This November 5th encounter between Flint and Haverfordwest was more of a damp squib rather than a firecracker, although the West Walians won’t worry too much, having left the Essity Stadium with all 3 points.
After a reasonably bright opening 15 minutes or so, Flint rapidly ran out of creative ideas and became somewhat one dimensional. Their opponents were not much better, but took advantage of a couple of breaks, first they saw Flint reduced to ten men just after the hour mark, when Jack Hindle was shown a straight red card after appearing to stamp on a Haverfordwest player, and then they were awarded a penalty which they scored to grab the all important goal.
Just as the game kicked off, the heavens opened, and Flint seemed to master the conditions better, putting some decent moves together although the end product was sadly lacking. Okera Simmonds sent a curling shot from outside of the area just wide of the post on 9 minutes, whilst Larnell Cole stung the hands of visiting keeper Lee Idzi with a powerful drive a couple of minutes later. From the resulting corner, the ball was played to Simmonds lurking on the edge of the box, and his shot was blocked in a crowded box, with the referee unmoved by some hopeful penalty appeals for handball.
After that, the game developed into a more equal contest, and a rather staid affair, with neither side seemingly capable of providing the necessary flair to break the deadlock.
Lee Fowler made a double substitution at the start of the second half in an attempt to give his side fresh impetus, with Ben Hughes and Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro being introduced.
But the game remained pretty much as it had beforehand, that was until the sending off incident. Hindle tangled with Bluebirds captain Dylan Rees on the halfway line, and with Rees lying prone on the ground, Hindle appeared to step on him as he moved away. The referee immediately produced the red card and Hindle was dismissed.
Haverfordwest carved out their best opening of the game on 70 minutes, when Elliott Duggan got ahead of Bobby Beaumont to connect with a cross from the right, but, in keeping with the quality of the game, his header went wide of the mark, when he should have done much better.
Lee Jenkins met a corner shortly afterwards, to send a header goalwards, that Akpa-Akpro did well to block with his chest just in front of the goal line. But Flint’s relief was short lived, as the dangerous Rhys Abbruzzese picked up the loose ball and weaved his way back into the area. Hughes, Anthony Stephens and Harry Owen all had a nibble at him as he ran at them, and as he eventually tumbled over, a spot kick was awarded. Jordan Davies stepped up to confidently put the penalty past Harry Allen in the Flint goal.
After that setback, the home side were unable to respond, and Haverforwest comfortably saw the game out to end a run of four successive defeats.
Report by Nigel Sheen. Photographs by Damon Mead.
Line Ups :
Flint Town United – H. Allen, B. Beaumont, T. Garratt (H. Brindley-Peagram 85), A. Stephens, H. Owen, D. Harrison (O. Ibrahim 80), L. Cole (B. Hughes 46) , J. Owen (c), J. Hindle, M. Cadwallader (J-L Akpa-Akpro 46), O. Simmonds. Unused Subs – D.Szczepaniak (GK), J. Carroll, M. Roberts
Haverfordwest County – L. Idzi, L. Jenkins, R. Abbruzzese, E. Scotcher, D. Rees (c), K. Patten, J. Wilson (H. John 41), J. Veale, B. Fawcett (I. Watkins 90), E. Duggan (C. Shepherd 89), J. Davies. Unused Subs – Z. Watkins, R. Watts, I. Evans, I. Humphreys
Flint MOM – Anthony Stephens (had a solid game in the Flint defence)