minutes.

“They created a few clear cut opportunities and really Blainy produced some world class saves that kept us in the game, if those efforts would’ve gone in, which they looked like they were going to, then it would’ve been a completely different game. He really was the man of the match, which is bizarre in a 7-1 win.

“As it was we were still in it and we settled down well after that, and luckily got the goal before the break to give us the advantage, which gave us the confidence to kick on.

“Gary (Dawes) made a tactical change at the break and brought on Chris O’Sullivan to sit in front of the defence. We ran the risk of being overrun on the counter in the channels, but Sully organised everyone well, and his experience really made the difference as we were able to win the midfield battle by having 5 in there.

“It was a great performance in the end with everyone putting in a shift for the badge, and it was great to see.

“We’ll take confidence from this one and look forward to our next game at home on the Meadow.”

Pembrokeshire are next in action on February 24 when they host Neath League at the Conygar Bridge Meadow, Haverfordwest.


Carmarthenshire League: Darren Greene (Wellfield): Mark Standen (Seaside); Mike Yates (Seaside); Ashley Thomas (Loughor); Ross Harding (Loughor); Callum Thomas (Seaside); Louis Jackson (Loughor); Matthew Hurford (Loughor); Stuart Rees (Evans & Williams); Rob Jones (Loughor); Matthew Williams (Seaside).

Substitutes: Lee Griffin (Penllegaer); Shaun Rees (Pengelli); Graham Dutton (Penllegaer); Adam Jones (Wellfield); Kellen Johns (Bwlch).

Pembrokeshire League: Peter Blain (West Dragons): Matthew Broome (Hakin United); Nathan Banner (Hakin United); Chris Ormond (Merlins Bridge); Steve Allen (West Dragons): Ashley Bevan (Hakin United); Johnny Horgan (Goodwick United); Rob Morgans (Goodwick United); Ben Steele (Hakin United): Rhys Dalling (Goodwick United); Nicky Woodrow (Hakin United).

Substitutes: Patrick Hannon (Neyland); Sean Seymour-Davies (St Clears); Daniel Bryce (West Dragons); Chris O’Sullivan (Goodwick United); Matthew Price (West Dragons).