Plymouth Parkway v Wellington| Match Report & Highlights
Parkway remain undefeated with a 10 point lead at the top of the table
Wellington were the visitors as Parkway went looking for their first double of the season having beaten them 6-1 just 17 days ago. 4 changes were made from the midweek win at Buckland Athletic with
Levi Landricombe, Ryan Richards, Shane Krac and Jordan Bentley starting in place of Craig Veal,Billy Palfrey, Mikey Williams and Michael Landricombe.
The game got off to a slow start with both sides taking a while to settle with Parkway having the majority of possession and Wellington looking to contain. Parkway created a half chance on 6 minutes with Landricombe seeing his shot blocked after good link up play between River Allen and Ryan Lane. With Parkway struggling to gain control in midfield, a Wellington break on 16 minutes saw a close range effort from Oliver Holman blocked and cleared. Allen then found Krac in space with his shot from just outside the 18 yard area being saved by Tom Welch at the second attempt.
With Parkway now beginning to show more composure, on 18 minutes a smart interchange between Landricombe and Richards saw the latter’s shot blocked with Landricombe’s follow up effort rattling the cross bar. Parkway continued to dominate possession and look to work an opening but too often their passing was sloppy and their final ball lacking quality. Wellington were battling hard in midfield and looking to play on the break. On 23 minutes a driving run into the 18 yard area by Landricombe saw his shot well smothered by Welch. On 24 minutes a penetrating run along the right by Harrison Davis ended with his deep cross being sliced well wide on the volley by Richards.
With Parkway continuing to lack precision in their passing and leaving gaps in midfield, the visitors took the lead on 26 minutes. Against the run of play a quick break along the left exposed the Parkway flank with the ball being pulled back to the unmarked Miles Quick in the centre of the 18 yard box who finished calmly from around 10 yards. Parkway continued to have the majority of possession but their play lacked intensity or direction and apart from a couple of long range efforts, rarely threatened the visitor’s goal. Wellington looking well organised continued to frustrate the Parkway midfield and another break along the right on 34 minutes, saw Dan Williams shoot just over. With the Parkway defence being stretched on the break, on 35 minutes Kyle Moore was forced to race from his goal and concede a free kick just outside the penalty area for which he received the game’s first yellow card. Landricombe was the next to be cautioned presumably for remarks made to the referee.
Parkway continued to look for an opening against determined opponents and on 38 minutes drew level somewhat fortuitously. The unfortunate Josh Champion was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area with Richards making no mistake from the spot. Parkway almost went ahead moments later when Matt Wright saw his diving header go agonisingly wide after a precise cross from the left by Lane. With Wellington looking to play balls into space along the Parkway flanks, another break on 41 minutes saw Scott Merrit go clear wide on the right only for his angled chip to clip the top of the bar. Wellington’s next attack was halted by a foul midway inside the Parkway half with Callum Hall picking up a yellow card as the visitors finished the half the stronger, retaking the lead in stoppage time.
A corner on the right was headed against the near post by Dan Williams and with Parkway unable to clear the loose ball, Jesse Howe reacted the quickest to turn the ball over the line from close range. A bitty, disjointed half from Parkway who were unable to exert midfield control against a hard working Wellington who took advantage of some hesitant defending to convert their few chances. Parkway, despite having the majority of possession, lacked the cutting edge in the final third with Wellington defending solidly and Welch rarely being tested.
Parkway started the second half at a higher tempo with an Allen free kick being well defended on 47 minutes and a Krac effort on the turn going narrowly wide on 53 minutes. Palfrey replaced Krac shortly afterwards. Merritt saw yellow for a foul on 54 minutes as Parkway began to apply pressure and play with much more intensity. On the hour Landricombe and Wright were replaced by Williams and Veal as Parkway began to look far more threatening but still unable to breach the visitor’s back line. On 61 minutes a determined run and cross by Davis found Richards whose acrobatic volley forced a superb save from Welch. Hall then saw an effort fly just over with Williams also seeing his shot go narrowly wide as the Wellington goal lead a charmed life.
The substitutions had certainly injected an impetus into Parkway’s play with Palfrey influential in midfield spraying passes to the flanks bringing Lane and Davis more into the game. As Parkway continued to press, Wellington made their first change on 64 minutes with Cameron Sanford replacing Howe. On 65 minutes more good play from Williams saw his cross find Veal who shot just wide. Veal then turned provider with a determined run along the left ending with his cross finding the unmarked Williams who spooned over a golden opportunity from 10 yards. Parkway continued to threaten creating chance after chance but the Wellington defence held firm managing to block efforts from Williams, Veal and Allen.
On 70 minutes a slick Parkway move down the right saw a Davis cross find Allen whose shot was superbly saved by Welch. Josh Baker then replaced Dan Williams as Wellington looked to break up play and slow the game down. Parkway were now in total control and looking dangerous with every attack but a lack of composure at crucial moments coupled with last ditch defending from Wellington denied the hosts an equaliser. Wellington made their final change on 79 minutes with Mason Raymond replacing Merritt with Miles Quick picking up a yellow card soon after for illegally halting another attack.
As the pressure mounted, Parkway won a series of free kicks and corners and from a corner on 83 minutes they were awarded their second penalty after the referee spotted Palfrey being bundled over in a crowd of bodies. Up stepped man of the match Richards and, displaying calmness under pressure, confidently slammed home the spot kick sending Welch the wrong way. With Parkway now throwing everything forward searching for a winner, on 87 minutes Allen’s shot from distance was gathered by Welch at the second attempt with the final action seeing a Rob Farkins header at the far post go back across the 6 yard area and fly narrowly wide. Wellington clung on to the end to share the spoils and in doing so denied Parkway their tenth victory.
After a stuttering first half lacking conviction and intensity, a much improved second half display by Parkway who, despite the introduction of the substitutes injecting more energy and fluency into their game and creating numerous chances, were unable to convert any of them and on reflection will probably be grateful to gain a point. Credit to Wellington who worked tirelessly, took a couple of the few chances that came their way, stuck to their game plan and defended solidly throughout, riding their luck on a couple of occasions. With second placed Street losing today, Parkway who remain undefeated now have a 10 point lead at the top of the table and with no midweek game now have a rest and recovery period before Cadbury Heath visit Bolitho Park next Saturday.
Parkway: 1 Moore, 2 Davis, 3 Lane, 4 Allen, 5 Farkins, 6 Bentley, 7 L Landricombe (Veal 60), 8 Krac(c) (Palfrey 54), 9 M Wright (M Williams 60), 10 Hall, 11 Richards
Unused sub M Landricombe
Wellington: 1 Welch, 2 Champion, 17 Lewis, 4 Legg, 5 J Quick, 6 M Quick, 7 Merritt (Raymond 79), 8 G Wright(c), 9 Howe (Sanford 64), 10 D Williams (Baker 70), 11 Holman.