FT: Plymouth Parkway 3 (Bentley, 19, Yetton 66, Lorenz 78)
Clevedon Town 4 (Ashmead 35, Vowles 41, Camper 51,
A decent midweek crowd of 183 were in attendance for the visit of 4th placed and in form Clevedon Town as Parkway aimed to bounce back from Saturday’s disappointing exit from the FA Vase at St Austell. Injuries to central defensive duo Rob Farkins and Nick Milton in that game coupled with other longer term injuries resulted in 3 enforced changes to the starting line up and the inclusion in the squad of 3 dual registered players from other sides signed as cover earlier in the season. Parkway started at a high tempo against a youthful Clevedon side with an average age of 21 and almost took the lead on 3 minutes. A trademark run by September’s player of the monthMikey Williams ended with his effort rebounding off a post with Mike Smith’s follow up shot being superbly blocked by the Clevedon keeper Connor Sidley-Adams. Parkway remained on the offensive and another flowing move through midfield ended with Shane Krac firing just over. The game was developing into an entertaining end to end affair with Clevedon looking well organised, pacy and threatening. Alex Camm shot just wide on 11 minutes with Lucas Vowles cutting in and seeing his shot well saved by Kyle Moore on 14 minutes. Smith then made a penetrating run down the right with his cross being headed just over for a corner as Parkway enjoyed a period of possession with Clevedon having to defend well. Parkway deservedly took the lead on 19 minutes with a well flighted free kick from the right by Jordan Trott being smartly headed home from around 6 yards by Aaron Bentley. The game continued at a pace with a swift Parkway attack ending with Krac shooting just over followed by Archie Ferris heading narrowly over at the other end. Clevedon continued to press hard but Parkway also looked threatening with Williams shooting just wide on 23 minutes. A Clevedon free kick from 25 yards flew just over on 32 minutes just prior to their equaliser. A quick break down their right saw Vowles release the speedy overlapping full back Tyler Ashmead who cut inside shooting low and hard into the far corner from around 12 yards. Ashmead turned provider 5 minutes later when another quick break saw his low cross from a similar area turned in from close range by Vowles to send Clevedon into the break 2-1 ahead after an entertaining, competitive half with little to choose between the sides. The second half started with Clevedon almost increasing their lead followed quickly by Williams seeing his close range shot well saved at the other end. On 51 minutes Parkway unnecessarily conceded possession from their own throw in on the left allowing Syd Camper to break free, cut inside and finish clinically from the edge of the box giving Moore no chance. With Clevedon now looking the far more dangerous side, a great effort from Vowles was superbly tipped over by Moore just before they increased their lead on 56 minutes. Yet another dangerous cross from the right caused confusion in the Parkway defence allowing Alex Camm to ram home from close range. Parkway immediately replaced midfielder Callum Hall with striker James Lorenz who was quickly into the game linking well with Sam Hillson whose teasing cross was well defended. To their credit Parkway now dug in and upped their game with a period of pressure and possession and clawed a goal back on 66 minutes. Yet another well directed inswinging free kick from the right by Trott saw Yetton get amongst a pile of bodies at the far post and nod home from close range. With Parkway now sensing another goal and pushing forward, another Trott free kick on 74 minutes found the target only to be tipped behind by Sidley-Adams. Clevedon were now having to show their defensive qualities however they were unable to prevent Parkway pulling back yet another goal on 78 minutes. A superb diagonal ball found Smith in space wide on the right and his excellent first touch allowed him to beat his marker and cross into Yetton who, under some pressure, cleverly turned to set up the alert Lorenz who tapped home from close range. With Smith continuing to win the aerial battles on the right, another link up with Hillson on 79 minutes saw his cross hacked clear as Clevedon were forced to defend in numbers and content to hit the ball long into the spaces behind the Parkway defence. On 82 minutes only an assistant’s flag for offside denied Clevedon a breakaway. Parkway now had the momentum forcing a couple of saves and blocks as Clevedon cleverly ran the clock down breaking up play with a couple of tactical substitutions on 83 and 87 minutes with Sell and Radcliffe replacing Ferris and Camper respectively. The final chance fell to Parkway on 89 minutes when a fizzing shot from Ben Joyce from the edge of the box flew just wide. Despite four and half minutes of stoppage time, which seemed to some a tad ungenerous after some earlier lengthy stoppages, Parkway were unable to force an equaliser and will rue the two 10 minute periods either side of half time when some hesitant defending resulted in 2 goals being conceded in each. For the remainder of the game against a very impressive young, well organised and pacy Clevedon outfit, Parkway contributed fully to a very good game showing the necessary desire and commitment throughout but unfortunately falling just short at key moments. A good game for the neutral no doubt. Parkway remain in 7th place, 10 points off the leaders, with Clevedon remaining in 4th but now only 1 point behind the leaders. Parkway now entertain Brislington on Saturday having already beaten them in the FA Vase at home earlier in the season and will be looking to halt a run of 3 successive defeats, a rare occurrence over the last few seasons.