Plymouth Parkway v Slimbridge | Match Report & Highlights

Super Six Parkway return home and take all three points

Written by Graham Lloyd
Images by Tom Finnie

6 - Plymouth Parkway (Crago 16, Palfrey 28, 81, Williams 50, Bath 66, Carter 88)

1 - Slimbridge (Dennis 21)

An expectant crowd of 365 welcomed Parkway back to Bolitho Park after a lengthy absence on the road, their last home game being the FA Trophy victory over Dulwich Hamlet on 18 December and incredibly their last home league game the 1-0 win over AFC Totton on 20 November. One change was made from Saturday’s narrow 2-1 victory at Paulton Rovers with River Allen, returning from injury, replacing the suspended Callum Hall.

Parkway started the game playing with intensity and at a high tempo which saw the visitors William Hawes booked on 3 minutes for a foul on Parkway keeper Kyle Moore. The early pressure quickly paid off as they took the lead on 6 minutes. A long kick by Moore was headed on by Tom Bath to Jack Crago who cleverly lobbed the stranded keeper Lewis Adams from around 25 yards. On a tricky surface Parkway began to dominate possession with their fluent passing and movement with the visitor’s content to absorb pressure and play on the counter looking to release their speedy wide players Jordan Yeo and Marley Thomas.


On 14 minutes a neat interchange between Allen and Crago released Billy Palfrey who shot just over. Parkway’s next attack saw Bath head narrowly wide after a telling cross from Finlay Craske. Bath then shot wide from around 25 yards as Parkway continued to dominate and look threatening with Allen and Matt Andrew prompting and probing through midfield with their clever use of long and short range passing. On 19 minutes good link up play along the left by Mikey Williams and Ryan Lane set up Bath who shot narrowly wide. On 20 minutes a rare break forward through central midfield by Slimbridge was halted by Andrew who received a yellow card and from the resultant free kick Slimbridge levelled the score. Poor marking in the Parkway defence allowed central defender Nathan Dennis to ghost in and glance home an effort from close range.

The equaliser seemed to unsettle Parkway and on 25 minutes the pacy Yeo broke along the right with his shot hitting the side netting when he might have done better. The visitors next attack on 27 minutes saw a cross finding the unmarked Thomas wide on the left whose shot was well saved by Moore low down at his near post. Parkway looked to retake control and on 28 minutes they regained the lead in spectacular fashion. A dangerous ball into the visitor’s 18 yard area saw Bath pressurise the defence with the ball only being cleared as far as Andrew who neatly laid the ball into the supporting Palfrey who, on the run, hit a superlative angled rising right footed drive from around 25 yards which flew into the top corner beating Adams all ends up. A stunning strike.

With Parkway now back in the ascendency, controlling midfield and constantly switching play they almost increased their lead on 34 minutes. A free kick from Allen was fumbled by Adams with the keeper blocking a Williams shot from the rebound with a second effort also being blocked by some desperate defending. Slimbridge continued to look to play on the counter and on 35 minutes a long diagonal ball to the right found Yeo who raced clear with the equally pacy Lane putting in a fine covering tackle close to the bye line. With half time approaching play went through a scrappy phase with Parkway at times tending to over play however on 42 minutes good build up play along the left between Bath and Crago saw a Williams header comfortably saved by Adams.

On 44 minutes Parkway almost went further ahead. Good link up play along the right between Bath and Craske set up Palfrey who almost replicated his earlier effort with this time his left footed curling shot from around 20 yards crashing against the cross bar and being cleared to safety. A neat and tidy first half by Parkway who generally dominated possession creating numerous chances with the visitors competing and defending well and occasionally looking dangerous in the wide areas.

Parkway started the second half in similar vein and increased their lead on 50 minutes. Lane was released along the left and delivered a superb first time cross on the run into the danger area which was neatly headed home by Williams from around 6 yards. Dennis then saw yellow for a foul as Parkway continued to dominate and press high with Slimbridge being forced to defend deeper and in numbers. On 57 minutes Harrison Davis replaced Williams on the right and was soon in action firing just wide on 61 minutes after more slick play along the right. Edjidja Mbunga then replaced Yeo for the visitors with Davis again shooting wide after good work and persistence by Crago had set him up.

With Parkway now totally dominant, looking threatening with every attack and rarely troubled at the back, on 64 minutes the influential Allen cut in from the left firing just wide. On 65 minutes Shane Krac replaced Andrew who once again had put in a hardworking, impressive shift. It was no surprise when Parkway forged further ahead on 66 minutes with arguably their most potent passage of play of the game. A flowing, fluent one touch passing movement through midfield involving Lane, Davis and Crago ended with Bath completing the move with a composed finish from close range for his third goal in four games since returning from his loan spell at Willand Rovers.

With Parkway continuing to penetrate the Slimbridge defence and look to create further openings, on 68 minutes Adams saw yellow for wrestling Bath to the ground just outside the penalty area as both competed for a high ball with Allen driving the resultant free kick into the wall. Entering the final 15 minutes both sides made their final substitutions with Jamie Martin and Don Ogbeifun replacing Myron Turner and Hawes respectively and Adam Carter replacing Bath who had arguably given his best performance since his return. Parkway continued to push forward and create chances with their defence rarely being tested and Moore a virtual spectator. With Slimbridge visibly struggling to deal with the relentless Parkway pressure they went further behind on 81 minutes. A strong Parkway midfield press saw Lane slide a defence splitting pass into the path of the irrepressible Palfrey who went clear, calmly rounded the keeper and slotted home into the empty net. The final action on 88 minutes saw two of the substitutes combine well with a bullet cross from the right by Davis being emphatically headed home by Carter to wrap up a convincing and well deserved victory.

A thoroughly professional Parkway performance on a testing surface with a particularly dominant second half display combining creativity, clinical finishing, solid defending and team spirit. Slimbridge competed well throughout, looking dangerous on the counter in the first half but were ultimately overrun by a rampant Parkway. The win sees Parkway climb a place to 7th with 6th placed Bristol Manor Farm the visitors on Saturday in what will be another tough challenge with Parkway hoping to reverse the 4-2 defeat earlier in the season.

Line Ups:

Parkway: 1 Moore, 2 Craske, 3 Lane, 4 Allen, 5 Bentley, 6 Landricombe ©, 7 Williams (Davis 57), 8: Palfrey, 9 Bath (Carter 77), 10 Andrew (Krac 65), 11 Crago

Substitutes; 12 Davis, 14 Krac, 15 Rose (unused), 16 Shirley (unused), 20 Carter.

Slimbridge: 1 Adams, 2 Thurston, 3 O’Boyle, 4 Ford, 5 Dennis, 6 Lawrence, 7 Yeo (Mbunga 61), 8 Turner (Martin 74), 9 Hawes © (Ogbeifun 74) 10 McLean, 11 Thomas.

Substitutes: 12 Hands (unused), 14 Mbunga, 15 Martin, 16 Ogbeifun

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