Blunders at the back cost Airbus at Haverfordwest

Reporter:

Tom Norris

Airbus had a series of defensive lapses to thank as their televised clash at Haverfordwest ended in a 4-0 win for the hosts.

The Wingmakers, who were without striker Carl Owen, midfielder Richie Doran and defenders Jamie Smith and Leon Clowes, will have been hoping to impress the viewing public, but within two minutes they found themselves chasing the game, Neil Thomas finishing low past Kristian Rogers.

Airbus started to come back into the game following the early setback, although Ryan Edwards and Andy Moran failed to properly test Lee Idzi in the home goal.

And disaster struck for Craig Harrison’s men six minutes before the break as a floated ball into the box handed Jack Christopher the chance to loop a header over Rogers.

Having failed to make a breakthrough in the opening eight minutes of the second half, Harrison introduced Simon Smith for the more defensively minded Phil Clarke, Airbus creating a chance through Wrexham loanee Nick Rushton, but it cleared Idzi’s crossbar.

And the game was effectively over just after the hour mark as former Swansea midfielder Matty Collins curled a free-kick into the bottom corner of Rogers’ net, although the ex-Wrexham stopper should perhaps done better with the attempted save.

Rogers redeemed himself with a smart save from Christopher before Rushton threatened to open the Airbus account, the striker closed down in time by the hosts’ defence.

Another free-kick saw Haverfordwest extend their advantage, Chris O’Sullivan drilling a low effort through the Airbus wall, and again there will be question marks over whether it should have found its way into the net.

There was nearly something to smile about for Airbus with the clock ticking down as Moran forced Idzi into a spectacular double save following a corner.

Speaking after the match, Harrison pulled no punches with his assessment of his side’s performance: “Silly goals cost us again,” he said.

“We conceded after just two minutes and you can’t do anything against anyone when that happens. It was a very poor defensive display and that is for the whole team not just the defence.

“It was the complete opposite of the TNS performance where we were compact and difficult to break down, they only had three chances last week. Maybe we thought we would win the game without doing the nasty work.

“Conceding a goal after just two minutes changes everything, we don’t give ourselves a chance sometimes and someone has got to take some criticism, we need to grow a backbone and that can be done on the training ground.

“I stayed up until 2am watching the game back and although John Hartson said we play nice football, at two-nil down there is no point anyway, you might as well just lump it in the box.”

Bala Town slipped to the foot of the Welsh Premier League table following a 3-1 defeat at Neath.

Having recorded their first win of the season last week Bala travelled to south Wales in confident mood, but Neath proved too strong as former Swansea and Wrexham men Kristian O’Leary and Lee Trundle netted inside half an hour.

Chris Jones made it 3-0 with four minute remaining before Chris Mason netted a consolation for Bala late on.

League leaders Bangor made it seven wins from seven matches as they defeated Aberystwyth Town 2-1.

Chris Jones and Les Davies struck for Nev Powell’s side while Steff Edwards pulled a goal back in the 90th minute.

The New Saints maintained their second place standing in the table as they thumped sorry Port Talbot Town 6-1.

It looked as though Port Talbot would take something from the contest after they opened the scoring after just 10 minutes, Luke Bowen finding the back of the net.

The hosts were surprisingly nervy during the opening half an hour but came back into the contest before the break, scoring twice in quick succession to completely change the perspective of the match.

Former Chester winger Richie Partridge levelled matters on 41 minutes and Danny Holmes struck a second on the stroke of half time.

The quickfire brace settled the hosts nerves and there was only one team in the game after the break as Craig Jones wasted little time in extending the Saints' lead before Scott Ruscoe added a fourth from the spot on 55 minutes.

Matthew Williams was the next man to add his name to the scoresheet and Barry Hogan completed the rout.

Talbot boss Mark Jones summed up the afternoon perfectly when he said: "It's a long time since myself or the club have had a beating like that but, on their day, TNS are capable of doing it to you, you just don't want to be on the end of it."

Llanelli fell further behind in the title race as they could only pick up a point in a 1-1 draw at Prestatyn Town.

Key man Rhys Griffiths opened the scoring three minutes before the hour mark of a tightly contested match, but Paul O'Neill levelled the game 16 minutes later for Neil Gibson's men.

Carmarthen Town picked up a valuable 1-0 triumph at Newtown where Nick Harrhy provided the match-winner.

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