Interim manager Sean Pemberton praised the effort of his players after Haverfordwest County put in a much-improved display to take a point from their game with Bala Town in the JD Cymru Premier yesterday.

In the former captain’s first game in temporary charge alongside Jazz Richards after the resignation of Wayne Jones on Sunday, the Bluebirds went toe-to-toe with the Lakesiders throughout the 90 minutes, and could have taken all three points on another day, with goalkeeper Alex Ramsay twice denying Mason Jones-Thomas in the final 10 minutes.

The draw sees the Bluebirds move level on 16 points with 10th-placed Aberystwyth Town, with the two sides set to meet in a crucial double-header over the festive period.

“It was a good point overall because they’re a top three team,” said Pemberton. “They have been for a number of years.”

In difficult conditions at the Ogi Bridge Meadow, County did well to subdue the threat of prolific striker Chris Venables and former Wales international David Edwards.

HAVERFORDWEST, WALES – 11 DECEMBER 2021: Haverfordwest County’s interim manager Sean Pemberton during the JD Cymru Premier league fixture between Haverfordwest County A.F.C & Bala Town F.C, Bridge Meadow Stadium, December 11th, 2021, Haverfordwest, Wales (Pic By John Smith/FAW)

“We knew it was going to be a battle, and I think every player from one to 11 rolled their sleeves up and they were up for the fight,” continued Pemberton, who had a distinguished playing career with the Bluebirds before hanging up his boots at the end of last season.

In the previous two meetings between the teams this term, the Lakesiders recorded a 6-2 win at Maes Tegid in the JD Cymru Premier, before running out 3-1 winners at the Ogi Bridge Meadow in the fourth round of the JD Welsh Cup.

With this in mind, Pemberton was pleased with the way his team defended against a dangerous attacking outfit.

“We took a bit of a hiding up there, and the game we played at home against them in the Welsh Cup, we were in it for spells, but the boys just switched off and we conceded three sloppy goals from set-pieces,” he said. “But today I thought we defended set-pieces really well, other than the last one where they’ve hit the crossbar.”

HAVERFORDWEST, WALES – 11 DECEMBER 2021: Haverfordwest County’s interim manager Sean Pemberton during the JD Cymru Premier league fixture between Haverfordwest County A.F.C & Bala Town F.C, Bridge Meadow Stadium, December 11th, 2021, Haverfordwest, Wales (Pic By John Smith/FAW)

The Bluebirds face a tough assignment when they travel to Deeside next weekend to take on reigning champions Connah’s Quay Nomads, and Pemberton has outlined what he expects from his team in the coming weeks.

“Going into next week, hopefully we can pick up something from that game too, and then we’re going into a busy period over Christmas.

“But the main aim for us it to not lose games, and not lose them by gifting goals – that’s the biggest thing.”

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