Parkway put their name in the hat after a superb display against Salisbury
Words by Graham Lloyd
Images by Tom Finnie
Parkway 4 (Garside 38 pen, 62, Palfrey 55, Landricombe 88) Salisbury 0
Parkway entertained Southern Premier side Salisbury in the 1st round of the FA Trophy in front of a crowd of 398. Prior to kick off, the exhortation was broadcast, the last post sounded, and an impeccable minute’s silence observed by all in recognition of remembrance weekend.
After Parkway had made numerous changes for the midweek defeat at Tiverton Town in the Devon Bowl, 2 changes were made from last week’s league victory over undefeated Cirencester Town. Plymouth Argyle loanee Finley Craske replaced Harrison Davis, who was not 100 percent fit, at full back with Jordan Copp starting in midfield in place of the versatile Mikey Williams who dropped back into central defence in place of the injured Callum Rose.
The game started at a high tempo with Salisbury creating the first chance on 5 minutes with Kyle Moore comfortably saving a 20-yard free kick. Parkway were quickest into their stride and on 11 minutes a slick move through midfield saw Callum Hall release Jack Crago whose angled effort from 10 yards was well blocked by Patrick O’Flaherty in the visitors goal. Parkway began to dominate possession looking sharp and incisive, forcing the visitors on to the back foot but were unable to create any clear chances. Salisbury looked to counter attack along the flanks with the Parkway defence looking assured and Moore rarely called into action. With Jamie Lowry dictating play from midfield with his range and quality of passing,
Parkway continued to look the more threatening and on 26 minutes a well-directed free kick from the right by Rio Garside saw O’Flaherty parry the effort low to his left with the ball being cleared to safety. Parkway continued to play fluent, flowing football with Hall, Garside and Billy Palfrey all prominent in midfield showing good energy as they continued to probe an opening with Williams making repeated strong runs forward from out of defence. On 28 minutes Salisbury’s first real period of sustained possession forced a couple of corners which were well defended with Michael Landricombe and Williams at the heart of the defence looking confident and calm when under pressure.
On 31 minutes Parkway should have taken the lead. A break along the left saw the energetic Hall link well with Ryan Lane with Hall’s cross finding the unmarked Crago who lifted his first time effort over the bar from close range. Parkway continued to look the more dangerous as they continued to press the visitors all over the pitch, winning 50/50 tackles and second phase balls and not allowing them time on the ball to build any forward momentum. The game saw its first bookings on 32 minutes with Oliver Knowles seeing yellow for a strong challenge from behind on Garside who was also booked for retaliation. With Parkway in the ascendancy and continuing to threaten and create chances, they almost took the lead on 34 minutes. The hard working Crago dispossessed Samuel Roberts, went clear on the left and crossed to Garside whose mishit shot was parried away by O’Flaherty. Crago then saw his shot on the turn pushed behind for a corner before the Parkway pressure finally paid off on 38 minutes. More good approach work released Crago who was brought down in the penalty area with Roberts being booked for the challenge. Garside confidently slotted the spot kick home sending the keeper the wrong way. Salisbury looked to respond and approaching half time almost equalised.
A break along the left saw a cross to the far post with Williams superbly blocking a shot with the follow up from the rebound being well saved by Moore for arguably their only clear chance of the half. An offside flag would have ruled out the effort anyway. An excellent half from Parkway who thoroughly deserved their lead showing good creativity and with more clinical finishing could have been further ahead. Parkway picked up at the start of the second half where they had left off playing with intensity with Lowry influential, showing his class, experience and calmness in possession.
On 48 minutes Lane latched on to a loose ball in midfield with his fizzing first time effort from 25 yards flashing narrowly wide. On 55 minutes Parkway doubled their lead with a quite spectacular, very special goal. Seeing the keeper way off his line, Palfrey showing great vision and awareness, hit a terrific first-time strike from around 55 yards over the despairing, backpedalling O’Flaherty. A stunning goal which would surely be a contender for goal of the season at any level of football. On 58 minutes Salisbury replaced Daniel Fitchett with Harry Baker as they looked to find a way back into the game. Moore then saved well blocking a close-range effort with Knowles then firing well wide from distance as Parkway continued to defend in depth and in numbers.
On 62 minutes Parkway went further ahead. A long ball along the left caused confusion in the Salisbury back line with the persistent Crago forcing an error from the keeper and cleverly chipping over him picking out the unmarked Garside who had the simple task of nodding home from point blank range. Parkway then replaced the hard working Copp with Matt Andrew returning from an injury lay off. Moore then palmed an effort behind for a corner as the tempo slowed and Parkway looked to slow the game and retain possession and play more on the counter as Salisbury pushed more men forward. The effervescent Crago was replaced by Tom Bath on 71 minutes as Parkway remained in control and despite Salisbury working hard to stay in the game and reduce the arrears, they were unable to penetrate the solid Parkway back line or create any clear chances. On 76 minutes River Allen, also returning from injury, replaced the outstanding Lowry with Dewi Benham replacing Chikanele Elechi shortly after for the visitors.
Parkway continued to dominate and on 87 minutes a neat exchange between Allen and Bath saw the latter’s shot lack power or direction. Not content just to see the game out, Parkway continued to attack and on 88 minutes a well flighted and directed free kick saw Landricombe rising highest to glance in a header rounding off a faultless all round display by the captain. A resounding thoroughly deserved victory over their higher league opponents with Parkway giving arguably their best performance of the season based on grit, determination, team spirit, organisation, and no lack of quality football.
Having now beaten higher league opponents in the last 2 rounds without conceding a goal, Parkway now eagerly await Monday’s draw with the 2nd round due to take place on 27th November. Before that Parkway have no time to rest on their laurels as they face a tough week ahead. Firstly a visit to top of the table, and unbeaten in the league, Frome Town on Tuesday followed by the visit of 2nd placed AFC Totton, who have only lost once, to Bolitho Park next Saturday. Totton beat Frome 4-2 on penalties in the Trophy today after being all square at 2-2 after 90 minutes. Having lost 1-0 at Totton in the first game of the season and drawn 2-2 at home to Frome soon after with Frome scoring a 96th minute equaliser, provided Parkway can display the same application, commitment and quality of performance of the last few games and remain grounded and focussed, there is no reason why they cannot get something from those games.
Parkway: 1 Moore, 2 Craske, 3 Lane, 4 Lowry (Allen 76), 5 Williams, 6 Landricombe ©, 7 Garside, 8, Palfrey, 9 Crago (Bath 71), 10 Hall, 11 Copp (Andrew 64).
Substitutes: 12 Bath, 14, Andrew, 15 Allen, 16, Davis (unused), 20 Carter (unused).
Salisbury: 13 O’Raherty, 2 Davis, 3 Elechi (Benham 82), 4 Knowles, 5 Roberts, 6 Kennedy ©, 19 Brooks, 8 Wakefield, 9 Ashton, 10 Fitchett (Baker 58|), 11 Diaz
Substitutes: 12 Baker, 1 Beauchamp (gk) (unused), 14, Ball (unused), 15 Odubade (unused), 16 Benham