Two first half goals in as many minutes condemned Aber to defeat in their first preseason match ahead of the forthcoming JD Cymru Premier Season.
With football returning to the Ceredigion coast for the first time in nearly six months, Aber lined up in a 3-4-3 formation offering new manager Gavin Allen a chance to assess a new system and the squad at his disposal.
The Seasiders started the game looking to assert dominance in possession and came close to an early advantage. Jack Rimmer’s cross field ball from just inside the opposition half caught out the defence however his pass was unable to meet the marauding run of Harri Rowe at the far post.
This seemed to spur the visitors into action as they missed three good opportunities in succession. Firstly, when Danny Williams looping header glanced over the bar then Connor Roberts produced a smart save at his near post to deny Miles John before the Aber stopper tipped over a flick on from Sean Pemberton following a long throw.
The Bluebirds did break the deadlock on the half hour mark. A freekick inside the Aber half was met by the head of the ever dangerous Williams whose header looped over the head of the helpless Roberts and into the back of the net.
Less than sixty seconds later, the visitors doubled the advantage. The hosts lost possession inside their own half which allowed a swift break down the right-hand side. Kurtis Rees was the grateful recipient to the cross at the front post, bundling the ball home from close range at the near post.
The sharp wakeup call was what Aber needed as they finished the half stronger, carving out two quality chances which were unable to trouble the away goal. Leigh Jenkins met a corner at the far post but couldn’t direct his header goalward before Jamie Veale played a perfectly weighted through ball into the box, finding Rowe on the left-hand side who was unable to keep his stroke below the crossbar.
A raft of changes at the break didn’t dampen the momentum built towards the end of the first stanza. A shift in formation and a higher pressing game saw Aber take the game to Haverfordwest from the outset and were rewarded early on for their persistence. Two chances fell to Trialist B before Jenkins headed in from the edge of the six yard box to halve the deficit.
Despite the early promise, Aber failed to assert their dominance into any chances of note. The lively Jonathan Evans fired a freekick under the wall, forcing a sprawling save to the keepers right whilst Trialist C saw a shot fall tamely into the arms of Steve Hall whilst at the other end, Roberts denied the visitors a third with a smart save over his crossbar.
Overall, this provided the management an opportunity to assess their options moving forward as well as the playing squad some much needed minutes on the field. An improved second half performance will give everyone cause for optimism. Thoughts now turn to the rest of preseason ahead of the big return on the 12th September.