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Haverfordwest County v B36 Torshavn Preview – Europa Conference League Preview

Tony Pennock insists Haverfordwest County have given themselves an excellent chance of progress in the Europa Conference League on Thursday night.

Despite the manager feeling all kinds of dirty tricks were played on his Cymru Premier outfit in the first leg of their second qualifying round tie in the Faroe Islands, Pennock believes a 2-1 deficit against B36 Torshavn can be turned around at the Cardiff City Stadium (7.45pm).

After a battling display in the away leg, Pennock was critical of Torshavn and their officials he believed were guilty of underhand off-field tactics.

He alleged dressing room doors were kept locked, players were left standing around, requests to water dry areas of the pitch were ignored, and spies attended his training sessions, disguised as security guards.

“The fact they blatantly abused what they were doing and pretended to be security guards, I just don’t get it, especially for a team as good as they are,” said Pennock.

“Why they need to resort to that is just poor.”

But all that will be put aside, if not forgotten, if County can turn around the tie in the capital, where they enjoyed success in the previous round.

Martell Taylor-Crossdale’s last-gasp goal breathed new life into County’s hopes in the first leg.

The result keeps the tie very much alive and Pennock added: “I’m extremely proud of the boys.

“When they believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can achieve.

“We knew it was going to be tough. Torshavn are second in their league and halfway through their season, so anyone who thought this wasn’t going to be tough was miles off.

“We knew they were a good side, but we stuck to it and we have given ourselves a great chance for the second leg.

“That was a massive goal and they (Torshavn) had better be ready for the return leg. We’re going to have a real go like we did in the previous round and we’ll be ready for it.

“We’re massive underdogs again for the second leg based on B36 and the record they’ve got in Europe.

“But as we’ve done for the last few games and the play-offs last year the boys will always battle for us.”

Torshavn took an early lead thanks to Hannes Agnarsson’s goal.

Andrass Johansen then doubled their advantage as County struggled to deal with their pacy and direct opponents.

However, with just 11 minutes remaining in the second leg, Martell Taylor-Crossdale struck back, giving Tony Pennock’s men a fighting chance in the tie.

Taylor-Crossdale – who was once on Chelsea’s books – produced a clinical near-post finish from Jack Wilson’s cross to keep the tie very much in the balance.

Haverfordwest are hopeful former Wales defender Jazz Richards can come through a fitness test.

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