Parkway earn early Christmas presentHendon vs Parkway | Match Report
Parkway travelled to 8th placed Hendon, the longest away trip of the season, for their first away game since 11th November looking to extend their winning run in the league to 4 games. One change was made to last week’s victory over Chesham United with Matt Wright replacing Reece Thomson who had picked up an injury in training. Callum Hall and Jack Crago returning from their one match suspensions were named among the substitutes.
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After a sharp start by both sides, Parkway had the opportunity to take the lead in the 3rd minute after Rio Garside had been bundled over in the penalty area. Shane White’s penalty was superbly pushed away one handed by Brad House with Garside reacting quickest to the loose ball but ballooning his effort wildly over the bar.
With both sides playing at a high tempo on the 3G surface, Hendon created their first chance on 6 minutes with Blaise Riley-Snow’s shot from around 25 yards being well saved by Adam Parkes.
Play continued at a lively pace as both sides looked to settle into their patterns of play and look to create openings. On 11 minutes patient build up play between Wright and Garside saw the latter cut inside and fire in a low shot well saved by House.
With Parkway looking the more threatening in the early stages, Wright and Bray-Evans linked well in the 16th minute with the latter’s cross forcing a corner on the right from which Parkway took the lead. Oscar Halls won a towering header at the back post with his central defensive partner Toby Down reacting smartly to the second phase ball by nodding home from close range.
Play continued to fluctuate with a Hendon free kick 40 yards out being headed behind for a corner on 21 minutes with Parkway responding with the strong running Bray-Evans breaking clear and forcing a Parkway corner.
Garside then broke clear along the left with his cross being gathered low down by House. On 25 minutes Parkway created another good chance with Bray-Evans again the provider with his cross finding Garside whose close range effort was blocked and cleared.
The impressive Down then did well to head clear a dangerous Hendon cross as the hosts began to dominate possession with the lively Hamza Semakula causing problems along the left flank with his pace and movement.
Tom Purrington and Cameron Sangster continued to work hard in midfield pressing, breaking up attacks and closing down space as the hosts began to control the pace of the game.
On 30 minutes Parkes did well to save from Sam Adenola with Kai Brosnan then firing an angled drive from distance narrowly wide. With Hendon continuing to press and look the more threatening, Parkway managed to counter attack on 34 minutes with Mikey Williams surging forward from the back, ghosting past a couple of challenges and releasing Garside who prodded just wide from around 10 yards.
Hendon continued to be the more dominant side and almost equalised on 35 minutes. Parkway needlessly conceded possession centrally around 25 yards out with top scorer Niko Muir-Marchant pouncing on the loose ball and firing in a fierce drive which was superbly saved by Parkes and cleared.
Hendon continued to apply pressure forcing a corner on the right on 35 minutes which was taken short almost catching Parkway out with Finlay MacNab seeing his close range header rattle the cross bar and eventually cleared.
Approaching the break Semakula’s shot from around 18 yards was superbly blocked by Halls with David Diedhiou then shooting over when well placed. The final action of the half saw a well delivered cross by Semakula headed narrowly wide by Dan Matsuzaka under pressure from Down.
An entertaining half with Parkway bouncing back from the early missed penalty to take the lead with the hosts looking the more threatening as the half progressed, creating the better chances but being denied by resolute and at times back to the wall defending from Parkway.
Hendon started the second half strongly and on 48 minutes Parkes again did well to save low down at his near post after the hosts had broken clear long the left. On 50 minutes another Hendon effort from distance flew narrowly wide as Parkway continued to absorb pressure and look to play on the counter and they almost doubled their lead on 53 minutes.
Another mazy run from the back by the elusive Williams saw him link well with Wright, continue his run and ghost into the 18 yard area with his low shot across the goal skimming past the far post with House beaten. Sangster, Purrington and Garside continued to work hard in midfield as the hosts looked to find a way back into the game, creating further opportunities with firstly Brosnan and then Semakula seeing efforts go narrowly wide.
Parkway continued to defend solidly as a unit as the pressure from the hosts increased.
On the hour a double substitution by Parkway with Crago and Hall replacing Wright and Bray-Evans made an almost immediate impact.
A Parkway break along the left in the 61st minute saw Ryan Lane keep the ball alive and float his cross into the 6 yard area where Crago, with his first touch, rising highest to head home from close range.
Hendon immediately made a double substitution of their own with Kurtis Cumberbatch and Shaun Lucien replacing MacNab and Matsuzaka. With the game now opening up, on 65 minutes yet another surge forward from deep by Williams saw him link with Garside whose cross forced a corner from which the ball was recycled to Hall whose low angled drive was superbly saved by House at full stretch.
With the game continuing to be highly competitive and sensibly controlled by the referee, Purrington became the first player to be cautioned as he blocked House’s attempt to clear the ball. With Hendon continuing to dominate possession, on 67 minutes they created another chance which was cleared off the line by Halls. Parkway continued to defend in numbers and look to play on the break and did so on 69 minutes with Lane going clear along the left with his cross being cleared and Crago receiving a yellow card in attempting to prevent Hendon breaking clear.
Hendon continued to press but Parkway held firm at the back and still look dangerous on the counter. On 74 minutes Lane and Williams linked well along the left supported by Garside and Hall with the final cross flashing narrowly wide.
Hendon made their 3rd change on 75 minutes with Simeon Olarerin replacing Ethan Light. Despite their dominance of possession and with time running out Hendon were unable to penetrate the solid Parkway defence with Parkes competently and confidently dealing with a series of high crosses with his assured handling.
On 79 minutes Garside became the 3rd Parkway player cautioned after a challenge on Billy Leonard as Parkway continued to battle and scrap in midfield. With Hendon becoming increasingly frustrated as the game drew to it’s conclusion, they were unable to turn their possession into chances with their final ball lacking quality and Parkway dealing comfortably with the threat and maintaining their composure.
Parkway made their final change on 83 minutes with Alex Cairo replacing Garside. Hendon continued to press going into stoppage time but it was Parkway who maintained their discipline and focus to display sound game management to see the game out and secure a hard fought but well earned 3 points.
A solid, hard working, battling all round display by Parkway who executed their game plan to perfection against a dangerous, good footballing side who constantly tested the resilience of Parkway but were unable to turn their possession into too many clear cut chances. Parkway are now beginning to show a consistent level of performance which has seen them extend their winning run to 4 league games with the added bonus of 3 successive clean sheets. Other results on the day sees them climb 3 places to 14th and move further away from the relegation zone.
The busy December schedule sees Parkway return to Bolitho Park on Boxing Day for the eagerly awaited Devon derby against Tiverton Town who came from 2 goals down and score a stoppage time equaliser at home to Beaconsfield Town today to draw 2-2. Tiverton are one place below Parkway on goal difference having played 4 games more. Parkway then travel to 8th placed Poole Town next Saturday for the final game of 2023.
1 House, 2 Diedhiou ©, 3 Adenola, 4 Riley-Snow, 5 Matsuzaka (Cumberbatch 61), 6 Light (Olarerin 76), 7 Semakula, 8 Leonard, 9 MacNab (Lucien 61), 10 Muir-Merchant, 11 Brosnan
12 Cumberbatch, 14 Lucien, 15 Olarerin, 16 Allinson-Stalham (unused)
1 Parkes, 2 White, 3 Lane ©, 4 Purrington, 5 Halls, 6 Down, 7 Williams, 8 Sangster, 9 Wright (Crago 60), 10 Garside (Cairo 83), 11 Bray-Evans (Hall 60).
12 Cairo, 14 Crago. 15 Rose (unused), 16 Hall,
Attendance 227 (21 away)