FT: Plymouth Parkway 4 (Farkins 18, Annear 43, Williams 78,
Shepton Mallet 0
Playing their first home game since November 10, 6th placed Parkway entertained 7th placed, and in form, Shepton Mallet who arrived with having been defeated just once in their last 11 league and cup games including a 7-2 home victory over Buckland Athletic last Saturday. A crowd of 123 saw Parkway make 3 changes from last weeks victory at Shortwood United with Nick Milton returning in central defence, Truro City loanee Billy Palfrey making his full debut in midfield and Adam Carter partnering Jordan Annear up front. There was also the welcome sight of Mike Smith warming up as he serves the last of his 3 match ban. Both sides made a fast start with play going from end to end with Parkway creating a couple of early efforts with Carter shooting wide on 5 minutes and Annear seeing his shot being well saved by Lewis Stainer on 8 minutes. Shepton also looked dangerous with Kailan Gould and Tom Hill looking lively and the strong running Francois Allen testing the Parkway defence. The congested midfield area became combative with both sides working hard to create an opening. Parkway eventually took the lead on 18 minutes when a well directed free kick from the left by Jordan Trott found imposing central defender Rob Farkins towering above everyone at the far post to power home a trademark header. The busy Palfrey then shot just wide on 20 minutes after a neat midfield exchange as the tackles began to fly in with Shane Krac receiving the first yellow card of the game on 33 minutes. On 35 minutes a Shepton break saw Gould and Allen linking well with a dangerous cross being well smothered by Kyle Moore. Allen then saw his shot well blocked by Milton on 38 minutes prior to being booked on 40 minutes after a series of persistent infringements. The game continued to be hard fought and well contested with the Parkway defence looking solid and resolute as Shepton pushed forward but being restricted to a couple of long range efforts. Parkway doubled their lead just before the break with yet another classy goal from Annear. Receiving the ball some 40 yards out he cleverly spun his marker, closed in at pace on goal and curled a superb shot around Stainer from around 20 yards. Parkway finished the half on the offensive with Carter seeing an effort pushed over after superb play between Annear and Krac and a Mikey Williams shot blocked at close range after being put clear by the astute Palfrey. An entertaining half between 2 well matched sides with the Parkway 2nd goal coming at a crucial stage. Shepton started the 2nd half well with experienced player/manager Craig Loxton prompting and probing from midfield with Allen having a shot comfortably saved by Moore on 53 minutes. Shepton, using the flanks to good effect, continued to pressurise, forcing Parkway to defend in numbers which they did to good effect with Farkins and Milton outstanding ably supported by Trott and Aaron Bentley. A fine Parkway move on 57 minutes ended with Williams setting up Palfrey whose powerful shot was deflected wide. Shepton made their first substitution on 58 minutes as they continued to have plenty of possession in midfield but lacked the cutting edge to penetrate the sound Parkway defence. Parkway almost increased their lead on the hour when a great move involving Williams, Carter and Krac saw the latter set up Tiegan Rosanquest who blasted his shot wide from around 8 yards when well placed. A key point in the game came on 68 minutes with the pugnacious Allen being shown his second yellow card after following through late on Moore as he attempted to clear a risky back pass. Despite being reduced to 10 men, Shepton remained dangerous with Loxton and Hill continuing to pull the strings in midfield. Parkway made a double substitution on 70 minutes with the experienced duo of Stewart Yetton and Les Afful replacing the hard working front two Carter and Annear who had combined well throughout. Parkway now had a period in control with Shepton sending on Harry Barter for Oliver Morris, who appeared to have taken a knock. Parkway’s persistence finally paid off on 78 minutes with Afful linking neatly with Williams who drove into the box from the right, curling a sublime left foot strike from around 10 yards into the far corner. Despite their periods of possession, Shepton failed to breach the solid Parkway defence who were looking to maintain yet another clean sheet. Christian Pople replaced the impressive Palfrey on 82 minutes with Amorildo Ponari replacing the hard working Gould for Shepton shortly after. Parkway finished the game strongly getting their fourth goal going into stoppage time. Persistence and determination from Williams tight on the right bye line saw him win the ball and cross into the congested 6 yard box where Rosanquest reacted well slamming his shot home and score the goal his recent performances have deserved. There was still time for a minor altercation with Oliver Bryant showing his frustration and seeing yellow for a silly challenge with a couple more yellows being issued after the ensuing melee. A tough, absorbing game providing a Christmas cracker from both sides who showed skill, flair and commitment in an occasionally feisty encounter. However the the clinical finishing, creative, combative midfield and solid defending from Parkway proved the decisive factors. Parkway, with games in hand, remain in 6th place but have closed the gap on 3 of the 5 teams above them who all dropped points today. For the traditional Boxing Day local derby, Parkway travel the 33 miles to Newton Abbot where they meet old adversaries from their SW Peninsula league days, Buckland Athletic with whom there have been some classic encounters in the past. Next Saturday the final match of 2018 sees lowly Hengrove Athletic the visitors to the rapidly changing infrastructure at Stadio Bolitho.
|1. Kyle Moore|