Willand Rovers 4 (Mortimore 19,25, 68, Bickle 60)
Plymouth Parkway 0
After their home victory on Saturday, Parkway made the relatively short trip up the A38/M5 (58 miles) to Willand Rovers who finished 6th in the league last season. Around 40-50 of the Parkway faithful were in the attendance of around 200. Parkway made 2 changes from Saturday with Kyle Moore returning in goal and Mike Smith preferred to Tiegan Rosanquest. The pitch looking patchy but perfectly playable was made a bit slippery by periodic showers before and during the game. Parkway almost took the lead on 3 minutes when a fierce shot from Adam Carter could only be parried by the keeper with Mikey Williams nodding the rebound narrowly wide when well placed. Parkway started the sharper with Ben Joyce having a good strike from distance blocked. Parkway continued to look the more likely to score with Willand struggling to get into the game. As the game progressed, Willand gradually got a grip in midfield looking pacy, strong and physical. They took the lead slightly against the run of play on 19 minutes when a poor clearance from Moore was intercepted in midfield, knocked wide to Luke Mortimore who drove in and beat Moore at his near post with a powerful strike which he maybe should have saved. Willand were now in control, dominating the midfield area and went further ahead on 25 minutes. A long ball to the left was poorly defended and the impressive Mortimore cut inside and curled a shot beyond Moore into the far corner from around 15 yards. Willand continued to dominate with the Parkway midfield being denied time or space to build any momentum. A slight change saw Williams move into the central midfield area to match Willand with Smith moving from the right to the left flank. Parkway then had a spell of possession with Ryan Lane making inroads down the left providing pace and width and on 38 minutes he put in a superb cross which was met by Stewart Yetton who saw his header well saved at the foot of the post. Yet another Lane cross was then flicked just over from close range by Smith. Parkway ended the half with another couple of efforts on target being well defended by the strong Willand defensive unit. Parkway started and finished the half the better but were unable to take their few chances with Willand capitalising on Parkway’s defensive errors with 2 clinical finishes. Yetton shot just over at the start of the second half and on 48 minutes a superb save from a Willand free kick saw Moore push the effort on to the post. Willand now regained control of the midfield with Parkway being pushed on to the defensive and struggling to deal with the pace and movement of the Willand strikers. Lane picked up a yellow card on 50 minutes halting yet another attack. Parkway then had a good period of pressure with a fine cross from Sam Hillson on 58 minutes being headed against the post by Yetton with the keeper beaten. From the resultant corner Carter saw his strike cleared off the line and Smith shooting over. Instead of getting back to 2-1, Parkway almost immediately went further behind when a long diagonal ball caught the defence pushing forward and a cross from the left saw Ben Bickle unmarked at the far post head home. Willand looking dangerous from set plays then saw another free kick well saved by Moore. Christian Pople replaced Shane Krac on 65 minutes to add fresh legs to a tiring midfield with Willand getting their 4th goal on 68 minutes. With Parkway pushing forward looking for a way back into the game, a long ball from deep found Mortimore just inside the Parkway half. He outpaced the covering defenders to close in on goal, coolly slotting past the exposed Moore to complete an impressive hattrick. They almost increased their lead on 73 minutes when a dangerous cross was sliced narrowly over the bar by a Parkway defender. Rosanquest replaced Yetton on 78 minutes with Connor Mcauley on for Smith shortly after. Parkway continued to huff and puff creating a couple half chances dealt with comfortably by the Willand defence and their keeper. With time running out Willand were content to manage the game to its conclusion. The final action of any note was a minor flare up on 85 minutes with Rob Farkins, Aaron Bentley and a Willand player being cautioned. Despite having periods when they played well, Parkway were second best in midfield where Willand were strong, well organised and physical with their passing and movement causing constant problems. They were also strong in the air in defence and generally dealt well with the numerous high balls hit into the Parkway central strikers. Parkway did create chances but lacked the quality finishing of the opposition who pounced on defensive errors and took their chances clinically. Willand also looked the more dangerous from set pieces with Parkway lacking their usual accuracy and quality. Early days yet with not too much known about the rest of the league but on tonight’s showing Willand may well be one of the stronger teams. The road to Wembley starts on Saturday with the Extra Preliminary Round of the Emirates FA Cup seeing Parkway on the road (236 mile round trip) to Bristol to meet Hengrove Athletic also of the Western League who beat Shortwood United 7-2 tonight!!
|1. Kyle Moore|