Parkway face Merthyr test at Yate

Parkway v Merthyr Town | Match Preview

By Mike Parrish

Plymouth Parkway are preparing to face promotion-chasing Merthyr Town this Thursday evening at the South West Interiors Stadium, home of Yate Town Football Club. This season’s home encounter with the Martyrs has been relocated, along with the Hayes & Yeading fixture scheduled for this Saturday, to the home of Yate Town to ensure both matches are played.

Given the challenges faced by the football club and the condition of the Bolitho Park playing surface during this unprecedented season of bad weather, a proactive approach was taken to move the fixture and ensure compliance with league requirements.

This decision comes after another postponement on Tuesday evening when the fixture at the Powerday Stadium was called off due to rain thwarting the efforts of Hanwell Town’s ground staff.

Last Saturday, Parkway returned to action with a 3-0 defeat against Swindon Supermarine, though the scoreline didn’t fully reflect the competitiveness of the game. The Yellows can be commended for their application and energy throughout the 90 minutes. Had some key moments been converted into goals, the outcome might have been different.

The manager was candid in his post-match press duties, acknowledging the aforementioned points and praising not only his players but also crediting Swindon for managing the game well, capitalizing on their chances, and defending effectively when required.

Despite the recent string of defeats, including four games without a goal, Parkway remains optimistic. They continue to create chances, and with good choices in attack, there’s hope that once they score that elusive goal, more will follow, translating into much-needed Southern League points.

Swindon’s win propelled them to 16th in the table, dragging Sholing and Hayes & Yeading into the relegation battle, with Parkway currently occupying the final relegation place with 31 points from 25 games.

The next challenge will prove to be another tough test. With home comforts not available and the neutral venue of Yate Town’s South West Interior Stadium potentially altering the dynamics as Parkway leave PL5 behind them.

The Martyrs currently occupy the final play-off place, level on points with sixth-placed Walton & Hersham but with two games in hand. Their fans know that victory on Thursday evening will provide breathing space ahead of crucial fixtures with Salisbury and Walton & Hersham in what is shaping up to be a fascinating play-off battle.

However, the Martyrs are currently experiencing a tricky period, having gone five games without a win. Defeats to Bracknell Town, Chesham & Gosport Borough have halted what was an impressive season to date. Parkway will be aiming to capitalize on this trend and will be buoyed by their previous encounter with Merthyr Town earlier in the season when the two teams played out a 1-1 draw.

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