Parkway reposnd well and pick up three midweek points on the road
Parkway made the long midweek journey to bottom club North Leigh looking to bounce back from Saturday’s narrow defeat at Winchester City.
One enforced change was made with Billy Palfrey replacing the unavailable due to illness of Callum Hall. Mikey Williams remained unavailable due to injury meaning only 3 substitutes could be named.
Full Match Report
Playing up the significant slope, Parkway started brightly forcing a couple of early corners which came to nothing. Parkway continued to dominate the early stages with Ben Seymour and Ryan Lane combining well on 8 minutes with Lane whipping in a cross from the left with Jack Crago just unable to get the final touch from close in.
However from their next attack Parkway took the lead. A long ball from the back by Austen Booth picked out Seymour wide on the right with Seymour’s first time cross into the 6 yard area finding Crago who reacted the quickest firing home across Adam North in the home goal into the bottom corner.
The hosts gradually began to get into the game with Jordan Thomas playing wide on the left looking particularly dangerous.
On 17 minutes a long ball in behind the Parkway defence found Levi Steele going clear with Harry Lee doing well to anticipate the danger and coming off his line to smother the loose ball.
Play continued at a high tempo with both sides competing well in midfield and looking to exploit the flanks.
Thomas continued to look threatening along the left for the hosts but the Parkway defence held firm as they looked to build from the back.
On 19 minutes a strong run by Rio Garside from deep saw his long diagonal ball reach Harrison King on the right who sent Palfrey clear with the final cross lacking direction and being comfortably dealt with the North Leigh defence.
The game continued to be a tight affair and a midfield battle with both defences remaining on top and few clear chances being created. On 27 minutes a North Leigh free kick centrally around 30 yards out cannoned off the wall for a corner as the hosts continued to probe an opening.
On 32 minutes casual play in the Parkway back line allowed Twariq Yusuf to pounce on the loose ball with his through ball just failing to reach Thomas.
A period of North Leigh pressure saw them equalise in the 33rd minute.
The elusive Thomas picked up a loose pass midway in the Parkway half, powered forwarded and danced through a couple of half hearted tackles and slotted home from around 15 yards into the bottom corner past an unsighted Lee.
The game continued to be a midfield battle with both sides competing strongly and defences coming under pressure with clear chances few and far between. On 38 minutes Thomas again went clear along the left with his quality cross being well cut out by Lee.
Play continued to go from end to end but the final ball into the final third from both sides lacked precision making it relatively easy for defenders to clear their lines. However on 43 minutes Parkway regained the lead with a sweeping move. Garside and Lane linked well along the left sending a diagonal crossfield ball to the right finding Palfrey who drove forward into the 18 yard area and poked the ball across the keeper with the outside of his foot from around 13 yards.
On the cusp of half time Parkway almost increased their lead further with Lane’s low angled drive being deflected for a corner.
A tight, highly competitive, fairly even first half of few chances with Parkway converting theirs for a narrow lead with the hosts still well in the game.
Amar Awadh replaced Steele for North Leigh for the second half.
Now playing down the slope, Parkway created an early chance on 51 minutes.
Lane moved forward at pace and linked well with King whose well directed cross was sliced over the bar by a defender with Booth heading the resultant corner just wide.
The hosts responded with Yusuf breaking clear on 53 minutes and picking out Lance Williams whose shot was blocked by Lane with Lee gathering the loose ball. Parkway began to dominate possession with the game being played mainly in the North Leigh half and on 55 minutes a Garside ball over the top found Seymour who fired just over from around 20 yards.
Garside then latched on to a loose ball and shot well over as Parkway continued to apply pressure.
On 62 minutes a Parkway corner deep to the far post dropped to Callum Rose who did well to retrieve the ball and pull it back to Garside who shot wide from just inside the 18 yard area.
North Leigh continued to defend well but were now being restricted to play on the counter as Parkway remained dominant in possession, working hard and looking to increase their lead.
On 66 minutes another telling ball by Garside into the 18 yard area found Seymour who slipped on the turn and was unable to get his shot away.
On 70 minutes Owen Dore replaced substitute Awadh who had picked up an injury after a midfield challenge and left the field in some distress.
On 75 minutes Exeter City loanee Gabriel Billington replaced Palfrey who had put an excellent shift, his longest and most impressive for some time. A counter attack by North Leigh in the 76th minute saw a cross by the lively Thomas sliced behind for a corner as the hosts looked to find a way back into the game.
On 79 minutes Parkway created a two on one situation with Seymour and Crago clear in the 18 yard area only for the referee to halt play for a foul in the build up when an advantage could well have been played.
Aaron Heap was booked for the challenge with Garside firing the free kick well over the bar from around 30 yards. Niko Nenonen-Miller then replaced Heap for the hosts as the tempo of the game slowed with Parkway still in the ascendancy working hard off the ball and looking more likely to increase their lead.
On 82 minutes Garside won the ball in midfield and released Seymour who cut inside and fired just wide with Crago in support and well placed to receive a pass. Parkway did almost increase their lead on 87 minutes. A through ball from Billington released Crago who went clear one on one with North with the keeper spreading himself well to block the shot.
Approaching full time Parkway looked to slow the game down, retain possession and manage it to it’s conclusion. Declan Peart was forced to come off with an injury reducing North Leigh to 10 men for the final couple of minutes and with 4 minutes of added time being indicated Tom Bath replaced Seymour on 90 minutes with Aaron Goulty replacing Garside in the 92nd as they looked to run the clock down.
Parkway managed to see the game out to earn a valuable 3 points in a hard fought, well contested game in which their doughty opponents belied their lowly league position and competed well to the end.
A workmanlike, hard working if unspectacular performance from Parkway playing at a high tempo and with intensity.
Solid in defence, busy in midfield and with more composure and clinical finishing, especially in the second half, they could well have won by a wider margin.
The win sees Parkway remain in 15th place but now 8 points clear of the drop zone as they gradually tick off their games in hand.
Parkway return to Bolitho Park on Saturday to face 19th placed Yate Town who went down 1-0 at Winchester City tonight to an 87th minute goal before going back on the road next Tuesday to face 5th placed and playoff contenders Poole Town who comprehensively beat Truro City 3-0 tonight.
A special mention should be made of the 25 or so hardy souls supporting Parkway tonight.
In addition to those from Plymouth, they were joined by a few from other parts of the country including the Leicester contingent. Leaving Plymouth at 1.45 pm and not getting back until 2 am is some commitment by all concerned.
1 North, 2 Isherwood, 3 Hopkins ©, 5 Peart, 6 Alexander, 8 Humphrey-Ewers, 9 Steele (Awadh 46) (Dore 70), 10 Yusuf, 11 Thomas, 15 Heap (Nenonen-Miller 80), 16 Williams
Substitutes: 12 James (unused), 14 Nenonen-Millar, 18 Woodley (unused), 19 Dore, 20 Awadh
1 Lee, 2 King, 3 Lane © 4 Down, 5 Rose, 6 Booth, 7 Palfrey (Billington 75), 8 Rooney, 9 Seymour (Bath 90), 10 Garside (Goulty 90+2), 11 Crago.
Substitutes: 12 Billington, 14 Goulty, 15 Bath
Attendance: 109 (Approx 25 away)