Missed chances and penalty drama send Parkway out of the League Cup at the Preliminary Stage.
Barnstaple Town 3 (Joseph 27, Bello 43, Jacob 45+2)
Parkway 3 (Andrew 29, Crago 48, 69)
Barnstaple won 4-3 on penalties after 90 minutes.
After their last gasp exit from the FA Cup on Saturday, Parkway were in cup action again on Tuesday travelling to Barnstaple Town in the preliminary round of the Southern League Challenge Cup. 4 changes were made with Tyler Coombes replacing Kyle Moore in goal, Michael Landricombe for Aaron Bentley, Mikey Williams for Callum Hall and Adam Carter for Tom Bath.
Parkway started at a high tempo with Matt Andrew prominent early on and on 3 minutes he linked well with Ryan Lane whose cross flew behind. Crago then shot over as Parkway continued to dominate possession and on 7 minutes River Allen saw his shot deflected behind after good work by Crago and Williams. On 8 minutes a surging run from deep by Harrison Davis released Lane whose cross was overhit. With Andrew, Allen and Billy Palfrey controlling the midfield and looking to create openings, they continued to look dangerous but were unable to test Adam Seedhouse-Evans in the home goal as the Barnstaple defence stood firm.
On 15 minutes a Parkway free kick on the left reached Lane whose angled shot hit the side netting. Barnstaple continued to compete well without creating any chances with Parkway, despite their dominance, being let down by their final ball. A strong run forward by Rose on 21 minutes saw him beat 3 players with his angled shot from around 18 yards being well saved. Another run along the right by Davis saw his low cross well gathered by the keeper. Against the run of play the hosts took the lead on 27 minutes. A long ball in behind the Parkway defence saw Tornado Bell go clear along the left and with Coombes left exposed, he squared the ball to the supporting Aalangel Joseph who side-footed home into the empty net from around 10 yards.
Parkways response was immediate and on 29 minutes the combative Andrew cut in from the left scoring with a low angled drive into the far corner. Parkway continued to threaten creating further chances with a Lane effort being well saved on 37 minutes with the keeper making another fine save on 39 minutes from an Andrew shot after good work by Williams and Lane. However it was the hosts who increased their lead on 43 minutes. A long ball from Taylor Scarff ball found Bello surging clear along the right and he beat the onrushing Coombes with a rising drive from around 25 yards. In their next attack Barnstaple won a free kick on the edge of the 18 yard area with Jacob Evans finding the net via a slight deflection to lead 3-1 at half time. Despite Parkway having most of the possession they were unable to convert their approach play into many clear chances with Barnstaple defending well, playing on the break and capitalising on their few chances. Bentley replaced Rose at half time and on 48 minutes Parkway quickly reduced the arrears. After having a Landricombe header cleared off the line on 46 minutes, a long ball was misjudged by a Barnstaple defender allowing Crago to go clear and calmly finish from around 15 yards.
Parkway continued to dominate with efforts from Williams and Allen being blocked and on 54 minutes a curling effort from 20 yards by Davis was superbly saved with the rebound being cleared. Barnstaple made their first change on 59 minutes with Joseph being replaced by Henry Simmons. A fine run and cross by Lane on the hour found Carter unmarked around 10 yards out but he was unable to get a clean contact on his shot. Scarff saw yellow on 67 minutes and from the resultant free kick by Allen, saw the keeper gather close in to deny Parkway another opportunity. Their pressure finally paid off on 69 minutes with Williams curling a cross to the far post where Crago rose highest to glance his header home. Davis and Lane continued to cause problems along the flanks as the hosts defended resolutely and in numbers with their goal bearing a charmed life. Bath replaced Carter up front on 75 minutes as Parkway continued to probe an opening with Crago firing over from 20 yards and a Davis cross being cleared to safety. With the pressure relentless, Bath saw an effort cleared off the line on 80 minutes with Allen and Lane combining well to create another opportunity which went begging.
The game continued at a frenetic pace as Parkway searched for a winner with the hosts attempting to slow the tempo by replacing Ryan Keats with Harry Bamforth on 86 minutes. Williams then broke clear only to see his shot well saved however it was Barnstaple who almost retook the lead on 88 minutes. A long ball was not dealt with by the Parkway defence with Bello lobbing his effort narrowly wide. With both sides throwing caution to the wind entering stoppage time in their attempts to avoid a penalty shootout, Bello saw his angled drive cannon off the post with Parkway going straight up the other end with Andrew and Crago seeing shots comfortably saved by Seedhouse–Evans. Barnstaple progressed to the next round winning 4-3 penalties with their 2nd one being saved and Parkway seeing their 4th hit the underside of the bar and out and their 5th being blazed wide. An entertaining game played at a high tempo with Parkway lacking the clinical finishing to support their dominance of possession and the numerous chances created as they lacked composure at critical times. Barnstaple defended strongly, with their backs to the wall at times, with their keeper the busier of the two pulling off some excellent saves and competed determinedly throughout. More importantly they made the most of the few chances that came their way. After a busy 3 weeks, Parkway have no fixture this Saturday and return to Bolitho Park next Tuesday for the first of three consecutive home games with Bideford the first visitors.
1 Coombes, 2 Davis, 3 Lane, 4 Palfrey, 5 Rose (Bentley 46), 6 Landricombe ©, 7 Williams, 8 Allen, 9 Carter (Bath), 10 Andrew, 11 Crago.
Substitutes: 12 Hall (unused), 14 Bentley, 15 Bath, 16 Simmonds (unused), 17 Moore (unused)