FT: Bridport 0 Plymouth Parkway 2 (Annear 3, Williams 57)
Parkway traveled to 16th placed Bridport but, with an emergency road closure on the A35 necessitating a lengthy diversion, they only arrived just under an hour before kick off thereby disrupting normal pre match preparations. With 6 of the squad unavailable, 2 changes were made from last weeks game with Tiegan Rosanquest playing at right back, an unfamiliar role for him. Bridport started brightly forcing an early free kick which saw a header well saved by Kyle Moore but on 3 minutes from their first real attack Parkway took the lead. A long ball from the back found Adam Carter neatly heading on to recent signing Jordan Annear who raced clear of the last defender, cleverly and calmly rounded Jason Hutchings in the Bridport goal and quickly endeared himself to the travelling Parkway faithful by finishing with aplomb. His first goal for the club in only his second game, hopefully the first of many. Bridport looked to bounce back straight away with Kameron Andrews and Dan Peach prompting from midfield and Leighton Thomas and Oscar Latas looking lively on the flanks. Parkway were awarded a free kick on 11 minutes with Andrew Martin receiving a yellow card and Jordan Trottseeing his rasping effort well saved by Hutchings. Bridport then had a spell of possession with Parkway unable to retain or settle on the ball for too long and on 17 minutes Thomas shot just wide when well placed. Bridport continued in the ascendancy with Moore being the busier of the two keepers dealing mainly with long shots and overhit passes from the Bridport flanks. Parkway almost doubled their lead on 25 minutes only for a Mikey Williamsrun and shot being blocked in the 6 yard box and a minute later another good interchange of passes on the right ended with Carter having a shot which lacked power comfortably saved. Parkway were struggling to gain control of the midfield with Bridport moving the ball around well forcing Parkway to defend in numbers with Andrews seeing his powerful shot being parried away by Moore on 29 minutes. Rob Farkins then picked up a yellow card for dissent as Bridport continued to threaten with the tricky Thomas flashing a shot just wide on 31 minutes. Bridport forced a series of corners with Parkway on the back foot for a period but defending solidly. With the game now flowing from end to end, Les Afful made a strong run down the right shooting just over. On 37 minutes Annear made a determined run in from the right with his powerful angled shot hitting the side netting. Thomas then headed just wide at the other end as both sides continued to create chances, the next one falling to Carter who headed narrowly over after a fine run and cross by Annear. Back came Bridport who saw Moore push a shot behind for a corner with the final chance of the half falling to Annear who, after neat exchange of passes between Christian Pople and Carter, shot narrowly wide. An absorbing half between two well organised sides with Bridport shading possession and arguably the slightly better side but lacking the sharpness or quality in the final third with the Parkway defence holding firm and proving hard to breach. Bridport started the second half well creating a couple of early chances but failing to test Moore unduly. Annear then made a quick break shooting just wide when under pressure. Bridport continued to press forward and a loose Parkway defensive header on 55 minutes dropped to Thomas whose fierce angled shot was saved low down by Moore. A five minute spell then became pivotal to the game. On 57 minutes Parkway increased their lead when a fine cross from the left from Afful found Carter at the far post who smartly laid the ball back to Williams who cut inside and from around 20 yards deftly curled a superlative left footed shot around Hutchings into the top corner. Quality build up play rounded off with a class finish. Bridport were then given a lifeline on the hour when an Afful challenge was deemed illegal and a penalty awarded. After the arguments had subsided and a couple of yellow cards had been brandished, experienced striker Mark Salter stepped up only to see his penalty superbly pushed out by Moore going to his left and then with considerably agility make an equally fine, if not better save to the follow up, close range shot from the rebound. Bridport continued to look dangerous with Salter seeing an effort well saved on 69 minutes before both sides began to ring the changes. Jake Miller replaced Afful with Matt Condliffe on for Peach for the hosts around 70 minutes. After their earlier let off Parkway now came into the game more, shading possession and moving the ball quicker with chances being created for Annear and the lively Miller who both saw their shots blocked. Jack Rhead replaced the hard working and impressive Annear on 80 minutes with Kirk Smith on for Shane Krac on 85. Bridport continued to push forward in numbers but Parkway maintained their defensive shape and, with fresh legs in midfield, also managed to break at pace putting the Bridport defence under pressure until the end. Yet another hard working, gritty, grafting performance and welcome clean sheet from a depleted Parkway who were forced to defend well against a spirited, well organised Bridport side who at times belied their lowly league position. With more clinical finishing, they may have taken something from the game. The quality of the 2 Parkway goals was probably the difference between the 2 sides. The journey home was less arduous made sweeter with 3 points in the bag. Parkway climb a place to 6th and are back on the road again next Saturday when they visit Brislington who narrowly won 3-2 at Bolitho Park recently but have lost 4 and won only 1 of their league games since then.