FT: Woodbridge Town 0 Plymouth Parkway 1 (M. Williams 75)
PARKWAY CREATE CLUB HISTORY IN THE FA VASE
Parkway made the long trip to Suffolk looking to create club history by reaching the 5th round (last 16) of the FA Vase for the first time when they took on Eastern Counties League Premier Division side Woodbridge Town. Amongst the crowd of 276 were around 35-40 of the Parkway faithful which included some family members of your correspondent, the boisterous gang of 5 from the Beccles branch of the supporters club and also friends and family of Parkway player Jack Calver
. Parkway made 3 changes from their midweek victory at Keynsham Town with captain Shane Krac, Nick Milton and Jordan Copp returning in place of Tiegan Rosenquest, Jordan Bentley and Ryan Guppy. Woodbridge included player/manager and captain, former professional Carlos Edwards in their starting line up. With Parkway playing with a strong wind at their backs, the game got off to a scrappy start with both sides feeling each other out with Woodbridge having slightly more of the possession and having a half hearted shout for a penalty waved away on 6 minutes. With the hosts tricky Callum Sinclair looking lively along the right flank, Woodbridge saw an early shot go harmlessly over with Parkway gradually having more of the ball but struggling to make an impact or create much forward momentum.
With both sides unable to retain possession for any length of time and guilty of lack of quality in their passing, the game became disjointed with a series of petty fouls and free kicks breaking up play. With play being confined to a congested midfield area, few chances were being created with defences remaining in control and both goalkeepers rarely called into action. Parkway continued their patient build up play with Woodbridge battling well and having their fair share of possession but lacking a cutting edge up front. The game continued to lack quality as both sides cancelled each other out. Parkway gradually started to gain some dominance and had their first effort on target on 29 minutes with Adam Carter’s mishit shot from distance comfortably saved by Alfie Stronge. On 32 minutes another long ball was headed on by Craig Duff to Carter whose angled shot skimmed the bar. With both sides continuing to concede possession too easily, the game lacked any great quality with few chances being created. Woodbridge forced their first corner on 42 minutes with Ben Garnham firing high and wide from 18 yards after the ball dropped to him from the Parkway clearance. Generally the quality of delivery from set pieces had been poor from both sides but from a Parkway corner on the left on 43 minutes, Craig Duff arrived late at the far post to power a header just over the bar which turned out to be their best chance of the half. A cagey, uninspiring half of few chances with neither side able to exert any control or dominate as both looked to contain, defend strongly and with Parkway set up not to concede.
With Parkway now playing into the swirling wind, Jordan Copp shot just over on 47 minutes as play followed a similar pattern to the first half. Edwards was at the heart of most of the hosts attacking play and shot just wide on 53 minutes after a strong break along the right. Woodbridge forced a couple of corners which were well defended by Parkway with the home side’s central defender Liam Scopes picking up the game’s first yellow card for a foul just outside the visitors 18 area. With Parkway beginning to dictate the pace of the game they created their best move of the game on the hour. A smart move along the left between Ryan Lane, Duff and Mikey Williams ended with latter’s shot being deflected for a corner.
Parkway continued to press and another cross from the left saw Krac glance a header from around 8 yards just wide. Woodbridge now looking to play on the counter broke forward occasionally with the Parkway defence holding firm with Kyle Moore in the Parkway goal remaining largely untested. James Hubbard replaced striker Jake Rudge on 72 minutes. As with many tight, tense knockout games a mistake or a slice of luck can prove decisive. This was the case on 75 minutes as Parkway took the lead. A good ball to Carter free on the right saw his cross into the danger area dropping to a Woodbridge defender whose scuffed attempt to clear fell to the supporting, unmarked Williams on the edge of the 18 yard area. Showing good control and composure, Williams moved forward unchallenged with his calm, clinical finish beating the despairing dive of Stronge low to his right.
The hard working Carter who had ploughed a lone furrow up front was then replaced by the fresh legs of the pacey Rosenquest with the hosts bringing on Nathan Read for Ryan Keeble. Rosenquest was quickly into the action setting up Duff whose shot was well saved by Stronge. As the game entered its final stages, Woodbridge pushed more players forward as they searched for an equaliser with George Bowman replacing full back Dale Hammond. With Parkway looking to hold on to their lead they dropped deeper putting more players behind the ball with defender Jordan Bentley replacing Copp on 89 minutes. One last surge by Woodbridge in stoppage time saw them win a free kick 25 yards out wide on the right which fizzed just over the bar.
Parkway then held on for a hard fought, battling victory in a rather turgid game of few chances which generally lacked quality from either side and was decided by a single goal after a defensive error. After leaving Plymouth at 1030 on Friday with an overnight stay in Ipswich, clearly the right decision by the club’s board, it was a weary but jubilant group of players and supporters who arrived back at 0130 on Sunday morning. They can all now look forward to Monday’s draw at 1pm to see if they will be at home in the last 16 or go back on the road for the 5th successive time. The season continues on Wednesday with Parkway facing another tough challenge when they entertain SW Peninsula Premier East League (step 6) leaders Ilfracombe Town in the quarter final of the Devon St Lukes Bowl with the winners hosting Plymouth Argyle.
|1. Kyle Moore|
|2. Aaron Bentley|
|3. Ryan Lane|
|4. Billy Palfrey|
|5. Rob Farkins|
|6. Nick Milton|
|17. Mikey Williams||Goal|
|8. Shane Krac|
|9. Adam Carter|
|10. Craig Duff|
|7. Jordan Copp|
|5. Jordan Bentley|
|11. Jack Calver|
|12. Teigan Rosenquest|
|14. Fletcher Williams|