You won’t see many better than that at Bolitho this season, or in fact, at any ground in this division.
Credit to both Plymouth Parkway and Exmouth.
Full match report below
FT: Plymouth Parkway 1 (Carter 26) Exmouth Town 0
In front of an impressive attendance of 308 which included a large number of vociferous away fans, Parkway entertained newly promoted Exmouth Town with both sides having won all 3 of their opening games of the campaign. Parkway again rotated their squad making 3 changes from last Saturday’s 5-0 victory at Bridport. Aaron Bentley replaced the unavailable Nick Milton in the centre of defence, Jordan Copp came in at left back for Ryan Lane and Adam Carter returned up front for Curtis Damerell.
Exmouth started strongly making the early running and creating a couple of half chances neither of which tested Kyle Moore in the Parkway goal. With both sides content to feel each other out neither were able to gain control of the game with few chances being created and both defences remaining on top. On 12 minutes an Exmouth break through the Parkway centre of midfield created the first real opportunity of the game with Jack Calver tracking back superbly and making a perfectly timed tackle on the edge of the 18 yard box to deny Exmouth a scoring chance. With play becoming increasingly competitive, Parkway gradually gained some decent possession in midfield with Shane Krac, Billy Palfrey and Calver supported by wide players Mikey Williams and Tiegan Rosenquest beginning to move the ball well but unable to penetrate a resilient Exmouth defence who unsurprisingly had only conceded 1 goal in their first 3 games. Parkway created their first clear chance on 19 minutes when a neat interchange between Williams and Will Tinsley set up Carter who headed just wide from around 8 yards. With Parkway now beginning to exert some pressure and Exmouth content to play on the counter, a strong run from the back by Bentley saw him fire just over from around 25 yards.
With the game being played at a high tempo, an Exmouth break on 25 minute saw an Aaron Denny effort from 20 yards parried by Moore who gathered the ball at the second attempt. The deadlock was broken on 26 minutes when a strong covering tackle midway inside his own half from the imperious Rob Farkins saw his clearance worked through the midfield and crossed in to Carter free on the right who hit a powerful angled drive from around 15 yards giving Chris Wright no chance. The goal was the prolific Carter’s sixth in 4 games. With Parkway now looking the more fluent side, a long diagonal ball to the left by Farkins found Jordan Copp in space whose first time volleyed cross was headed just wide by Carter.
On 29 minutes a mazy run down the right by Williams ended with his shot being easily saved by Wright. Exmouth’s Karl Rickard became the first player to be booked on the half hour after a series of persistent, niggling infringements. On 32 minutes another Parkway attack saw Williams once again proving dangerous as he linked well with Palfrey to set up Krac who shot narrowly wide from the edge of the 18 yard area. With Exmouth continuing to compete strongly and play on the break, Ace High headed just wide on 33 minutes when well placed however with defences remaining strong and the midfield area being fiercely contested, clear chances were at a premium. Exmouth spurned a glorious chance to equalise on the stroke of half time with High breaking free into the 18 yard box only for him to miscontrol the ball at the vital moment when clean through allowing the alert Bentley to clear the loose ball to safety.
An absorbing, closely contested half with neither side able to gain the upper hand and only being separated by a piece of clinical finishing. Exmouth started the second half strongly creating a couple of early half chances with strong defending required by Farkins to deny them a scoring opportunity. Parkway’s first attack of the half on 49 minutes saw a Williams shot fly just wide. Exmouth replaced Rickard with Callum Shipton on 51 minutes with Krac receiving a yellow card on 52 minutes for apparent simulation in the penalty area after a sharp, incisive Parkway move. Exmouth continued to press and exert pressure with Ben Steer slicing a shot over from around 15 yards on 55 minutes when in the clear on the left. As the game ebbed and flowed, on 57 minutes more neat build up play on the right between Tinsley and Palfrey saw the latter’s shot fumbled on to the cross bar by Wright who recovered quickly to claim the loose ball.
With Parkway now gaining an element of control in midfield, another good move resulted in Carter laying the ball off to Krac who shot well over when under pressure. On the hour Carter turned sharply in the box with his close range shot being well blocked by Tom Gardner. Another good Parkway move between Krac and Tinsley down the right on 62 minutes saw a delicate chip by Krac headed behind for a corner. Calver then saw a driven cross flash across the danger area as Parkway pushed for the second goal. As the game opened up, both sides made substitutes at regular intervals with Steer being replaced by Kieran Willdiggs for Exmouth on 64 minutes followed by Jamie Lowry for the hard working Krac on 65 and Lane for Rosenquest, who appeared to have picked up an injury, on 68. Parkway continued to threaten with more good play by Williams releasing Carter whose delicate chip from around 12 yards just cleared the bar. On 72 minutes a cleverly flighted ball by Farkins found Lane in space on the left who fired his first time shot well wide when a bit more composure was required. Exmouth continued to look dangerous on the counter with Parkway having to defend strongly to maintain their narrow lead. On 76 minutes High saw yellow after a strong challenge on Bentley. From the free kick more good work between Williams and Calver saw the latter’s cross cleared behind for another Parkway corner which was once again well defended.
On 79 minutes Lane was the next to enter the book after a foul as Exmouth continued to press. Moore who had been relatively untested and well protected by his defence kept Parkway’s lead intact on 82 minutes when he superbly pushed a powerful strike from around 20 yards over the bar at full stretch. With Willdiggs a constant threat down the left, Exmouth continued push hard for the equaliser as Parkway were forced deeper and on 85 minutes a stinging cross from the right somehow flashed across the 6 yard box with no one able to get a finishing touch. With the game coming to it’s conclusion, Parkway looked to retain possession but continued to be pressed into their own half by Exmouth who despite their best efforts were unable to penetrate the resolute Parkway defence who held firm.
Parkway made their final substitution in stoppage time with Fletcher Williams replacing Calver as they looked to run the clock down. A thoroughly entertaining game with contrasting styles of play between two evenly matched, well organised sides with defences generally on top and clear chances few and far between. Exmouth will probably consider themselves unlucky not to have taken at least a point from the game from the chances they created but with Parkway having their sternest test of the season so far, they showed their defensive qualities when under pressure along with the desire and determination not to be beaten.
Parkway now sit second in the table on goal difference from Bitton who won at Cribbs 6-0 on Tuesday but have played a game more. Parkway and Bradford Town remain the only 2 sides with 100% records. Parkway and Exmouth now face higher league opposition in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday with Parkway entertaining Southern League South Division 1 side Paulton Rovers at Bolitho Park where another touch challenge is envisaged and Exmouth going to Yate Town. .
|1. Kyle Moore|
|2. Aaron Bentley|
|4. Billy Palfrey|
|5. Rob Farkins|
|17. Mikey Williams|
|8. Shane Krac|
|9. Adam Carter||Goal|
|12. Teigan Rosenquest|
|13. Will Tinsley|
|11. Jack Calver|
|7. Jordan Copp|
|3. Ryan Lane|
|4. Jamie Lowry|
|16. Curtis Damerell|
|14. Fletcher Williams|
|18. Antonio Costa|