A game of two halves… Clinical Parkway seal all three points at Bolitho
Plymouth Parkway 4 (Williams 47, Crago 52, 86, Allen pen 58)
Willand Rovers 1 (Richards 74)
A bumper bank holiday crowd of 491 were in attendance for today’s Devon derby with Willand Rovers. Parkway made 2 changes from Saturday’s comprehensive 6-0 win at Mangotsfield with Tom Bath starting up front in place of Adam Carter and Ryan Lane in at full back for Callum Hall.
Willand started the sharper making the early running forcing Kyle Moore into an early save. On 6 minutes William Richards shot just wide for the visitors as they continued to force the early pace with Alfie Mouldon and Noah Coppin looking particularly dangerous on the flanks. Parkway were struggling to retain possession in midfield as Willand worked hard to deny then time and space. A rare Parkway foray forward on 10 minutes saw a routine cross dropped by George Burton with no one on hand to capitalise on the loose ball. Willand continued to dominate and good work by the industrious Mouldon set up Coppin who lobbed just over from around 18 yards. With Parkway unable to build any momentum and playing too many overhit long balls, Willand continued to look comfortable in defence and creative in midfield. On 15 minutes Kieran Ireland became the first player to be booked for a foul on Jack Crago, A Willand break on 19 minutes saw Coppin through on goal only to be denied by a superb block by Moore. Mouldon continued to threaten with the Parkway defence working hard to control his penetrating runs into the danger area. Parkway continued to concede possession in midfield and on 22 minutes Mouldon picked up a loose ball with his shot being blocked by Callum Rose and behind for another corner. Willand were forced to make an early substitution with Will Harvey replacing Mani Skett. Moore was forced into action again on 28 minutes making a superb save low down from a strong header from another corner.
Willand continued to build from the back looking to hit long diagonals to the flanks with the Parkway defence coming under increasing pressure. A rare Parkway attack on 36 minutes saw a long ball from Rose reach Crago who went clear down the left with his cross being cleared to safety. Willand continued to threaten and on 38 minutes the impressive Mouldon saw his 25 yard effort superbly saved at full stretch by Moore. Against the run of play Parkway almost took the lead on 40 minutes. A free kick into the 6 yard area saw Burton’s punch lack distance with Aaron Bentley quickest to react with his close range header being cleared off the line. Willand finished the half the stronger with Glenn Gould seeing his effort from around 18 yards blocked by Lane’s outstretched leg and deflect behind for a corner from which the ball came out to Coppin who shot just over when well placed. Willand were by far the better team in the first half with Parkway creating little going forward, being overrun in midfield and being forced to defend desperately at times. Had it not been for a series of outstanding saves by Moore they could easily have been 3 or 4 down.
Parkway made a tactical substitution at half time with Palfrey replacing Michael Landricombe at the base of the midfield. Not sure what was said at half time but Parkway came out a completely invigorated and reenergised outfit for the second half and they took the lead on 47 minutes. Neat link up play between play between Lane, Harrison Davis and Bath set up Mikey Williams on the edge of the 18 yard area and in characteristic style he stroked a curling shot into the top corner past the despairing Burton. The goal seemed to galvanise Parkway with Palfrey adding energy and dynamism to the midfield and River Allen and Matt Andrew seeing much more of the ball and looking far more creative in the transition phases of play On 50 minutes they almost doubled their lead with Crago making a strong forward through the centre and unleashing a shot from around 20 yards which cannoned off the post and away to safety with Burton beaten. With Parkway now playing at pace and with confidence forcing Willand on to the defensive, they increased their lead on 52 minutes. A superb cross field ball by Palfrey found Harrison Davis racing clear along the right and smartly pulling the ball back to Crago whose clever first touch saw him create enough space to rifle home a shot from around 20 yards past the helpless Burton.
Willand replaced Coppin with Scott Piper on 54 minutes as Parkway continued to threaten and they went further ahead on 58 minutes. A neat passage of play along the left saw Andrew brought down in the box with Allen confidently despatching his 4th penalty in 4 successive games. With Parkway now completely dominant and playing with freedom leaving the visitors looking shell shocked, on 61 minutes an audacious 50-yard lob by Allen almost caught the backpedalling Burton napping as he just managed to gather the dipping ball. Good play between Lane and Andrew created another opening with Andrew seeing his shot well saved. With Willand now restricted to playing on the break, Parkway conceded possession in midfield allowing the visitors to create an opening on 64 minutes with Moore once again pulling off a fine save. Callum Hall replaced the elusive Williams on 68 minutes as Parkway continued to make the running but the visitors managed to pull a goal back on 74 minutes. A long cross from the right was tipped on to the bar Moore who was unable to collect the rebound allowing Richards an easy nod in from close range. Carter replaced Bath on 78 minutes with Parkway continuing to control the pace of the game and Crago seeing another effort blocked after a good run and cross from Allen. With the tempo dropping, on 84 minutes Willand broke away on the left and some sloppy Parkway defending allowed a cross to reach the unmarked Richards some 15 yards out who shot wildly over when he should have hit the target. Parkway responded immediately and a smart passage of play from midfield involving Allen, Palfrey and Hall saw the ball played into Carter who cleverly shielded the ball, held off his marker and set up Crago who again showing good control fired home from around 15 yards for his 5th goal in 4 league games. With game going into stoppage time Davis and Hall combined well with Davis driving into the 18 yard area and firing in a stinging shot which was palmed away by Burton. Davis picked up a late yellow card for a foul as the game entered its final stages with Parkway content to slow the game down and manage it to its conclusion.
The proverbial game of 2 halves with Willand dominant in the first and far superior with Parkway only remaining in it due to the excellence of keeper Moore and some resolute, at times desperate, defending. A blistering start to the second half with 3 goals in the first 13 minutes completely changed the game with Parkway showing the necessary desire and application to turn things around. A fruitful 48 hours gaining 6 points out of 6 and a goal difference of plus 9. After 4 games in their new league Parkway should be very pleased with their start to the campaign only going down 1-0 to a penalty to AFC Totton and being a minute away from a 2-1 victory over Frome, both who are fancied to do well. Early days but encouraging signs with the whole squad already contributing and playing their part. Attention now turns to the FA Cup next Saturday with a visit to step 3 Southern Premier side high flying Gosport Borough who currently sit 2nd in the league only on goal difference having won 4 and lost just 1 of their 5 games.
1 Moore, 2 Davis, 3 Lane, 4 Landricombe (©) (Palfrey 46), 5 Rose, 6 Bentley, 7 Williams (Hall 68), 8 Allen, 9 Bath (Carter 78), 10 Andrew, 11 Crago.
Substitutes: 12 Hall, 14, Simmonds (unused), 15 Carter, 16 Palfrey, 17 Coombes (GK Unused|)