Parkway shine at Bolitho in the all Devon fixture
Parkway met Tiverton Town for the first time in a league fixture as Bolitho played host to a Devon cracker.
Despite going behind, Parkway would find a second gear to the delight of the Bolitho faithful writes Graham Lloyd…
Full Match Report
Plymouth Parkway entertained Tiverton Town in the Devon derby, the first time the clubs had ever met in a competitive league fixture looking to make it 3 consecutive league wins. One change was made from Saturday’s 6-0 win over Hendon with Aaron Goulty starting at right wing back in place of the unavailable Harrison King. Toby Down signed yesterday from Tiverton was among their four substitutes. Tiverton also reported some unavailability’s with a couple of players brought in from step 6 SW Peninsula League sides Axminster Town and St. Blazey. The decision to switch the game from Tuesday to avoid a clash with Plymouth Argyle’s sell out home game with Shrewsbury Town was vindicated with the season’s highest attendance of 647.
The game got off to a lively start and at a frenetic pace with Tiverton looking the sharper in the early stages. On 5 minutes a break down their left saw Adam Parkes do well to gather a dangerous cross into the 6 yard box. Play continued at a pace from end to end and on 10 minutes Ryan Lane shot into the side netting after a neat exchange of passes with Ben Seymour.
On 12 minutes a penetrating through ball from Toby Stephens released Jack Crago who linked well with Seymour whose shot was cleared for a corner from which a Parkway header went just wide. Play continued to be keenly contested in midfield as both sides looked to create openings but both defences remained solid with neither keeper being called unduly tested.
On 16 minutes a quick break along the Parkway right between Callum Hall and Goulty drew a foul with Billy Palfrey firing the free kick just over from around 30 yards. Crago then broke forward with his shot being deflected behind for another corner but it was the visitors who took the lead on 21minutes. A strong run down the left saw Ollie Mehew beat three players and square the ball to Kane Simpson who drilled his low shot into the bottom corner from around 15 yards giving Parkes no chance.
Tiverton almost doubled their lead on 24 minutes. A corner from the left was flicked on with Leighton Thomas’ close range effort well saved by Parkes.
Play continued to be compressed into midfield with Parkway beginning to dominate possession and control the pace of the game but unable to find the necessary quality in the final third to breach the visitors solid defence. On 35 minutes a Parkway break from midfield saw Palfrey and Lane link well with the ball being played into Hall who shot wildly over from around 25 yards.
With Parkway now looking the more threatening, on 37 minutes Mikey Williams strode forward from the back and linked well with Crago whose shot was blocked by Tom Purrington and cleared to safety. Parkway continued to press and probe and on 39 minutes good work between Williams, Lane and Hall saw the latters low cross comfortably cut out at his near post by the visitor’s keeper Lewis Williams. With Parkway now in the ascendancy, on 42 minutes a dangerous cross from the left by Lane found Seymour whose shot on the turn was cut out by Jamie Price as the visitors continued to defend resolutely. On 44 minutes a mazy run from deep by Lane was halted by some last ditch defending. The final action of the half saw Hall’s shot from around 18 yards blocked after good work by Crago had created some confusion in centre of the Tiverton defence.
A fairly even half with Tiverton getting the early breakthrough with Parkway gradually gaining control of midfield but unable to convert their neat approach play into clear chances or penetrate a solid Tiverton backline. The Parkway defence also remained firm dealing comfortably with the Tiverton attacks which became less frequent as the half progressed.
The early stages of the second half continued to be an even affair with Palfrey poking a shot just wide from a corner on 46 minutes after a poor Tiverton clearance. The visitors responded with Mehew forcing a corner after a good run along the left. Parkway increased the pressure and on 49 minutes neat link up play between Goulty and Palfrey resulted in a dangerous cross into the 6 yard area being cleared to safety. Tiverton continued to compete well in midfield but were unable to penetrate the Parkway defence in which Austen Booth was a rock against his former club alongside the imposing Callum Rose who between them formed a solid barrier in the centre of defence.
Parkway continued to apply pressure with the influential Stephens creative in midfield with his range of quality passing and movement a joy to watch and they deservedly drew level on 55 minutes. A corner by Lane from the right saw Crago react the quickest and time his to run to perfection to meet the ball unchallenged and prod home from close range. Rio Garside immediately replaced Palfrey and with Parkway continuing to dominate they went ahead on 58 minutes. Patient build up through midfield saw Hall and Goulty exchange passes with Goulty crossing from the bye line and Hall latching on to a loose headed clearance centrally to drill home a low shot into the bottom corner from around 15 yards. Tiverton continued to attack on the counter but with Parkway remaining strong at the back, it was the home side who almost went further ahead on 61 minutes. A Crago shot was deflected for another corner from which the unmarked Rose rose highest at the back post to head narrowly over.
Parkway’s relentless pressure saw them go further ahead from the penalty spot on 66 minutes. Seymour did well to outjump his marker and win a header from a long clearance which fell to Crago who raced into the area alongside Josh Jones only to be bundled over with top scorer Seymour converting the spot kick with aplomb. Tiverton immediately made a double substitution with Thomas and Alfie Moulden being replaced by Lucas Vowles and Dylan Jones. Booth and Rose continued to dominate the aerial exchanges at the back also looking to build from the back by patiently supplying the midfield playmakers with simple passes. Parkway continued to look threatening and on 72 minutes Hall should have doubled his tally only to pull his shot narrowly wide of the far post with Williams well beaten. However Hall was not to be denied and on 74 minutes he atoned for his earlier miss. Winning the ball in a determined 50/50 challenge on Purrington just outside the 18 yard area, he did well to quickly control the loose ball and curl a superb left footed strike into the top left hand corner past a despairing dive by Williams.
Hall’s next involvement was to see yellow after a foul in midfield to halt a Tiverton attack with Garside also seeing yellow in the same incident for foolishly kicking the ball away in frustration. Tiverton almost pulled a goal back on 75 minutes with Vowles racing clear and with Parkes doing well to narrow the angle, the substitute’s shot cannoned off the post and was cleared behind for a corner. Parkway made a double substitution on 77 minutes with Jared Lewington replacing the tireless Seymour who once again had worked extremely hard across the front line constantly stretching the Tiverton defence and the experienced Jamie Lowry coming on for Stephens who had once again put in an excellent shift in midfield.
Entering the final stages and with the tempo dropping, Tiverton kept pressing forward but Booth and Rose remained resilient at the back and Parkes, who had had a relatively untroubled second half, reacted smartly to parry a Simpson header behind on 84 minutes. Tiverton did however pull a goal back on 85 minutes with Vowles looping his header home from the far post after a telling cross from Mehew. Former Parkway player River Allen was replaced by Isaac McCue on 86 minutes. One final attack from Parkway saw a Crago effort well saved by Lewis Williams on 87 minutes with Mikey Williams cautioned on 88 minutes after a strong challenge on Purrington. In the 4 minutes of added time, Parkway were content to manage the game out but Tiverton didn’t give up and in the 93rd minute McCue drove his shot narrowly wide with the final whistle coming shortly afterwards.
A highly competitive Devon derby with Parkway going behind on 20 minutes but dominating thereafter with their 1st half approach play continuing into the 2nd half and their intensity and quality from back to front ultimately paying off and being rewarded with a convincing and well deserved victory over a decent Tiverton side. They will be disappointed to have conceded a 2nd goal late on which gave the score line a slightly flattering look. With Parkway gradually coming to terms with the standards required in the higher league, their 2nd half performance was arguably as good as anything they have produced for a long, long time and a massive improvement on the debacle at Yate Town only 2 weeks earlier. Their 3rd successive league win sees Parkway climb a place to 18th in the table with up to 3 games in hand over some teams immediately above and below them.
Attention now switches to cup competitions with old adversaries Southern League Division 1 Bristol Manor Farm, the only team Parkway failed to take any points off last season, the visitors to Bolitho Park on Saturday in the 1st round of the FA Trophy. 3 days later they host SW Peninsula (East) side Teignmouth AFC in the 2nd round of the Devon St Lukes Bowl before the league campaign recommences with a tough looking visit to Poole Town on Tuesday 8th November. Whilst the league obviously remains their priority, Parkway will be attempting to progress as far as possible in both competitions and continue to build on the current momentum.
1 Parkes, 2 Goulty, 3 Lane ©, 4 Stephens (Lowry 77), 5 Rose, 6 Booth, 7 Williams, 8 Palfrey (Garside 55), 9 Seymour (Lewington 77), 10 Hall, 11 Crago
12 Garside, 14 Down (unused), 15 Lewington, 16 Lowry
1 Williams, 2 Thompson, 3 Woodman, 4 Allen (McCue 86), 5 Price, 6 J Jones ©, 7 Mehew, 8 Purrington, 9 Simpson, 10 Thomas (Vowles 67), 11 Moulden (D Jones 67)
12 Buchan (unused), 14 D Jones, 15 Vowles, 16 McCue, 17 Saunders (gk) (unused)