FT: Wellington 0 Plymouth Parkway 2 (Mortimore 37, Carter 50)
GRITTY WIN PROPELS PARKWAY TO THE TOP.
Parkway made the relatively short (142 mile round trip) midweek visit to 19th placed Wellington knowing a victory would see them go top of the league on goal difference from Bradford Town. Around 30 of the Parkway faithful were amongst the 97 in attendance. Due to injury and unavailability, 4 changes were made to Saturday’s narrow win over Bitton. Craig Duff, Elliot Ward, Tiegan Rosenquest and Luke Mortimore started in place of Mikey Williams, Jordan Copp, Jack Calver and Jamie Lowry.
Parkway made the early running with shots from Rosenquest and Shane Krac failing to hit the target before they were forced into an early change. On 5 minutes Ward picked up an unfortunate injury and had to be replaced by Calver in midfield. With the initial exchanges scrappy and disjointed, Wellington created an early chance on 12 minutes with Charlie Dodd breaking clear on the right and putting in a dangerous cross which was unable to be converted. With Parkway now forcing the pace, a free kick from the right on 17 minutes was headed back across goal by Rob Farkins and scrambled clear for a corner from which Duff headed just wide. Parkway began to dominate possession with Wellington being forced on to the defensive and creating little going forward.
On 25 minutes Rosenquest saw his shot fly just wide as Parkway’s finishing failed to match their approach play. A Krac shot on 25 minutes was superbly tipped over by the increasingly busy Tom Welch with another Duff header being cleared off the line with Ryan Lane blazing the loose ball wildly over. Frustration crept into Parkway’s play as they were unable to convert a number of half chances with Wellington defending strongly and bravely. On the half hour a marauding run from deep by Farkins was halted just outside the 18 yard area as Parkway continued to press strongly but were unable to break the deadlock.
Wellington continued to compete determinedly in midfield making the occasional forward breaks which were dealt with comfortably by the Parkway defence with Kyle Moore remaining untested in the Parkway goal. Parkway finally made the breakthrough on 37 minutes. A cross from the right into the 6 yard area caused confusion in the Wellington back line with Welch unable to gather the ball cleanly leaving Mortimore the simple task of prodding home the loose ball from close range. A scruffy goal which mirrored the overall play. They all count. Parkway continued to apply pressure with some incisive approach play along both flanks with Lane and Billy Palfrey pushing forward from deep but too often the final ball lacked quality and they were unable convert their superiority into clear chances.
A generally scrappy first half with Parkway in the ascendancy and dominating possession with Wellington defending well but offering little threat up front. The second half started in a similar vein with Parkway creating early half chances via a Krac shot and a Mortimore header which were both blocked in the 6 yard area before they doubled their lead on 50 minutes. A swift passing move through midfield saw Rosenquest turn cleverly away from his marker and release the league’s top scorer Adam Carter who powered forward and fired a low angled drive across Welch into the far corner for a quality finish.
On 52 minutes more good work by Rosenquest set up Duff who broke forward shooting narrowly wide as Parkway continued to press. Wellington replaced Luke Boyle with Josh Baker on 53 minutes and they created their best chance on 61 minutes. George Sinnot was put clear down the left and raced into the 18 yard area where his shot was bravely blocked by Moore for his first meaningful save of the game with Krac making good ground to crucially clear away the loose ball for a corner.
On 68 minutes Duff was replaced by Sam Hillson with Palfrey moving into midfield and Hillson slotting in at right back. With Parkway continuing on the attack, a fine diagonal ball from Palfrey to Rosenquest saw the latter cut inside with his shot being once again well saved by Welch. Ollie Holman replaced Joe Wilkinson for Wellington on 70 minutes and with the game opening up, a well-directed cross from Krac found the unmarked Carter whose sharp close range header was parried away by Welch. Parkway continued to apply pressure and their next attack saw Mortimore shoot just wide when well placed. Welch was called into action again on 75 minutes pushing away a shot from Rosenquest after a fine through ball from the industrious Krac. Wellington made their final change on 78 minutes with Ollie Nott replacing Dodd who had arguably been their most dangerous player. Carter then saw another shot parried by Welch before a rare counter from Wellington saw Nick Milton deny them an effort on goal with a fine piece of defending in the 18 yard area. Parkway made their final substitution on 83 minutes with Bentley replacing the tiring Krac who had put in another impressive display in midfield. Hillson moved into centre midfield with Bentley becoming their third right back of the game. Parkway were now content to slow the game down, keep possession and manage the game out. Hardly a game for the purist with Parkway deserving their victory with a solid, workmanlike, gritty performance against a spirited young Wellington side who competed well throughout and defended doggedly. Had Parkway’s finishing been more clinical and matched their approach play, the winning margin could have been much greater.
With a third of the season now gone, the victory sees Parkway move up a place and replace Bradford Town at the top of the league with a superior goal difference of plus 14 with the gap to third placed Clevedon Town now 9 points. Parkway now have a rare Saturday off which should allow some rest and recovery time for their injured players. The action will then continue next Tuesday when they welcome SW Peninsula East (step 6) side high riding Ilfracombe Town to Bolitho Park in the 2nd round of the Devon St Lukes Bowl. Despite playing at one level lower, Ilfracombe look likely to provide a tough challenge as they currently lie 3rd having won 10, drawn 3 and lost just once in the league this season.
|1. Kyle Moore|
|3. Ryan Lane|
|4. Billy Palfrey|
|5. Rob Farkins|
|6. Nick Milton|
|8. Shane Krac|
|9. Adam Carter||Goal|
|12. Teigan Rosenquest|
|20. Elliot Ward|
|21. Luke Mortimore||Goal|
|10. Craig Duff|
|2. Aaron Bentley|
|17. Mikey Williams|
|11. Jack Calver|