FT: Bridgwater Town 0 Plymouth Parkway 1 (Yetton pen 87)
Parkway, along with around 50 or so of the faithful in a very good, vociferous, crowd of 298, made their first midweek evening jaunt up the A38/M5 to take on the early season league leaders. 4 changes from Saturday’s FA Vase victory over Brislington were made with Aaron Bentley, Jordan Trott, Shane Krac and Mike Smith starting in place of Stewart Yetton, Ryan Lane, Sam Hillson and Tiegan Rosanquest who were all on the bench. Parkway created an early chance with Krac shooting just wide after 2 minutes. Bridgwater responded well with Mike Duffy shooting just over on 7 minutes after Parkway had lost possession in midfield, a trait that was to occur frequently as the game progressed. Bridgwater gradually gained control of the game in midfield with Parkway unable to retain any decent possession with too many long balls providing meat and drink for the Bridgwater defence. With Jake Brown and the impresssive Jake Lllewellyn providing pace and trickery in the wide areas Bridgwater looked the more threatening, forcing Parkway to defend in numbers. A Bridgwater free kick on 12 minutes and a header from a left wing corner on 19 minutes both found the target but were comfortably saved by Kyle Moore. A series of enormous long throws with a low trajectory into the Parkway 6 yard box from anywhere within around 25 yards by Tom Ellis put Parkway under pressure but were generally cleared away to safety. Play became scrappy but Bridgwater continued to look the sharper and quicker with Parkway being denied time or space to create much going forward. On 32 minutes Parkway had a let off when a fast break down the right resulted in a good cross reaching the unmarked Sam Towler who volleyed over from the edge of the 18 yard box. Parkway did manage to break forward on 35 minutes when a Krac shot was parried at the near post by Jake Viney making his first meaningful save of the game. The half ended goalless with Bridgwater having had the better of the game but Parkway had defended well restricting the hosts to mainly long range efforts. The game took a defining twist on 51 minutes when Parkway’s Rob Farkins, who had been foolishly booked for dissent in the first half, received a second yellow after being caught in possession on the halfway line and throwing out an arm at Harry Horton. No issues with either decision. Parkway immediately reshuffled with Ben Joyce being replaced by Sam Hillson who went to right back with Bentley moving to central defence. Play continued to be patchy with Bridgwater having more possession as they tried to make the extra man count by keeping their wide players in the game. Parkway did manage an effort on target on 57 minutes when Mikey Williams weaved his way into the penalty area, evaded a couple of tackles only for his shot to lack the necessary power to beat the diving Viney who saved low down to his right. Bridgwater then had a period of intense pressure ending with a close range shot being well blocked by Hillson. The hard working Adam Carter, who had ploughed a lonely furrow up front, was replaced by Yetton on 66 minutes. Parkway arguably looked more comfortable with 10 than they did with 11 as Bridgwater seemed to drop their intensity, becoming predictable and more easily contained. Christian Pople and Krac remained full of energy and combative in midfield forcing Bridgwater to hit longer balls. The introduction of Yetton had made a difference as his pace and clever movement began to stretch the Bridgwater central defensive pair who until his arrival had looked relatively comfortable. A Yetton cross from the right was hooked over by an under pressure Smith on 82 minutes. Yetton continued to cause problems and on 87 minutes Parkway were awarded a penalty after he had twisted and turned just inside the penalty area only to be brought down by the otherwise very impressive left back Kurt Robinson. Yetton took responsibility for the kick and converted calmly sending Viney the wrong way. A pressure kick from an experienced player at a vital moment in the game. Bridgwater now threw everyone forward with Parkway having to defend desperately and in numbers. They won a series of corners and throw ins and from one in stoppage time, a header from Jack Taylor bounced down a couple of times before hitting a post with Moore diving on the rebound. Ellis continued to launch his bombs which, while dangerous were predictable and maybe a bit more variety may have been appropriate. Parkway introduced their final substitute, Lane, for Williams deep into stoppage time as they hung on for very hard earned 3 points. The phrase “win ugly” is often used and this was one such win. Bridgwater were arguably the more fluent side and played the better football and did not allow Parkway either the time or space to play their normal game. However their approach play was not matched by very many clear attempts on goal. Parkway’s victory was down to solid defending, determination, guts and sheer doggedness not to be beaten. Parkway climb to 5th place just a point behind Bridgwater but with a game in hand and equal on points with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th placed teams who all have 12 points and 100% records. Attention now turns to the FA Cup 1st Round Qualifying when step 4 side, last seasons Western League champions, Street visit Bolitho Park next Saturday. Should be another cracker.
|1. Kyle Moore|