Haverfordwest County AFC progressed to the next round of the Nathaniel MG Cup after defeating Goytre United 3-0 at the Bridge Meadow Stadium.
Dylan Rees captained the Bluebirds for the first time but was unable to call upon Ben Fawcett, Lee Idzi, Jack Serrant-Green, and Kyle Patten this afternoon.
Prior to the match, Lee John’s side won all of their three opening Cymru South matches and they had the first chance. Callum Bateman on the far side scuffed a low shot just past the post.
Last season’s Player of the Year, Jack Wilson, was building up some chemistry with Henry Jones in the early stages with the former making a number of smart runs.
The pair with some neat footwork in the final third rolled the ball to Shephard for the Bluebirds’ first chance but the Rhondda man’s looping effort went just over the crossbar.
Shepherd, who was putting down an early marker, then found Wilson who slalomed past a handful of Goyre defenders but his swept effort deflected past the goal.
From the resulting set-piece, the returning home faithful joined in for calls for a penalty as Dylan Rees was checked out in the box, though the referee did not agree.
Chances continued to fall to the home side’s favour and Lewis pounced on a sloppy loose ball but was unable to drag the ball back in a good enough position for Wilson to strike.
After enjoying a strong attacking spell, the second tier had their own shot to shout about. Daniel Birch’s low effort was closed down by Elliot Scotcher before Louis Gerrard’s shot on the rebound found its way into the arms of Wojciech Gajda.
Liam Griffiths then went close as his well-met header from Birch’s cross, fortunately, ended up on the roof of the net.
The game then became a midfield battle after a flurry of chances in the opening 25 minutes. Neither side really challenged each other’s goal for the remainder, making for a goalless first forty-five minutes.
Ten minutes after play resumed for the second half, the Bluebirds had their best chance. Lewis’ low-driven shot hit the post.
In search of some inspiration, Mason Jones-Thomas and Jazz Richards were introduced for Kurtis Rees and Ricky Watts.
Richards’ introduction saw a shuffling of the pack with Dylan Rees now playing in a central role whilst Scotcher was able to push further forward.
The lively Shephard then went near to scoring as he escaped the sliding challenge and laced his shot wide.
Haverfordwest still had to be cautious of the attacking threat of Goytre and had to watch on as Bateman’s free-kick from 30-yards whiskered wide.
It proved a decisive miss as Haverfordwest’s determination paid dividends when Lewis squeezed home a shot from close-range after being well found in the box.
Lewis’ opener provided the inspiration for more goals but fans would have to wait 15 minutes more for that.
As Goytre piled men forwarded for a corner-kick, Haverfordwest broke superbly on the counter-attack to net their second. Wilson showed great stupendous play to feed in Jones-Thomas who laid it to Henry Jones curl in his first goal in dark blue.
In frustration of falling further behind, Bateman lashed out in a rash challenge and was shown a second yellow card.
There would be more joy as in the last kick of the game, Shephard netted a deserved goal.
Jazz Richards’ went on a superb solo run but was denied by Coughlin, but the bleach blonde midfielder was there on the follow-up to send Bluebirds fans home smiling.
Haverfordwest County: Wojciech Gajda, Daniel Summerfield, Elliot Scotcher, Alaric Jones, Ricky Watts (Jazz Richards, 64), Corey Shephard, Henry Jones, Jack Wilson, Dylan Rees (C), Kurtis Rees (Mason Jones-Thomas, 64), Kieran Lewis.
Goals: Kieran Lewis, 76, Henry Jones 90+1, Corey Shephard 90+4
Substitutes not used: Scott Tancock, Josh Le-Grice.