Parkway end away fixtures with defeat in the capital
For their final away league match of the season Parkway travelled to 7th placed Hayes and Yeading United with a depleted, injury ravaged squad. Two changes were made from Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at Tiverton Town with Aaron Goulty and Tom Bath replacing Jamie Lowry and Jack Crago respectively and with only one fit substitute available on the bench.
Full Match Report
Images by Tom Finnie
Straight from the kick off Parkway almost made the perfect start with Ben Seymour rolling in Callum Hall whose rasping drive was pushed behind for a corner by Jack Smith in the home goal.
With the game being played at a lively pace on a slippery surface, on 6 minutes a timely tackle by the imposing Toby Down blunted an attack after good build up play by the hosts.
Ryan Lane then saw his cross well gathered by Smith after good work along the left. On 10 minutes a series of blocks and headers in the 6 yard area by the Parkway defence denied the hosts an opening goal with the composed Austen Booth eventually clearing the danger.
Parkway responded immediately with Seymour rounding the keeper who had come way off his line and setting up Rio Garside who curled a long range effort narrowly wide with the keeper stranded in no man’s land. Parkway continued to apply early pressure and on 15 minutes Seymour went clear along the right, twisting and turning before firing in a low cross which was deflected for a corner.
From the clearance Lane’s cross floated just wide. Hall then bent a long range effort just wide of the right hand post as Parkway continued to press.
The game continued at a high tempo with Parkway forcing the pace and on 23 minutes good build up play along the right between Garside and Harrison King saw the ball switched to the left with Lane and Mikey Williams combining well to force another corner.
Hayes were playing mainly on the counter as Parkway continued to dominate in midfield with the hosts defending well. On 28 minutes a cross from the right by King was comfortably gathered by Smith who was the busier of the two keepers at this stage.
On 29 minutes Parkway were forced into an early substitution with Jack Crago replacing Lane who had picked up an injury with the Booth taking the captain’s armband. On 33 minutes Danny Green picked up the game’s first yellow card for a cynical trip on Seymour wide on the right with the free kick being cleared from a Parkway header.
With the hosts coming more into the game and looking to play a number of long balls, a moment of controversy came in the 38th minute. Parkway conceded possession in midfield allowing Sanmi Odelusi to go clear into the penalty area with Jack Arthur leaving his line just getting to loose ball ahead of Odelusi who was booked for simulation with the hosts appealing for a penalty.
The game continued to be an open affair with defences generally on top and approaching half time a Parkway break saw Crago and Seymour link will with the latter’s cross being smothered by Smith.
On 42 minutes Cole Brown picked up a loose ball on the edge of the 18 area with his shot flying narrowly over. In the 3 minutes of added time play continued to fluctuate from end to end with no further chances for either side as defences generally remained solid and hard to break down.
An open, fairly even half of few chances with Parkway creating the better of them with the hosts looking dangerous on the counter attack but Arthur in the Parkway goal remaining relatively untroubled.
Hayes made a double substitution at half time with Amos Nasha and Hassan Jalloh replacing Reece Cole and Roger James.
The changes made an almost impact with the hosts taking the lead in the 47th minute. Jalloh picked up a loose ball in midfield and raced clear unchallenged along the left angling a low drive beyond Arthur into the bottom right hand corner from around 15 yards.
Hayes continued their sharp start to the half and almost doubled their lead on 49 minutes. Moses Emmanuel went clear along the left with Arthur doing superbly well to fingertip the striker’s effort from the edge of the 18 yard area on to the post and away to safety.
Hayes continued to dominate proceedings forcing Parkway on to the defensive and created a half chance on 51 minutes which Parkway did well to clear under pressure.
Parkway continued to compete well and on 55 minutes won a free kick wide on the left with Down winning a header in the 18 yard area and Seymour just unable to connect with the loose ball.
On 56 minutes a nasty challenge on Williams by Brown went unpunished other than a free kick with Hall picking up a yellow card for subsequent remarks made to the referee.
With Parkway now being restricted to counter attacks, the hosts continued to look the more threatening switching play and stretching the Parkway back line who to their credit continued to defend well.
Tarik Moore-Azille replaced Josh Elan for the hosts on 65 minutes shortly before Seymour and Hall combined well to force Parkway’s first corner of the half with Crago’s header lacking power and Smith saving comfortably. Hayes continued in the ascendancy but their final ball too often lacked quality or direction with Parkway continuing to defend well but unable to get too much forward momentum.
On 71 minutes Adam Liddle was booked for persistent infringements as Parkway just about remained in the game but seemingly beginning to tire and with no options available on the bench to introduce fresh legs, a slight change of formation took place.
Williams was pushed further forward with Hall dropping into the back line. On 77 minutes the hosts broke from deep in their own half with Liddle and Emmanuel combining well along the left with Booth again defending well to halt the attack.
With Hayes continuing to press, King was booked in the 80th minutes and on 81 minutes they should have increased their lead. With Parkway pushing forward in search of the equaliser and leaving gaps at the back, Jalloh broke clear and squared the ball to Liddle whose weak shot under no pressure from around 18 yards was easily saved by Arthur.
As play became scrappy Emmanuel was the next player to be booked for backchatting the referee. A rare Parkway attack on 84 minutes saw Hall push forward along the left and cross into the danger area with Crago competing well to win the ball with his snapshot blocked and cleared away.
On 88 minutes the hosts again broke clear of the exposed Parkway defensive line with Emmanuel coming in at the far post just unable to connect with a dangerous cross from the right.
Seven minutes of added time were indicated and with Parkway still striving for the equaliser, in the 92nd minute Brown saw yellow for a foul wide on the left with the resultant free kick lacking quality or direction and sailing harmlessly out for a goal kick.
With Parkway still pushing forward they were inevitably caught by a sucker punch in 4th minute of stoppage time. The hosts broke clear along the right with a cross reaching the unmarked Emmanuel who side footed home from around 10 yards. To their credit Parkway did not give up and one last attack in the final minute of added time, albeit too little too late, saw them pull a goal back.
Hall and Garside linked well along the left to cross into the 6 yard area with a close range shot being blocked on the line by Smith and Crago scrambling the ball home from a yard out.
An even first half with Parkway competing well and arguably creating the better chances with the conceding of the early second half goal forcing a change of game plan. The hosts were generally on top for most of the second half with Parkway defending well but unable to create too much going forward. Despite remaining fully committed and working hard throughout, the combination of tiredness, the relentless recent schedule, players starting when not fully fit and lack of alternatives from the bench eventually took it’s toll. Despite the defeat Parkway remain in 11th place and they head into the final demanding week of the season with their last 3 games at Bolitho Park on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
A big effort from staff and players will be required to ensure the season doesn’t just peter out and they must aim to finish as high as possible in the table.
In their inaugural season in the Southern League Premier Division (step 3 in the pyramid), the highest level at which the club has ever competed, the team have travelled a distance of 8,952 miles, 7,040 in the league and 1,912 in the FA Cup/FA Trophy.
To put that in perspective that’s the equivalent of around just 200 miles short of travelling from Plymouth to Perth Western Australia! It has involved 171 hours on the road, a full 7 days on a coach. All of this has been carried out without question or complaint with the acceptance of the fact that the higher you progress up the pyramid the longer the distances you are required to travel and of course the additional cost. It goes with the territory.
It must also be noted and never underestimated the terrific commitment and dedication by staff and players, all of whom are part time, all have full time jobs, many have wives or partners with some having young families.
Many of the away trips have been between 12-15 hours with some midweek games seeing the coach not arriving back until the early hours of the morning, the latest around 0330am!
Finally credit must also be given to the hardcore of 15-20 or so supporters who have regularly travelled on the coach, many of them to most of the games.
Hayes and Yeading
1 Smith, 2 Brown, 3 Warner-Eley, 4 Odelusi ©, 5 Wiltshire, 6 Lelan (Moore-Azille 65), 7 James (Nasha 46), 8 Green, 9 Emmanuel, 10 Cole (Jalloh 46), 12 Liddle
12 Moore-Azille, 14 Nasha, 15 Miles (unused), 16 Field (unused), 17 Jalloh
1 Arthur, 2 King, Lane © (Crago 29), 4 Goulty, 5 Down, 6 Booth, 7 Williams, 8 Hall, 9 Seymour, 10 Garside, 11 Bath.
12 Rooney (unused), 14 Crago, 15 Godfree (unsed)
Attendance: 160 (estimate 45 away)