The evening light is fading but the sun still shines on Parkway
By Mike Parrish
Before we move forward we must address the elephant in the room, with the elephant coming in the shape of October. Every Parkway fan will remember last season’s October which effectively lost The Yellows the title, despite taking the title race down to the final day of the season. Consecutive defeats against Westbury, Clevedon and Brislington are still talked about today amongst fans, as this seasons campaign enters the Halloween Month.
Lee Hobbs will be in good spirits after Parkways last two outings, his side have picked up maximum points from their past two games and have hit ten goals in the process, which puts Parkway top of the pile after nine games played. What may be most impressive from this seasons squad, is the way in which they bounced back after what felt like a defeat in a 3-3 draw against Keynsham Town at Bolitho.
For many sides, a setback like that may still have been in the mind set heading into the next fixture, especially with the fixture being against title challengers Bitton on their home patch. Cue the mental strength of this seasons players. Billy Palfrey (2) Aaron Bentley, Adam Carter and Jordan Copp would be on the scoresheet in an almost flawless display as the Yellows ran out 5-1 winners.
Seven days later, Mikey Williams came to the Party as the winger hit his first hat-trick of the season. Adam Carter again doing what Adam Carter does with another double, as Parkway again hit five away to Hallen. Two five goal score lines but two very different performances. They would hit their stride early against Bitton which would see Hobbs’ men performing at the peak of their powers during certain points of the game. Hallen would see a more subdued Parkway, the Yellows would have to dig their heels in early, building a base to let the quality shine through in the final 20 minutes.
Hobbs and coach Karl Curtis will undoubtedly ask for consistency from their players in the coming weeks as the league begins to take shape. Both Bradford and Bridgwater are hot on the heels of the Bolitho outfit who lay second and third respectively. Devon rivals Tavistock and Exmouth Town have made this seasons campaign even trickier after replacing whipping boys Hengrove Athletic and Shortwood United. Clevedon, Westbury and Street are beginning to find some form and we haven’t even mentioned Bitton.
With all the talk amongst fans focusing on league matters, the big FA Vase match this weekend has taken a back seat. Romsey Town will be Parkways first opponents in this seasons competition at the first-round proper stage. The manager spoke earlier in the season of his hopes for a good Vase cup run which he feels Parkway are long overdue. Last season’s haunting October would also witness Parkway crash out of the Vase against old rivals St. Austell.
As fate would have it, Westbury will again visit Bolitho Park during October along with Shepton Mallet and to make matters more interesting, a Devon derby with Buckland also looms large. The yellows will finish the month with another Devon derby against Exmouth Town as Parkway start the defence of their triumphant league cup campaign from last season.
October is just a new month in the life of Plymouth Parkway football club and every month will prove more important as this season progresses. This campaign has been about moving forward and not looking back. This is the clubs second season in the Western League and the aim will always be to leave it and progress up the footballing pyramid. This weekend, the dream of playing at Wembley begins, and it may have come at just the right time. The pressures of this season’s league campaign can be forgotten for another seven days, at least.