FT: Plymouth Parkway 4 (Williams 1, Krac 19, 50, Bentley 84)
Shortwood United 1 (Antell 88)
A decent crowd of 143 were in attendance at Bolitho Park, most hoping to see Parkway halt their run of 4 successive defeats. Visitors Shortwood United, voluntarily relegated from the Southern League last season, had the unenviable record of 10 games, 10 defeats. Parkway once again made changes to their starting line up from their last game with central defender Nick Milton and striker Adam Carter making welcome returns from injuries, Christian Pople replacing Ben Joyce in midfield and cover signing Ryan Richards starting alongside Carter up front. Rob Farkins was unavailable due to being selected to represent the Army. Parkway got off to the perfect start taking the lead after 32 seconds. A long diagonal ball found Carter wide on the right who linked well with Richards who unselfishly cleverly flicked the ball to the unmarked Mikey Williams some 20 yards out who advanced unchallenged, slotting the ball through the keepers legs. With the luxury of the early goal Parkway quickly got on top as a shocked Shortwood looked to regroup. Their task was not helped as on 9 minutes Levi Matthews was forced off with a shoulder injury to be replaced by Yacinth Benchikh. With no real intensity in the game Parkway were moving the ball around slowly with their play lacking tempo and they had a let off and a warning on 16 minutes. A long free kick from deep found Jamie Walker in the clear down the right with his deft lob just clearing the bar, landing on the roof of the net. Parkway gradually took control with Shane Krac, Williams and Pople working hard in midfield and with Carter and Richards linking well up front and it was no surprise when they doubled their lead on 19 minutes. A strong run to the bye line and dangerous cross by Carter picked out the supporting Krac who finished crisply from around 10 yards. Shortwood were defending doggedly but lacked a threat up front with their main tactic being long diagonal balls to the lively Walker on the right who provided their main attacking outlet but generally lacked support. Parkway continued to dominate possession with Richards being put in the clear on 25 minutes only to blast wide when well placed. Parkway were reduced to 10 men on 28 minutes when Mike Smith was shown a straight red card for a strong, arguably mistimed rather than malicious challenge. No real complaints. Parkway were forced to change their formation with Richards moving to the right of midfield as they continued to take the game to Shortwood who had their fair share of possession but lacked the necessary quality to cause the Parkway defence too many problems. Richards headed over on 35 minutes from a cross by Jordan Trott as Parkway made light of being one man down. Shortwood continued to be competitive but rarely tested Kyle Moore as the rather lacklustre, scrappy half came to an end. Tiegan Rosanquest replaced Richards at half time taking his place on the right of a 4 man midfield. An early free kick by Trott was comfortably saved by Adam Clarke as Parkway made a bright start to the half. On 48 minutes a Carter header from a Krac free kick was well saved with Parkway going further ahead on 50 minutes with Krac firing another free kick low to the keepers left from around 25 yards. Rosanquest was seeing plenty of the ball and his neat link up with Krac ended with another Carter effort from close range being blocked as Parkway continued to apply pressure to an increasingly overworked Shortwood defence. Rosanquest then saw his header well saved after a teasing cross from Krac who then saw his free kick on 64 minutes pushed away by Clarke. On 73 minutes Krac picked up a yellow card after a rash challenge and was replaced shortly after by Jack Rhead. Rosanquest and Sam Hillson were finding plenty of space down the right and on 75 minutes yet another dangerous cross saw Carter’s close range effort blocked by Clarke at his near post. Trott then had another free kick punched clear as Shortwood continued to come under pressure. Rhead had slotted easily into the midfield area and along with Pople continued to break up play denying Shortwood time or space to gain any forward momentum. Parkway pressure finally paid off on 84 minutes when a quality delivery from a corner on the right by Trott found Aaron Bentley rising unchallenged at the far post to head home from close range. On 87 minutes a rare venture forward saw a superb Jacob Nowell free kick pushed on to the bar and over by a previously rarely troubled Moore. Ryan Antell replaced Benchiky for the last few minutes and with almost his first touch notched a consolation goal for the visitors. The pacy Walker, who had been Shortwood’s most dangerous player all game, made good progress on the right, evaded a couple of tackles and crossed to Antell who finished from close range denying Parkway a clean sheet. A hard working if not particularly fluent performance from Parkway playing for an hour without one of their main attacking threats, sees them climb a couple of places to 7th with games in hand over most of the teams above them. Credit to Shortwood whose young side competed well throughout, tried to play their football in the correct manner and in a sporting fashion and were rewarded with their late goal but ultimately looked short of the quality required at this level. After 3 successive home games, Parkway now embark on a 242 mile round trip next Saturday to the romantically named Roman Glass St. George who currently lie 10th in the table, 3 points behind Parkway both having played 10 games.
|1. Kyle Moore|