Parkway pick up all three points on the non-league day
Full Match Report
Images: Dave Harry
On official Non-League Day Parkway travelled to Slimbridge looking to make it 7 consecutive wins and consolidate a play-off place. 3 changes were made to Tuesday’s victory over Sholing with Gabby Rogers, Matt Andrew and Adam Carter starting in place of Billy Palfrey, Mikey Williams and Tom Bath respectively.
Both sides made a sharp start with Rogers seeing a snapshot comfortably saved by Lewis Adams on 2 minutes with the hosts Edjidja Mbunga being caught narrowly offside on 5 minutes after a Slimbridge break. With Slimbridge pressing high and with intensity, Parkway were struggling to get into the game and gain any decent possession as the hosts gradually took the upper hand. An Andrew shot on 10 minutes was comfortably saved in a rare Parkway attack as Slimbridge continued to close down the Parkway midfield and deny them time and space. Jordan Yeo was shown a yellow card on 11 minutes for ungentlemanly conduct as Slimbridge applied pressure to the Parkway defence with Don Ogbeifun looking particularly threatening. With Parkway unable to assert themselves or gain control of the game Slimbridge continued to dominate possession and on 15 minutes forced a couple of corners which Parkway managed to defend.
Slimbridge continued to look the stronger, closing down and pressing the Parkway midfield who too often conceded possession too easily and were not being allowed to inject any rhythm or fluency into their play. The hosts were dealing comfortably with the occasional Parkway attacks, winning most of the 50/50 challenges and looking dangerous on the break forcing Parkway to defend deep. It was no real surprise when the hosts took the lead on 25 minutes. A free kick was conceded just outside the 18 yard area in a central position with Hawes curling his left footed effort around the wall low into the bottom corner. Slimbridge continued to control the game with Parkway managing to force a rare corner on 33 minutes after good link up play along the right between Rogers and Finley Craske. On 36 minutes another Slimbridge corner flashed narrowly wide as the hosts continued to threaten with their high press game plan frustrating Parkway, who although competing well, were creating little. On 42 minutes Ethan Mitchell was booked for persistent infringement as Parkway pushed forward gradually managing to gain an element of control as the half came to an end. On 44 minutes an Andrew shot from around 18 yards was deflected on to the post and behind with Adams wrong footed with Callum Rose glancing his header from the resultant corner just wide. On the cusp of half time Slimbridge were forced into a substitution with Marley Thomas replacing Mbunga who had picked up an injury earlier and was unable to continue. The final action of the half saw a Crago cross from the left pushed behind in a rare Parkway attack.
A frustrating half for Parkway with Slimbridge the more composed side, controlling the game with their intensity and energy and deserving their lead. Parkway were unable to gain or retain any quality possession with little flow or cohesion to their game due to the pressing and tenacity of the hosts.
Slimbridge almost doubled their lead on 49 minutes with an effort that flew just over with Parkway being unable to clear their lines. On 55 minutes Andrew saw yellow for a challenge in midfield with Parkway immediately making a double substitution with Palfrey and Williams replacing Mitchell and Hall respectively. Parkway slowly began to show more composure in their game, retaining the ball better and improving the quality of their passing and movement. With both full backs able to get forward more and support the wide players, they drew level on 59 minutes. Their most fluent passage of play in the game saw a series of passes through midfield create an opening for Crago who cut in from the left only to be bundled over by Adams in the penalty area close to the bye line. Palfrey stepped up to confidently convert the penalty, his 3rd in the last 3 games. With Parkway now showing much more fluency and conviction in their game, moving the ball quickly and getting into wide areas, they began to look far more threatening. Rogers saw yellow on 62 minutes with Slimbridge continuing to compete strongly in midfield and on 67 minutes only a timely interception in the 18 yard area by Michael Landricombe denied them a goalscoring opportunity after a 2 on 2 situation had been created on the break. With Parkway now looking far more comfortable and positive in possession, they began to stretch the Slimbridge back line with Landricombe heading just over from a corner on 68 minutes as the pressure increased.
Bath replaced the hard working Carter on 70 minutes as Parkway continued to dominate and push forward looking to create openings. On 73 minutes they took the lead via another penalty. A flowing passage of play and neat exchange of passes along the right between Craske and Williams saw Craske surge into the penalty area only to be brought down for a stonewall penalty which Palfrey duly despatched sending Adams the wrong way. Parkway now looking far more relaxed and potent continued on the offensive and a Craske free kick into the danger area was eventually cleared by some desperate defending.
Slimbridge made a double substitution on 79 minutes with Ralyan Ahmed replacing Myron Turner and Jack Plant coming on for Ogbeifun. Parkway then increased their lead further on 81 minutes. A break along the left saw good work by the persistent Crago release the industrious Andrew who drove in at pace to fire a low angled drive across Adams into the bottom corner at the far post for a cool finish. On 83 minutes Andrew almost doubled his tally shooting wide from around 18 yards when well placed. Parkway continued to apply pressure working the channels with Slimbridge forced to defend and unable to break out of their own half too often with the Parkway defence in control and Kyle Moore relatively untroubled. Entering stoppage time a Rogers corner bounced off the cross bar as Parkway finished on the front foot to clinch a valuable 3 points.
A game of 2 differing halves with Slimbridge much the better side in the first half constantly denying Parkway time and space on the ball and deserving their lead with Parkway not being allowed find any rhythm or fluency. A vastly improved second half performance from Parkway with once again key substitutions impacting the course of the game enabling them to grind out a gritty if not totally convincing win after a frustrating first half.
The win sees Parkway remain in 4th place, a point behind Bristol Manor Farm who won today 2-1 at Cinderford Town today but having closed in on leaders Frome Town who grabbed a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at home with Larkhall Athletic and 2nd placed Cirencester Town who surprisingly lost 1-0 at home to Willand Rovers.
Parkway now face Larkhall at Bolitho Park on Tuesday where a win would elevate them to 2nd place 2 points behind Frome with 2 games in hand. Parkway recently defeated Larkhall 1-0 in the reverse fixture in a closely fought game so it will be no easy task against a side who have drawn more games than anyone else.
Parkway: 1 Moore, 2 Craske, 3 Lane, 4 Mitchell (Palfrey 55), 5 Rose, 6 Landricombe ©, 7 Rogers, 8 Hall (Williams 55), 9 Carter (Bath 69), 10 Andrew, 11 Crago
Substitutes: 12 Davis (unused), 14 Palfrey, 15 Williams, 9 Bath
Slimbridge: 1 Adams, 2 Novakovic, 3 Turner (Ahmed 79), 4 Ford, 5 Dennis, 6 Spark, 7 Yeo, 8 Ogbeifun (Plant 79), 9 Hawes ©, 10 Mc Lean, 11 Mbunga (Thomas 44)
Substitutes: 12 Smith (unused), 14 Ahmed, 15 Plant, 16 Thomas, 17 Preddie (unused)