FT: Parkway 4 (Richards 21, 32, Lane 53, Allen 75) Cadbury Heath 1 (McElroy pen 41)
Parkway entertained Cadbury Heath who were playing their first game since 3 October due to positive tests for Covid 19 amongst their ranks causing their games to be postponed. Parkway made 3 changes from last week’s draw with Wellington with Michael Landricombe, Billy Palfrey and Craig Veal starting in place of Jordan Bentley, Levi Landricombe and the injured Shane Krac.
Despite heavy rain and strong winds throughout the day, the pitch was given the all clear and the game got underway in tricky and challenging conditions. With both sides taking a while to adjust to the conditions, the visitors made the early running forcing a corner on 3 minutes and a dangerous free kick on 7 minutes which zipped into the 6 yard area with Kyle Moore making a smart stop.
Parkway began to dominate possession and on 10 minutes a long ball from River Allen found Callum Hall whose shot was well smothered by Ollie Jones in the visitor’s goal. With both sides finding it difficult to retain possession the game went through a scrappy phase with too many passes going astray and few chances being created. On 19 minutes a Parkway break along the left involving Ryan Lane and Ryan Richards resulted in a Cadbury defender slicing his attempted clearance narrowly wide for a corner. With Parkway now beginning to increase the pressure and control the game, they took the lead on 21 minutes. Another probing run down the left by Lane saw him feed Richards who cut inside his marker and fire a low shot into the corner from around 18 yards.
With Allen, Hall and the impressive Palfrey beginning to dictate the midfield exchanges and Lane and Harrison Davis looking dangerous in the wide areas, Parkway doubled their lead on 32 minutes. A strong run from the back by Rob Farkins saw him pick out Matt Wright whose knock down header found top scorer Richards who cleverly created space and curled a delightful shot low into the corner past the despairing Jones. Cadbury continued to compete well but rarely threatened the home goal where Farkins and Landricombe dealt comfortably with the occasional attack and looked to build from the back when possibe. Parkway continued to control the game but with the visitors defending solidly, few chances were being created as conditions continued to prove difficult.
Parkway almost increased their lead on 38 minutes when from another corner a thunderous diving header from Farkins flashed across the goalmouth and behind. Approaching half time Cadbury pulled a goal back from the penalty spot. A break along the left saw a Parkway player go to ground just outside the 18 yard box with the referee seemingly about to halt play but after a moment’s hesitation waved play on and then award a spot kick after a follow up challenge in the area by Farkins. Simon McElroy duly despatched the kick sending Moore the wrong way.
The final action of the half saw an Allen free kick comfortably saved by Jones. At times a scrappy half with both sides competing well in difficult conditions with few chances being created but 2 quality goals from Parkway the difference despite the visitors grabbing a lifeline just before the break. Cadbury started the second half brightly with a McElroy free kick from 20 yards on 51 minutes being hit straight at Moore who saved comfortably. Parkway then increased their lead on 53 minutes. Good play along the right by Davis saw a free kick awarded with Lane whipping in a curling kick towards the far post which evaded everyone with Wright’s cute run across Jones distracting the keeper and the ball nestling into the far corner.
Cadbury immediately sent on Jamie Samuel for Adam Young. Parkway continued to dominate possession and dictate the game with Palfrey in particular looking composed, comfortable and sure footed on the slippery surface making timely tackles, playing simple passes and supporting the front players. Jamie Lowry replaced Hall for Parkway on 62 minutes with the visitors sending on Sahr Nanoh for Scott Robson. On 64 minutes another Allen effort was well saved by Jones and the next attack saw a neat exchange on the right between Davis and Veal set up Allen who blasted well over from around 20 yards.
On 67 minutes more good play by Allen saw his cross reach Richards who played the ball back into the 6 yard box with Wright just failing to get the final touch. With Parkway now well on top against a tiring defence, slick build up play along the left between Wright and Palfrey saw Wright unselfishly lay the ball off to Richards who fired narrowly over from 15 yards. The mounting pressure eventually paid off and on 75 minutes after more good build up play wide on the right, Allen showing quick feet and good balance, danced into the 18 yard area and coolly passed the ball into the bottom corner from around 8 yards for a classy finish.
Mikey Williams then came on for Veal as Parkway continued to threaten however a rare Cadbury break away on 76 minutes saw Samuel shoot harmlessly wide. Another Parkway free kick on 77 minutes saw the ball laid back to Lowry who fired well over from distance followed by an Allen effort on 81 minutes being saved at full stretch by Jones. Parkway made their final change on 83 minutes with Levi Landricombe replacing the hard working Wright.
The game ended in another deluge of rain with the final action being an Allen shot which flew narrowly wide. A good, solid all round performance by Parkway in difficult conditions but credit to a plucky young Cadbury side who competed well, worked hard throughout and never gave up but ultimately were beaten by a more experienced and streetwise side. The win sees Parkway extend their unbeaten run to 12 games and after the rest of the day’s results and postponements, now have an 11 point lead at the top of the table from Clevedon having played a game more. The table however does have an unbalanced look with teams having played a differing number of games ranging from Buckland who have played 15 and 4 others including Exmouth and Bitton who have only played 8. Parkway are due to visit Odd Down (Bath) next Saturday but with their game at Tavistock being postponed today, news is still awaited if that will go ahead. Rumour has it that an alternative fixture may already be being investigated.
Parkway: 1 Moore, 2 Davis, 3 Lane, 4 Palfrey, 5 Farkins (c), 6 M. Landricombe, 7 Veal (Williams 76) 8 Allen, 9 Wright (L. Landricombe 83), 10 Hall (Lowry 62), 11 Richards.
Unused sub Bentley
Cadbury Heath: 1 Jones, 2 Savery, 3 Witchell, 4 Smallman, 5 McMillan, 6 Ward, 7 Oswin, 8 Robson (Nanoh 62), 9 Young (Samuel 53), 10 McElroy (c), 11 Jones.
Unused subs, Cosentino, Bamford, Price