FT: Cadbury Heath 1(Allen 59)
Plymouth Parkway 4 (Carter 16, 24, Lane 30, Smith 79)
Parkway, with a depleted squad, made the long midweek trip to Cadbury Heath to contest the semi final of the Les Phillips League Cup hoping to reach their second cup final of the season. 4 enforced changes were made from last Saturday’s hard fought draw with Bridgwater Town and only 2 substitutes were available. Both sides made a fast start with Parkway creating the first clear chance on 7 minutes, Adam Carter heading just over over from a precise Lee Bevan cross. Influential midfielder Mikey Williams then picked up an injury leaving the field for a short period for treatment before returning to the fray. Parkway continued at a fast pace moving the ball around well, stretching the Heath back line and took the lead on 16 minutes. A free kick delivered into the 18 yard area was expertly controlled by Carter with his back to goal some 12 yards out and showing good strength and clever footwork he spun sharply firing a powerful left foot volley high into the net giving young keeper, Bristol Rovers loanee, Harry Barker no chance. With the impressive Jamie Lowry, ably supported by Ryan Lane and Christian Pople, beginning to dominate the midfield, Parkway almost doubled their lead on 22 minutes with Lane seeing his shot deflected for a corner after being put clear by Williams. They did forge further ahead on 24 minutes after a long ball to the right saw Barker race from the goal almost to the right touch line only to be cleverly beaten by Mike Smith who, showing good composure and skill, cross the ball to Carter who slotted home into the unguarded net from a narrow angle. Despite being under pressure, Heath continued to compete well with Matt Huxley seeing his long range effort well saved by Kyle Moore on 28 minutes. With Lowry continuing to press and probe from midfield, Parkway increased their lead on the half hour. A flowing move along the left saw the ball delivered into the danger area and after Heath failed to clear their lines, Lane reacted quickest to the loose ball firing a low shot through a crowd of players into the bottom corner from around 10 yards. Williams now clearly struggling was then replaced by Jordan Annear who joined Carter up front. Annear was quickly into the action and on a 38 minutes was only denied a scoring opportunity by a fine saving tackle on the edge of the 18 yard box after another astute pass by Lowry. Heath then had a good spell as half time approached. On 41 minutes a weak Parkway defensive header fell to the lively Sacha Tong who went clear only for his powerful strike to be superbly blocked by Moore. It was Tong again a couple of minutes later this time being denied by a last ditch, well timed tackle in the danger area by Rob Farkins. An excellent all round performance from Parkway to go 3 goals up with Heath showing their capabilities late in the half with Parkway maybe just having taken their foot off the gas. Ben Allen replaced Huxley at half time as Heath made a good start to the second half. On 48 minutes a break on the left saw a shot cleared with a header then being cleared off the line from the resultant corner. With Heath now pressing well, a lack of discipline from both sides resulted in a minor fracas with Pople, Tong and Toby Rennie being yellow carded for their involvement in proceedings. With play now becoming more even and competitive in midfield, Farkins headed just over from a free kick on 50 minutes with Annear having an effort blocked after good link up play with Carter. A strong, driving run from his own half by the impressive Lowry was only halted by some strong Heath defending. Heath continued to push forward and were rewarded in the 59th minute. A period of pressure saw Parkway unable to clear their lines allowing the unmarked substitute Allen to fire home from around 15 yards. As Heath continued to attack along both flanks, Bevan picked up a yellow card. More good play by Carter saw his shot blocked by Barker with Lowry nodding the rebound narrowly wide. Heath’s Simon McElroy received the game’s next yellow card as Parkway gradually regained the initiative. A good move down the right between Carter and Lowry saw the latter’s cross reach Smith whose goal bound header was superbly saved by Barker. Heath playing on the break then created another good chance on 67 minutes with a close range effort by Tong being instinctively saved by Moore and cleared to safety by Nick Milton. On 74 minutes the experienced Stewart Yetton replaced Carter who had put in a terrific shift, constantly causing problems for the Heath defence. Lane then saw a cross cum shot palmed over by Barker on 77 minutes with Parkway notching their 4th goal on 79 minutes which probably sealed the game. A mistimed Heath defensive header allowed Annear to race clear wide on the right and showing good awareness unselfishly square the ball to the supporting Smith who calmly sidefooted home from close range. Harry Pruett then replaced Rennie for Heath as Parkway looked to see the game out. As the pace of the game dropped, Heath’s hard working midfielder Kristan Lee was the final player to be booked for a foul as Parkway remained in control to the end. A blistering first half by Parkway with their tempo dropping in the second after a good response from a spirited Heath side who never gave up and kept Parkway honest to the end. Parkway will now meet Willand Rovers, who beat Bridgwater Town 3-2 on penalties tonight, in the final to be played at Sherborne Town on 6th May, a mere 240 mile round trip on a Bank Holiday Monday! They will travel a much shorter distance to the Devon FA HQ in Newton Abbot 6 days earlier (Tue 30 April), where they will attempt to retain the Devon St Lukes Challenge Bowl against Exteter City who beat Exmouth Town 2-1 tonight. With the treble still a possibility, attention now returns to league action with a visit to Odd Down (Bath) on Saturday for the first of the final 4 league games in a fortnight.The league title remains still very much in the melting pot with Parkway, Willand and Bitton, separated by a single point, all still firmly in contention.
|1. Kyle Moore|