CAERNARFON TOWN earned victory over Haverfordwest County on Saturday (Aug 14), as they came away with a 2-0 win.
For the first time in eighteen months, the supporters were back at the Oval and Huw Griffiths’ Cofis worked hard to give them something to cheer about.
Both sides were vying until the death for the coveted sixth position at the half way stage in last season’s Cymru Premier League and, on the evidence we saw today, there will be very little to choose between them again this time around.
For the first hour or so there was little to warm up the crowd, although there were definite flashes of the type of football Caernarfon want to play this year, possession with quality and pace.
Rob Hughes joined the action regularly and showed glimpses of his talent throughout whilst the returning Dion Donohue looked as comfortable as an old pair of slippers to form a cultured centre half pairing with former Welsh international Steve Evans.
Other debutantes for the hosts were Jakub Ojrzynski, Danny Gossett, Aaron Simpson and substitutes Iwan Cartwright and Gwion Dafydd, the latter a sixteen year old striker promoted from the club’s Under 19’s set up.
Highlights of an interesting and hard fought first half were few although it’s true to say that Caernarfon had the upper hand in both possession and half-chances created.
With eight minutes gone, a Steve Evans cross from the right side of the penalty area seemed destined to be met by Sion Bradley at the far post until a last gasp header by former Welsh international Jazz Richards took the ball away from the onrushing striker.
On the half hour mark a quickly taken free kick by Kieran Lewis for the visitors ended with Corey Shepard chancing his luck from twenty yards out, but his effort failed to find the target.
Following some neat link up play with Gruff John shortly before half time, Aaron Simpson turned his marker well but hits his powerful effort off target.
The visitors’ best opportunity of the half came with just two minutes remaining but Ojrzynski was more than a match for Shepard’s low snapshot, the Town keeper getting down smartly to get keep the effort out.
Caernarfon did not enjoy as much possession after the break but they were certainly up for the fight and defended impressively whenever the need arose. Haverfordwest found it difficult to create much up front, despite having recent signing Henry Jones on the pitch.
It was a ten minute period early in the half that caused Caernarfon their only real concern all afternoon when County tested Ojrzynski twice in quick succession.
Town’s new number one was equal to both efforts and the second save in particular, to tip a Henry Jones effort over the bar, was a stand-out moment. Not far behind was a full stretch stop to keep out Jones’ free kick in the 68th minute.
However, the game changed just four minutes later. When Danny Gosset was brought down thirty yards out from goal he held onto the ball and made sure he was going to have the opportunity to take it.
His first effort hit a defender on the arm and referee Lee Evans did well to spot the infringement, pointing to a second free kick.
This time, Danny hit the ball low and hard, and it flew past Idzi and into the right hand corner of his net, much to the delight of everyone with a preference for all things yellow and green!
Sixteen year old Gwion Dafydd made his mark as a late substitute when he threaded the ball into the path of Cai Jones, who lobbed the ball over Idzi and into an empty net to seal a hard fought but much sought after victory.
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