So far, it’s been good, but a professional looking Parkway make a welcome return
By Mike Parrish
If you’re a Parkway fan you will never be bored, but this midweek has been a bit quieter than it should have been. The Yellows Western League fixture against Buckland was called off hours before kick-off on Tuesday night, due to a fire inside one of the floodlight pylons at Homers Heath. The cancelled fixture would stop the Bolitho outfit trying to record their 4th win on the spin as Lee Hobbs’ men have recovered well from a disappointing 3-3 home draw with Keynsham Town.
The disappointment was banished from memory seven days later as Parkway dispatched title rivals Bitton on their home soil and they haven’t looked back since. Mikey Williams notched a hat-trick to dispose of Hallen in a 5-0 win which would lead to Parkway’s first involvement in this seasons FA Vase competition. A cold Wednesday night trip to Wessex Division One side Romsey Town would see Parkway secure passage into the next round, with a hard fought 3-1 victory. Goals from Mikey Williams and two from in-form front man Adam Carter, would set up a second-round potential cracker against Wessex Premier League side Brockenhurst FC.
“If we win, this could be Parkway’s biggest away win for a few years.” These were the words from the Parkway boss after victory against Romsey, as he knows the Badgers will prove a huge obstacle to overcome. The step five outfit currently occupy second spot in the Wessex Premier, five points off leaders Alresford and on Saturday secured their fourth win in six as they battled to beat Baffins Milton Rovers 1-0 away from home. More impressively, those six games have all come away from home. It could well be a fixture not to be missed and it will take place on the 2nd November at the Meadens Skoda Arena, Brockenhurst at 3pm
But before the club can look forward to that, it will be all eyes on Bolitho this Saturday in a big Western League clash as Westbury United make the trip to Plymouth. So far this season, Parkway at times, have been described in many different ways including, very good, good, need improvement, naïve and superb. On Saturday, the word professional was used for the first time as they secured an impressive 4-1 victory over John Durbin’s well organised Shepton Mallet.
Much like the Keynsham game, Parkway took control and raced into a three-goal advantage after 28 minutes thanks to Adam Carter, Shane Krac and a superb effort from Mikey Williams. Shea Manning would reply for the Mallet, but Parkway would not squander their advantage this time out. Shane Krac would add a second to the game after a fine free kick from 25 yards out and the home side would see out the game in a commanding way. The departures of Curtis Damerell and Will Tinsley would make way for triallist Elliot Ward to sign a contract and the experienced Craig Duff enter the Parkway set up.
Both were named on the bench and Craig Duff would make his debut for The Yellows, replacing Shane Krac who put in a superb display on the hour mark. It was a performance that could be described as vintage Parkway. Last season’s golden run of 17 league games unbeaten included many a performance like this and with now ten games played in this season’s campaign, it was a welcome return for the management team of Lee Hobbs and Karl Curtis. It was a good Saturday all round for Parkway who stayed top after Cribbs held Bradford to a draw and Bridgwater were beaten 3-2 by Bitton, as this season’s Western League begins to gather pace.
Parkway’s postponed fixture on Tuesday evening would give other teams the chance to close the gap on Wednesday night as the Western League fixture list threw up some interesting games. Bradford would leapfrog Parkway and return to the summit of the Western League despite a late Bitton onslaught as goals from Morris and Will Hailston secured the 3 points for The Bobcats. Jake Brown and Tom Ellis would give Bridgwater a fine away win against Westbury as the game finished 2-1 and moved The Robins up to 3rd in the League. Exmouth would enter the top four for the first time with a fine win over Devon rivals Tavistock at Southern Road. Ace High bagging a double and Callum Shipton and Jordan Harris would also be on the scoresheet as the blues recorded a fine 4-2 victory. The results would no doubt frustrate Parkway fans even further as the failure to play on Tuesday night would resurface as the results from Wednesday started to filter through.
( Top 6 League table as it stands on 23/10/19)
The disappointment is now in the past and as mentioned above, the focus shifts to Westbury on Saturday. Despite defeat to Bridgwater on Wednesday evening, the White Horse Men are in good form with four wins from six Western League matches. They will head to Plymouth in positive spirits as a second half Callum Demkev goal secured all three points in the reverse fixture last season.
After Parkways confident victory last weekend, they won’t be afraid of who they face this weekend. Hobbs will hope the professional performances continues but a bigger headache for the Parkway boss might just be the starting 11. Kyle Moore and the back four of Aaron Bentley, Nick Milton, Rob Farkins and Ryan Lane are quickly becoming a formidable unit but it’s further up the pitch that the migraine might really start to hurt. The signings of Elliot Ward and Craig Duff will add to a talented central midfield of Jack Calver, Fletcher Williams, Jamie Lowry, Shane Krac and Billy Palfrey. Duff can also play up top and help ease the burden on Adam Carter who has been in breath-taking form.
The No.9 has led by example all season and in the last four games alone, the striker has hit six goals to add to his goal tally of 16 for the season putting him top of the tree in the goal scoring charts. The selection headache, if ever a headache can be described like this, is a good one to have and it will be interesting to see the starting eleven Hobbs puts out. A manager with a 95% win rate to date during his Parkway tenure nearly almost gets it right, let’s hope that continues on Saturday.
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*If you are looking to travel to Parkways 2nd round FA Vase fixture away to Brockenhurst on November 2nd – please email firstname.lastname@example.org for coach details.