This Saturday we return to competitive action for the first time since our Europa League adventure as we travel to Haverfordwest County AFC in the second round of the Nathaniel MG Cup. Kick-off is 2:30pm at the Bridge Meadow Stadium.
Gavin Chesterfield has been busy in the transfer market this summer, bringing in six new players. Jack Compton and Luke Cummings have already made their debuts for the club against Cliftonville, while Callum Sainty is back for his second spell at Jenner Park. But this weekend could see competitive debuts handed to George Ratcliffe, Eli Phipps and Keyon Reffell.
Phipps and Reffell scored one goal each in the 2-0 win over STM Sports at the end of July, while the former also netted in the thrilling 6-3 victory against Pontypridd Town along with Jordan Cotterill, Kayne McLaggon, Jon Hood and Drew Fahiya. Our third and final pre-season fixture ended in a 2-1 defeat to a Swansea Under-23 side, but it was not without a trademark wonder goal from Hood, whose goal against Pontypridd was also nothing short of spectacular.
Haverfordwest meanwhile have faced Camarthen Town (3-1 win), Penrhyncoch FC (2-0), Goodwick United (3-1 win) and Cardiff City Under 23s (4-3 defeat) in friendlies in preparation for today’s game and their upcoming JD Cymru South campaign. 2019/20 will be their fourth successive season in the second tier following relegation from the JD Welsh Premier League in 2016.
Appointed as manager last September, Wayne Jones is in his second spell in charge of The Bluebirds and led them to a third place finish in the Welsh Football League Division One last season. They also reached the quarter-finals of the Nathaniel MG Cup and round four of the Welsh Cup.
Gavin Chesterfield of course also spent a couple of months at the Haverfordwest helm in 2010, and commented ahead of this weekend’s game:
“Haverfordwest will have designs on getting back into the JD Cymru Premier next year so I know they’ll be competitive. I know Wayne well and I know he’ll have them well-organised.
“They’ve made some good signings themselves in pre-season, but it’s chance for us to get rid of pre-season if you like and start the games in earnest. I know that will bring the best out of the lads.
“I expect it to be a difficult game. It’s a cup game so anything can happen, but it’s a game that we approach with excitement, enthusiasm and a high level of humbleness”.