FT: Plymouth Parkway 1 (Carter 75) Hengrove Athletic 0
Parkway were looking to make it 10 wins on the bounce against a Hengrove side who they had already beaten twice this season. 5-1 in the FA Cup and a narrow 1-0 win in the league. Parkway made 5 changes, including 2 enforced, from their Boxing Day win at Buckland. Influential midfielders, captain Shane Krac and Mikey Williams were both unavailable with Krac serving a 1 match suspension and Williams being seen at the ground with his left arm in plaster and a sling having received a broken hand during a goalmouth melee at Buckland. He could be out of action for 4-6 weeks. An above average crowd of 251 saw Parkway make a fast start with a good cross from Sam Hillson on 3 minutes finding Mike Smith who’s shot was cleared behind for a corner. Les Afful then shot just wide on 6 minutes after more good, incisive build up play down the right. Smith then had another shot just wide before, on 11 minutes, Jordan Annear made a quick break down the left with his teasing cross being parried away by Aaron Greatbanks in the Hengrove goal. Hengrove were coming under constant pressure and on 11 minutes Adam Carter had a glorious chance when put clear 1 on 1 with the keeper but his shot from around 12 yards lacked accuracy with Greatbanks making the first of many fine saves. With Afful, Billy Palfrey, Christian Pople and Smith providing mobility and tenacity in midfield, Hengrove struggled to gain any meaningful possession with the Parkway defence dealing comfortably with any threat and always looking to build from the back. At times Parkway were guilty of conceding possession too easily as they tried to build momentum as Hengrove worked hard to press the ball. Hengrove looked to play on the break and had their 1st effort from long range on 26 minutes which sailed harmlessly wide. Parkway continued to threaten with Rob Farkins pushing forward and firing a long range effort over the bar on 27 minutes. Play became increasingly fragmented with a series of petty fouls disrupting the flow with Hengrove’s Jack Fillingham picking up the game’s 1st yellow card on 33 minutes. From the resultant free kick wide on the left, Ryan Lane’s accurate delivery was half cleared with Annear blasting the ball wide when well placed. Hengrove continued to defend in numbers as Parkway looked to make their pressure pay. Lewis Bond-Kendall received Hengrove’s 2nd yellow card on 35 minutes for a petty foul with the free kick being hooked clear. Another free kick from Nick Milton saw Farkins well directed header being saved at full length by Greatbanks. Parkway continued to dominate possession but Hengrove continued to compete strongly with Parkway becoming frustrated and lacking composure with their final ball in the danger areas. Parkway should have opened the scoring on 40 minutes after another fine passing movement breached the Hengrove defence sending Annear racing clear only to blast his shot wildly over. Little had been seen of Hengrove as an attacking force with the hard working Nick Parsons causing the occasional problem but the Parkway back line was rarely threatened dealing comfortably with the sporadic attacks. The final action of the half saw a cross cum shot from the Hengrove left saw Kyle Moore take no chances and tip the ball over at his back post. Parkway could have had the game secured by half time but a combination of their profligate finishing and resolute Hengrove defending left the game scoreless. Parkway started the 2nd half positively and an inviting cross from the strong running Carter was sliced behind for an early corner which was headed just over by Smith. Hengrove looked to go to 3 at the back as they attempted to shore up their increasingly overrun midfield. A concerted attack from Parkway on 49 minutes saw a series of shots from Annear and Smith blocked at close range as the Hengrove goal bore a charmed life. Smith then set up Sam Hillson who’s shot was bravely blocked before yet another free kick from Lane was steered just wide. With Parkway streaming forward, they were almost caught on the break on 56 minutes with Fillingham firing wildly over from around 18 yards. Another Lane free kick on 58 minutes found Smith who was quickly closed down and unable to get his shot away. Around the hour mark a Carter header and a shot from Annear failed to breach the solid Hengrove defensive wall which somehow remained intact. With only 2 substitutes named, including their manager, Hengrove introduced Aiden Jones in place of Fillingham on 65 minutes. On 66 minutes Greatbanks pulled of a miraculous save, flying low down to his left hand post to paw away a Milton header only to recover instantly to pull off another superb save to deny Farkins follow up header. Despite this disappointment, Parkway continued to attack with another free kick on 74 minutes being headed down to Annear who was narrowly wide with a clever overhead kick from around 10 yards. The deadlock was finally broken on 75 minutes. Smart play on the right from Palfrey set Hillson clear and after showing superb close control and awareness close to the bye line, he delivered a pinpoint cross to the far post where Carter stretched above everyone to direct a close range header beyond the despairing Greatbanks. A massive sigh of relief went round the ground! Parkway continued to push forward as gaps appeared in the Hengrove back line. On 79 minutes a surging run from deep by the ever impressive Pople created an opening for Annear who was once again thwarted by Greatbanks. Jordan Trott replaced the hard working Afful on 80 minutes as Parkway started to ring the changes to run the clock down. Palfrey then had a rasping drive fly just wide on 83 minutes with, on 88 minutes, Tiegan Rosanquest replacing Annear who on another day and with a little more luck could have bagged a hattrick. Always vulnerable with a single goal lead, Parkway had to be alert to a late Hengrove attack which almost brought them an equaliser. Aaron Bentley replaced Hillson going into stoppage time with Hengrove picking up another yellow card after a cynical trip by Luke Palmer. There was still time for Rosanquest to turn sharply and shoot just wide from around 15 yards before the final whistle. The narrow 1-0 scoreline hardly reflected Parkway’s overall dominance with Hengrove defending heroically throughout along with a top class goalkeeping performance and lack of clinical finishing by Parkway. Another gritty, gutsy, determined performance which sees Parkway remain in 6th place with their 10th consecutive victory and 7th clean sheet in 17 league games.They have the opportunity to make that 11 next Saturday when 15th placed Chipping Sodbury visit Stadio Bolitho. On completion of the game, the Plymouth Parkway Supporters Club player of the month trophies for October and November were belatedly presented to Aaron Bentley and Kyle Moore respectively followed by the Club’s Christmas raffle with the 1st prize staying close to home!!
|1. Kyle Moore|