The FA Cup journey ends in SomersetFrome Town v Parkway | Match Report
After Saturday’s closely fought 2-2 draw Parkway travelled to Frome Town for the FA Cup 2nd qualifying round replay. 2 changes were made with Ryan Lane, returning from suspension, and Alex Cairo starting in place of Mikey Williams and Callum Hall who were named as substitutes. Frome named an unchanged starting 11.
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The game started at a lively pace with George Rigg firing wide on 6 minutes with Parkway responding with Shane White’s cross finding Matt Wright who saw his header saved by Kyle Phillips. Lane then drove forward forcing a corner which came to nothing and with play switching from end to end Jon Davies headed just over on 10 minutes for the hosts.
Frome took the lead on 12 minutes after James Ollis picked up a loose ball just outside the 18 yard area and fired home a low drive through a crowded 18 yard area with Adam Parkes appearing to slip on the greasy surface.
Frome continued to look dangerous with Parkway being forced to defend deep and on l7 minutes a free kick from around 30 yards was cleared with Reece Rusher firing the lose ball just wide. Parkway continued to work hard in midfield launching the occasional counter attack and on 19 minutes forced a corner which was cleared.
Play continued at a lively pace and on 25 minutes Frome broke along the left forcing a couple of corners the first of which was cleared behind with the second being bundled off the line by Parkes.
Parkway continued to compete well and on 26 minutes Jack Crago headed narrowly wide after a cross from the right. Frome continued to look threatening coming forward looking to stretch play along the flanks with Parkway continuing to hold firm and play on the break.
With Parkway beginning to apply pressure, on 36 minutes neat link up play along the left between Lane and Crago created a good opportunity for Wright who blasted over when well placed. Frome almost doubled their lead on 39 minutes with a Davies shot cannoning off the bar after a neat exchange with Ollis with a follow up shot going wide.
On 40 minutes Henry Wilson picked up the game’s 1st yellow card after a midfield challenge as Parkway finished the half strongly forcing a couple of corners with Phillips grabbing one and Pierce Mitchell doing well to clear an effort after good work between Rio Garside and Crago caused some confusion in the Frome back line.
A well contested, fairly even half with Frome grabbing an early lead and looking the more dangerous going forward but Parkway remained well in the tie creating chances of their own and with more clinical finishing could have been level at the break. Both defences came under pressure but generally did well to keep the score at 1-0.
Hall replaced Wilson for Parkway at the break and after an early scare with the dangerous Ollis forcing a comfortable save from Parkes, Parkway started the half the stronger playing at a higher tempo.
On 48 minutes Parkway broke along the right with Wright linking well with Garside whose shot from around 18 yards was deflected for a corner. On 49 minutes Parkes was quickly off his line to smother an effort from Ollis.
With the introduction of Hall adding impetus and energy to the Parkway midfield, they deservedly drew level on 51 minutes. A strong, pacey run along the left by Crago saw him get beyond his marker and pull the ball back to Hall whose first time low shot from around 18 yards into the bottom corner beat the despairing dive of Phillips.
Parkway continued to look the more threatening side playing their best football of the game with the host’s defence coming under more pressure. On 55 minutes Crago saw his half volley fly narrowly over as Parkway continued to create half chances.
On 59 minutes a Frome free kick wide on the right was driven just wide by Rusher. On the hour Ross Staley and Will Taylor replaced Owen Humphries and Zak Drew for the hosts. Parkway should have taken the lead on 61 minutes. Good work by Cairo who did well to find space in the 18 yard saw the ball crossed to the unmarked Wright at the far post who delayed his shot which looped narrowly over the bar.
Play continued with no quarter being given and on 65 minutes Parkes saved well from Rusher as chances for both sides came and went with both defences remaining strong. Williams replaced Cairo on 69 minutes as Parkway looked to increase their attacking options but it was the hosts who retook the lead on 71 minutes.
Davies forced a Frome corner on the left which was not fully cleared with Ollis first effort being blocked at close range by Parkes with Ollis doubling his tally by ramming home the loose ball. Sam Meakes then replaced Ollis with Frome adjusting to a 5 3 2 formation as they looked to absorb Parkway pressure, defend deeper, control the pace of the game and play on the counter.
Parkway continued to press in the final third with Frome defending well and launching counter attacks with long balls from the back bypassing their midfield. On 75 minutes a Frome attack saw Rusher link with Meakes who turned sharply and shot just wide.
Dylan Jones replaced Wright on 79 minutes as Parkway continued to press and on 81 minutes the young striker did well to go clear along the right and deliver a dangerous cross into the 6 yard area which Phillips managed to palm away at full stretch with no Parkway player able to get a final touch.
On 82 minutes Parkway forced another corner which was cleared long with Meakes going clear forcing Parkes into a superb save. Davies then saw his angled drive deflected for a corner as play continued to flow from end to end.
On 85 minutes confusion in the Frome 6 yard area saw the ball eventually cleared with Phillips then doing well to clear with his feet with the referee’s assistant flagging for offside. Frome continued to defend strongly and play long balls towards the corners as they looked to run the clock down with Parkway still pressing and probing looking for the equaliser.
The game ended in dramatic fashion in the 6 minutes of added time. Parkway continued to press and in the 93rd minute were given a lifeline with a penalty being awarded after a handball close to the bye line in a crowded 18 yard area. Lane stepped up only to see his kick smothered low down by Phillips who had guessed correctly with the keeper grabbing the loose ball at the second attempt to prevent it squirming over the line.
The drama was to continue with Warren Maidment clearing off the line from a close range Parkway effort in the 95th minute with the hosts then managing to see the final minutes out and book their place in the next round with a long trip to Kent.
A pulsating, entertaining 200 minutes of football between two evenly matched sides with Parkway competing well throughout against a well organised, experienced and defensively sound Frome.
With both sides creating numerous chances, particularly in the replay, and both defences being fully tested and generally remaining solid, clinical finishing by Frome was arguably the difference between the two sides over the two games.
Attention now returns to league action for Parkway who embark on one of their longest away days on Saturday, the 462 mile round trip to Harrow Borough.
1 Phillips, 2 Humphries (Staley 60), 14 Maidment, 5 Mitchell, 6 Wood, 7 Davies ©, 8 Rigg, 10 Drew (Taylor 60), 11 Rusher, 12 Budd, 18 Ollis (Smeakes 73)
3 Staley, 15 Summerfield (unused), 14 Greaves (unused), 15 Taylor, 19 Smeakes, 17 Durran(unused), 18 Griffith(unused)
1 Parkes, 2 White, 3 Lane ©, 4 Wilson (Hall 46), 5 Halls, 6 Down, 7 Cairo (Williams 69), 8 Purrington, 9 Crago, 10 Garside, 17 Wright (Jones 79)
11 Jones, 12 Williams, 14 Hall, Rose (unused), 16 Goulty (unused), 18 I-C Lolot (unused).
Attendance: 312 (20 away). Spotted in the crowd was former Chelsea stalwart and legend Ron “ Chopper” Harris.