Parkway v Dulwich Hamlet | Match Report

A Penalty Shootout win sends Parkway into the 4th Round of the FA Trophy

Words by Graham Lloyd
Images y Tom Finnie

Plymouth Parkway 1 (Allen pen 14) Dulwich Hamlet 1 (Diallo 90)

Parkway won 4-3 on penalties.

Parkway entertained National League South side Dulwich Hamlet, who play 2 steps above them in the non-league pyramid, in the 3rd round of the FA Trophy in front of an attendance of 394 at Bolitho Park. Dulwich are the highest ranked side Parkway have ever played in the club’s short history. One change was made from last week’s victory at Lymington Town with Mikey Williams replacing Rhys Shirley who dropped to the bench with Callum Hall also returning after being unavailable last week. On a heavy but perfectly playable pitch,

Parkway made the early running playing at a high tempo and dominating most of the early possession but were unable to create any clear chances. Dulwich looked to absorb the pressure with the speedy Darren McQueen on the left flank looking to be their main attacking threat. With River Allen, Matt Andrew and Billy Palfrey pressing well in midfield and the lively Rio Garside and Williams working the flanks, Parkway continued to dominate possession and probe the Dulwich backline. The early pressure eventually paid off as Parkway took the lead on 14 minutes from the penalty spot. A raking cross field ball to the right found Garside whose superb first touch took him past his marker allowing him to set up Allen who was brought down by Tyrone Sterling close to the bye line. Allen picked himself up and calmly stroked home the spot kick for a deserved early lead.

The goal seemed to stir Dulwich as they looked to get back into the game and on 16 minutes a break along their left saw the pacey McQueen go clear and fire an angled shot just wide. Parkway continued to move the ball quickly through midfield and switch the angles of attack and on 20 minutes a long kick from Kyle Moore found Garside who linked well with Jack Crago whose shot flew just over. A fine covering tackle by Allen on 24 minutes halted the next Dulwich attack as the game became more even, switching from end to end. Parkway began to exploit the at times sluggish and open Dulwich defensive line and on 28 minutes almost doubled their lead. A neat passage of play between Andrew, Williams and Garside through midfield saw Garside’s powerful strike pushed away one handed at full stretch by Charlie Grainger.

With Crago’s constant running at and in behind the Dulwich defence, Parkway continued to look the more threatening, controlling the midfield areas and restricting the visitors to the occasional counter attack which were comfortably nullified by solid Parkway defending. On 39 minutes a shot from around 20 yards from James Dayton was pushed away by Moore for the visitor’s first effort on target as Dulwich began to look more dangerous. McQueen continued to be their main threat seeing plenty of the ball but unable to provide an end product mainly due to determined and resolute Parkway defending. On 40 minutes a Dulwich break along the right saw Andrew Harris-Sealy cut inside and fire in a low angled shot which was scooped up by Moore.

Approaching half time Parkway almost increased their lead with Crago outpacing the last defender only to see his shot saved by Grainger with the final action of the half seeing Grainger denying Garside after more good build up play through midfield. A generally dominant half from Parkway who more than held their own against their higher league opponents, creating the clearer chances and but for some wayward finishing and fine goalkeeping could have been further ahead.

Parkway started the second half showing the same tenacity and on 50 minutes a well flighted free kick by Allen from the right was headed just wide at the far post by Michael Landricombe. With Parkway continuing to dominate, a rasping drive by Palfrey from around 18 yards was superbly saved by Grainger, once again at full stretch. The increasingly busy Grainger was called into action again on 53 minutes saving superbly from Crago after he had been set up by good work between Garside and Allen. Parkway’s next attack on 55 minutes saw Grainger tested again, saving well from Crago’s shot on the turn from around 15 yards. On 57 minutes, Landricombe became the first player to be booked after a foul on the lively McQueen wide on the right.

Parkway continued in the ascendancy and on 58 minutes a break along the left saw Williams and Crago link well with the latter’s teasing cross finding Andrew who headed narrowly wide. On the hour the visitors should have drawn level with their best chance of the game. With the Parkway defence stretched for the first time, a Dulwich break along the right saw the ball switched to the left to the unmarked Dayton who fired just wide when well placed. Dulwich then made a double substitution with Danny Mills and Jordan Green replacing Ricardo German and Harris-Sealy respectively. Play continued at a lively pace despite the pitch sapping conditions and on 63 minutes Quade Taylor was booked for a trip on Garside around 40 yards out as he threatened to go clear. On 65 minutes Parkway almost doubled their lead. A superb passage of play along the right between Finlay Craske, Garside and Allen released Craske who cut inside and fired in a powerful left footed shot from around 15 yards which crashed against the crossbar and was cleared to safety. Shirley replaced Williams on 67 minutes as Parkway looked to introduce fresh legs and stretch the Dulwich defence.

The visitors continued to be restricted to counter attacks and on 69 minutes McQueen broke clear only to shoot wildly wide as Moore remained relatively untested in the home goal. Parkway continued to press and attack relentlessly and on 73 minutes another Allen free kick was only cleared as far as Callum Rose who’s forceful, rising drive from around 18 yards was somehow finger tipped over the bar by Grainger. Parkway continued on the offensive and from a corner on 74 minutes had an effort cleared off the line after a clever back heel in a crowded 6 yard area. The industrious Ryan Lane was then booked on 75 minutes as Dulwich increased their tempo in searching for an equaliser with Alpha Diallo replacing Dayton.

Parkway were now being forced to defend deeper as the visitors threw more men forward forcing a couple of free kicks in dangerous areas. However the defence remained firm with Moore still not being unduly tested. On 84 minutes Hall replaced the tireless Allen who appeared to have taken a knock as the visitors continued to press. On 90 minutes a loose ball in the Parkway midfield saw the visitors break along their left with Craske picking up a booking for a foul. From the resultant free kick into the danger area, Parkway were unable to fully clear their lines with the ball finding it’s way to substitute Diallo just inside the 18 yard area out who drilled a shot through a crowd of players giving Moore no chance and sending the majority of the Bolitho crowd into stunned silence. With 4 minutes of added time indicated, Adam Carter replaced the hard working but tiring Crago on 92 minutes as the penalty shootout loomed large.

The final action saw Carter and Hall combine well with Grainger comfortably gathering a long range shot before the drama and lottery of the penalty shootout unfolded. Dulwich scored the first with Grainger saving Parkway’s first by Garside followed by Rose, Lane (retaken after Grainger had moved off his line to save) and Palfrey converting for the hosts and with Moore superbly saving the visitors second and fifth, it went to sudden death. Cometh the hour cometh the man and up stepped the experienced Carter to calmly slot home the decisive kick to spark scenes of jubilation on and off the pitch all around Bolitho Park.

A pulsating game with Parkway thoroughly deserving their victory and on the balance of play and chances created, it would have been a cruel injustice had they been knocked out by a penalty shootout. Any neutral watching would surely agree. An outstanding team performance displaying desire, tenacity and team spirit and no shortage of skill and had it not been for the heroics of man of the match Grainger, Parkway would have surely have sealed victory in the 90 minutes. To mentally overcome the disappointment of conceding a last minute equaliser and to regroup and recompose themselves for the shootout reflects huge credit on the team and in particular the penalty takers and goalkeeper. All will now eagerly await the draw for the 4th round on Monday with ties due to be played on Saturday 15 January. Whatever happens in the future, history has been created and to have got through five rounds to reach the last 32 of a national competition beating four sides from leagues above along the way and only conceding one goal against those four sides is a remarkable achievement and should not be underestimated. After a short festive break Parkway return to league action on Monday 27 December with a seasonal local derby visit to Willand Rovers, a mere 120 mile round trip. Merry Christmas.

 

Line Ups:  Parkway

1 Moore, 2 Craske, 3 Lane, 4 Allen (Hall 84) 5 Rose, Landricombe ©, 7 Williams (Shirley 67), 8 Palfrey, 9 Crago (Carter 92), 10 Andrew, 11 Garside

Substitutes: 12 Davis (unused), 14 Hall, 15 Bentley (unused), 16 Shirley, 17 Rhead (unused) 18 Coombes (gk) (unused), 20 Carter

Dulwich Hamlet

1 Grainger, 2 Taylor, 3 Blackman, 4 Timlin, 5 Holland ©, 6 Sterling, 7 Harris-Sealey (Green 60), 8 McGregor, 9 German (Mills 60), 10 McQueen, 11 Dayton (Diallo 74).

Substitutes: 12 Green, 14, Mills, 15 Abubakari (unused), 16 Diallo, 17 Bowker (unused)

Attendance: 394