Plymouth Parkway v Sholing | Match Report & Highlights

Parkway earn sixth straight win with victory over Sholing at Bolitho

4 - 1
Full Time
Graham Lloyd

Full Match Report

Images: Tom Finnie

In this twice rearranged fixture, Parkway made 2 changes to their starting line up from Saturday’s narrow 1-0 victory over Winchester City with Jack Crago and Callum Hall replacing Gabby Rogers and Matt Andrew respectively. 7th placed Sholing made 4 changes to their starting line up from the recent reverse fixture which saw Parkway win 2-0 with 2 Tom Bath goals in the last 10 minutes.

Sholing almost took the lead in the 2nd minute with Kyle Moore pushing over a good strike by Dan Mason from around 18 yards after Parkway had sloppily conceded possession in midfield. Parkway exerted some early pressure winning a couple of corners with Billy Palfrey pouncing on a loose ball forcing Ryan Gosney to palm over his long range effort. Parkway thought they had taken the lead on 7 minutes when a corner from the left was headed in by Crago. After seemingly awarding the goal the referee, after consulting with his assistant and a mild protest from the visitors, ruled the goal out for an infringement as Jack Crago made a run across the keepers line of vision from an offside position.

Parkway began to gain midfield control playing with high energy with Hall, Palfrey and Ethan Mitchell prominent and Crago and Mikey Williams looking dangerous in the wide areas. Sholing were battling well adopting a more direct style by playing long balls to the strong running Mason who was looking to hold the ball up and bring in the supporting midfield players. Parkway continued to dominate possession in midfield and switch play to the flanks forcing Sholing to defend in depth. On 13 minutes a break along the left by Crago saw his cross drop to Palfrey who steered his shot just wide.

Mason continued to be the visitor’s main threat with his powerful running and hold up play testing the Parkway defence with Callum Rose and Michael Landricombe rising to the challenge and frustrating Sholing with their no nonsense defending. On 24 minutes another Crago cross low into the 6 yard area was scrambled clear as Parkway continued to apply pressure and probe an opening.

On 28 minutes good work along the right between Finley Craske, Mikey Williams and Bath created an opening with Bath’s shot from around 18 yards being deflected behind. Sholing continued to look dangerous on the counter attack with Mason the focal point and causing the Parkway defence the occasional problem.

After breaking up a Sholing attack, Parkway took the lead in style on 33 minutes. 2 timely challenges on Mason by Michael Landricombe some 25 yards from the home goal saw him win the ball and release Hall who set off on weaving, pacey run and with defenders backpedalling, he cut inside and unleashed a rasping drive from around 25 yards into the top corner giving Gosney no chance. Not a bad way to open your goalscoring account for the season in your first start for 8 weeks!

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Attendance

Sholing quickly regrouped with Conor Whiteley breaking forward along the right with his cross being cleared behind for a corner. Proving the old adage that you are at your most vulnerable when you have just scored, Sholing grabbed an equaliser in the 39 minute with their first real period of pressure. Parkway failed to deal with the first corner and from the second one deep to the far post, a header back across goal found Owen Roundell who nodded home from close range. Parkway then looked to regain control and on 41 minutes a strong run by Williams saw his angled drive deflected for a corner.

The final action of the half saw Parkway retake the lead on 45 minutes. Crago was needlessly bundled over by a silly, unnecessary challenge close to the left touch line whilst going away from goal and no real threat. The resultant free kick was whipped in with quality by Palfrey with Crago rising highest in a congested 6 yard area to glance home his header.

Played at a high tempo and with intensity, a closely fought half with 2 contrasting styles of play. Parkway created the better chances with Sholing defending well and looking dangerous on the counter with the hosts just about deserving their narrow lead.
Both sides made changes at half time with Adam Carter replacing Bath for Parkway and Charlie Wagstaffe on for Bradley Targett for Sholing. Parkway continued in the ascendancy and created the first opening on 53 minutes with Carter’s close range effort being pushed away by Gosney.

Craske and Williams then combined well to set up Palfrey whose shot was blocked by and cleared to safety. Sholing began to apply pressure by getting more men forward and on 56 minutes a break forward forced a corner from which a shot was blocked by some desperate defending. Sholing continued to press and on 55 minutes a cross from the right found Mason who fired over when well placed. With play opening up, on 56 minutes a Parkway free kick from wide on the left was cleared to Williams whose trademark curling effort was headed behind for a corner from which Rose’s overhead kick flew just wide.

On the hour mark another Sholing break along the right saw a cross into the danger area and with the Parkway goal bearing a charmed life, Wagstaffe fired just wide from around 8 yards when he probably should have done better. Sholing remained dangerous on the break, continued to create half chances but too often they failed to hit the target with Moore rarely being tested and the Parkway defence holding firm.

After withstanding the period of pressure, Parkway regained their composure and on 64 minutes a free kick from the left rebounded on to the post via a combination of Gosney and a defender and was scrambled to safety. Parkway were not to be denied and on 65 minutes they increased their lead. A timely interception on the left by Ryan Lane saw him stride forward and release the irrepressible Hall who outpaced his marker only to be pulled down close to the bye line with little protest from the visitors. For the second game in a row Palfrey confidently smashed home the penalty.

The game continued at a pace as Sholing continued to compete well and battle hard and on 67 minutes Whiteley headed just wide after another counter attack stretched the Parkway defence. On 73 minutes Matt Andrew replaced Palfrey who once again had showed his class, influencing the game from his midfield position. Fawzi Saadi then saw yellow as play became stretched with Sholing looking to get themselves back into the game. Parkway continued to push forward and created further chances with a Carter close range effort being blocked on 75 minutes after a neat exchange of passes between Mitchell and Craske with their next attack seeing Williams release Crago whose angled drive flew narrowly wide. Mason continued to be full of running for the visitors with Landricombe being booked for halting the strikers run on 80 minutes.
Harrison Davis replaced the tireless Williams on 80 minutes with Sholing’s Dean Frampton replacing Ryan Cluett. Davis was quickly into the game showing good energy going forward forcing Sholing on to the back foot.

Parkway continued to threaten and a break from midfield released Crago whose powerful strike forced a terrific save from Gosney. Not content to protect their lead, with gaps opening up at the back and with the visitor’s defence beginning to tire, Parkway continued to push forward and on 88 minutes a neat link up between Andrew and Mitchell saw the latter’s stinging drive from around 15 yards pushed behind by Gosney with another outstanding save. Sholing made their final change on 89 minutes with Liam Dummett replacing Whiteley. Entering stoppage time Davis shot over from around 20 yards after good work by Hall and Carter with Davis and Carter then seeing yellow for earlier fouls with the referee having played a sensible advantage.

The icing on the cake came in the 95th minute with Parkway’s final goal. Determined play by Craske, Carter and Davis by the right corner flag saw Carter use his strength and experience to burst through 3 defenders on the bye line and astutely lay the ball back to the unmarked Hall, who arguably having his best ever game in a Parkway shirt, capped a terrific man of the match performance with a crisp low drive into the bottom corner from around 15 yards.

As expected a tough game against a good Sholing side who competed and battled well throughout. Had they made more of their chances during a period in the second half when they were on top and Parkway were riding their luck, they could well have taken something from the game. However Parkway showed their quality at key moments, defended well when they had to and were more clinical in their finishing. Had it not been for some excellent saves by Gosney, who appeared to have picked up an injury late on, the winning margin could have been more. Moore meanwhile had been relatively untroubled throughout, dealing competently with all that was required of him.

Parkway’s 6th consecutive win with 14 goals scored and 3 conceded sees them climb 2 places up to 4th and now in a playoff position, 2 points ahead of 5th and 6th places and 1 point behind Bristol Manor Form in 3rd with 4 games in hand over them. With just 9 games left, 6 at home and 3 away, on Saturday Parkway travel to 11th placed Slimbridge who they beat 6-1 in late January hoping to continue their recent good run and consolidate their playoff position.

Line ups:
Parkway: 1 Moore, 2 Craske, Lane, 4 Mitchell, 5 Rose, 6 Landricombe (©), 7 Williams (Davis 80), 8 Palfrey (Andrew73), 9 Bath (Carter 46), 10 Hall, 11 Crago
Substitutes: 12 Davis, 14 Andrew, 15 Rogers (unused), 16 Smith (unused), 20 Carter

Sholing: 1 Gosney, 2 Cluett (Frampton 80), 3 Colquhoun, 4 Batt, 5 Miller (©), 6 Roundell, 7 Whiteley (Dummett 89), 8 Saadi, 9 Dan Mason, 10 Makhloufi, 11 Targett (Wagstaffe 46)
Substitutes: 12 Wagstaffe, 13 Deacon (gk) (unused), 14 Frampton, 15 Dummett, 16 Byron Mason (unused).