Seymour at the double as Parkway pick up the points
After their 2-1 midweek win at North Leigh Parkway returned to Bolitho Park to face 19th placed Yate Town. One change was made with Callum Hall, having recovered from illness, replacing Billy Palfrey. Mikey Williams having missed the last 4 games due to injury made a welcome return was named among the 5 substitutes.
Full Match Report
Images by Tom Finnie
Straight from the kick off Yate forced a corner with Toby Raison firing well over.The game took a while to settle into any pattern and began to develop into a midfield battle. Parkway were having most of the possession, moving the ball around well at pace with Yate competing well but with no clear chances coming for either side. Parkway forced their first corner on 10 minutes which was easily cleared by the Yate defence.
Play continued to switch from end to end and on 13 minutes a Rex Manning’s shot from distance was comfortably saved by Harry Lee in the home goal. Rio Garside then saw his shot from around 20 yards easily saved low down by Martin Horsell before the game exploded into life in the 18th minute.
Jack Crago did well to dispossess Michael Baker just inside the visitor’s half and released Ben Seymour who raced forward unchallenged and fired home a powerful angled drive across Horsell from around 18 yards.
Parkway quickly doubled their lead a couple of minutes later. A long ball from deep by Austen Booth found Seymour unmarked in the clear and with the visitors unsuccessfully appealing for offside, he surged forward at pace, again unchallenged, drawing Horsell from his line and with good balance, control and composure threaded the ball past the keeper from around 12 yards. Yate quickly responded and clawed a goal back on 23 minutes.
After a throw in on the right, the ball was crossed into the Parkway 6-yard area and confusion and a misunderstanding between the home defence and goalkeeper allowed central defender Darren Mullings to swivel and stab home from close range.
The game continued at a high tempo and with intensity from both sides with the Parkway midfield trio of Dan Rooney, Callum Hall and Garside working hard looking to build a solid platform from which to move forward.
Parkway continued to look the more threatening, but Yate continued to compete and defend well. On 31 minutes a neat link along the right between Booth and Harrison King saw the latter’s dangerous cross cleared behind for a corner as the Parkway pressure increased.
Crago and Garside’s persistence saw them win the ball from some hesitant play in the Yate midfield with Garside’s cross being blocked. Yate continued to compete well to break up play in midfield but were unable to create too much going forward with Callum Rose,
Toby Down and Booth looking solid at the back and defending well leaving Lee relatively untested.
Approaching half time play went through a scrappy phase with too many passes going astray with the final action seeing Seymour and Booth combining well along the right to set up Crago whose snapshot on the turn from distance was well saved by Horsell.
A fairly even, intense half with Parkway having the better of possession but Yate battling well to stay in the game after being hit with a quickfire 2 goal Seymour salvo and still very much in the game.
Yate started the second half well and after Parkway had conceded possession wide on the left on 48 minutes, Alex Lambert saw his deflected effort loop high forcing Lee to grab the ball at full stretch high above his head some way off his line. After the early scare Parkway began to impose themselves and apply pressure and on 49 minutes a strong run and cross by King on the right forced a corner which was well defended.
Garside, Crago and Ryan Lane then combined well along the left with Seymour’s near post header from the cross being blocked for another corner. Parkway continued to threaten and on 52 minutes won a free kick wide on the left with Crago glancing his header well wide. Play continued at a pace but neither side were able to dominate or take control with both defences remaining solid with both keepers rarely being called into action.
However, on 57 minutes came a pivotal moment in the game. Crago raced clear wide on the left with Horsell charging way out of his area and clattering into Crago. After a lengthy delay whilst Crago received treatment, Horsell was shown a yellow card with many feeling it should have been a red. Once play had resumed, Hall’s persistence saw him win the ball wide on the right and set up Seymour whose shot on the turn from around 15 yards was comfortably saved by Horsell. Williams then replaced Down in the Parkway backline.
Yate almost drew level on 66 minutes as they began to apply pressure. After Parkway had conceded possession in midfield, Manning went clear down the left with his cross just evading Lambert with Williams doing well to turn the ball behind for a corner.
With Parkway now being forced to defend in numbers, Lee did well to cut out a dangerous Yate free kick with visitors now having their best spell of the game.
However, on 69 minutes Parkway had a golden opportunity to increase their lead. More determined play by Hall saw his cross from the left reach Seymour who just failed to connect with a close-range header with Garside slamming the loose ball into the side netting from a tight angle. With the game continuing to be a tense affair and Yate battling well and scrapping for every ball, on 72 minutes Liban Ibrahim was booked for a robust challenge on King.
Billy Palfrey then came on for Hall who had put in his customary wholehearted shift with his constant running, closing down and high energy performance. Garside and King then did well to create an opening along the right which was eventually cleared by the Yate defence.
Jack Stanley replaced Ibrahim in the 75th minute as the visitors enjoyed a period of controlled possession and looked the more dangerous with Parkway being forced to defend in numbers.
On 76 minutes Zach Drew created space along the left with his cross from the bye line into the 6-yard area being cleared to safety as Yate continued to press.
Raison then shot well wide from distance after good work by Baker and Mannings. Lee then did well to confidently gather a high cross as Parkway continued to come under pressure with Yate just unable to find the crucial final ball.
Tom Bath replaced the hardworking Crago on 83 minutes with Parkway now being forced to play on the counter. On 85 minutes Seymour was denied his hattrick with Horsell, at full stretch, pushing away his rasping 15-yard drive.
Yate made their final substitutions on 87 minutes with Dylan Lewis and Dillan Kerr replacing Mannings and Drew respectively.
Yate continued to threaten in the 5 minutes of added time with Lee once again showing his commanding presence in the air by climbing high above crowd of bodies under pressure to claim the ball from a well flighted Yate free kick.
With Parkway hanging on, Yate almost grabbed a late equaliser in the 4th minute of a stoppage time. A cross from the left was not fully cleared with Mullings hooking his effort narrowly over the bar from around 10 yards with the referee calling time shortly after.
A highly competitive, hard-fought game not pretty at times with Parkway displaying resilience and determination to grind out the win, particularly in the last 20 minutes when coming under pressure from the visitors who battled well to the end.
Other results on the day saw Parkway climb 2 places to 13th, now 11 points clear of the relegation places. The lasting memory of the game will be Parkway’s goals with 2 quality strikes from a quality striker.
The punishing schedule continues as Parkway will face 8 games in the penultimate month of the season. Before then they go back on the road on Tuesday to an in-form 4th placed Poole Town who are unbeaten in their last 7 games with ironically their last defeat being their 4-0 reverse at Bolitho Park on 28th January.
Next Saturday then sees Parkway embark on their longest away day of the season, a 476-mile round trip to 20th placed Hendon. Both will be tough challenges with Poole looking to consolidate their playoff position and Hendon in desperate need of points as they look to climb out of the drop zone.
1 Lee, 2 King, 3 Lane ©, 4 Down (Williams 61), 5 Rose, 6 Booth, 7 Hall (Palfrey 73), 8 Rooney, 9 Seymour, 10 Garside, 11 Crago (83)
Substitutes: 12 Billington (unused), 14 Williams, 15 Goulty (unused), 16 Palfrey,
1 Horsell, 2 Raison, 3 Byrne, 4 Dinsley, 5 Mullings ©, 6 Maker, 7 Drew (Kerr 87), 8 McLean, 9 Lambert, 10 Mannings (Lewis 87), 11 Ibrahim (Stanley 75)
Substitutes: 12 Lewis, 14 Stanley, 15 Kerr 16 Bhebhe (unused)