TAVISTOCK V PLYMOUTH PARKWAY PRE SEASON FRIENDLY WED 14 JULY
Tavistock 1 (T Burns 42) Parkway 1 (Bath 52)
With both sides having pre-arranged fixtures cancelled at short notice, this game was arranged at short notice but for a variety of reasons a number of player unavailability’s on both sides. This included the absence of Parkway manager Lee Hobbs with coach Matt Cusack taking charge of the side.
A decent crowd of 153 were in attendance on a balmy summers evening. Tavistock got off to a bright start forcing a couple of early corners which were comfortably dealt with by the Parkway defence. The game quickly settled own with both sides looking to play through the midfield and utilising the flanks. Parkway created a half chance on 5 minutes with a long ball from Shane Krac finding Tom Bath via an under-hit Tavistock back pass with Bath’s effort well smothered by Josh Oak in the Tavistock goal.
Play continued from end to end and on 13 minutes a Parkway break saw a Krac cross find Bath whose header failed to hit the target. Tavistock continued to be busy in midfield with their trio of Dave Hallett, Callum Watson and the impressive Matt Andrews being cancelled out by their opposite numbers Krac, Callum Hall and Billy Palfrey. On 15 minutes Mikey Williams linked well with Bath with the latter mishitting his attempted volley just wide. Parkway continued to create the better half chances without unduly testing Oak as Tavistock looked comfortable in defence.
On 23 minutes good work by Hall saw his cross to the far post find Bath whose header back across goal failed to get a final touch and was cleared off the line. Tavistock had continued to have their fair share of midfield possession but tended to overhit their final ball and get caught offside too often. On 33 minutes more Parkway pressure saw Bath’s header drop to Hall whose effort from just outside the 18 yard box flew just wide. On 36 minutes a surging run forward from Krac saw his ball reach Williams whose effort was well defended. Jack Crago playing against his former club showed promise making occasional inroads along the left flank but was generally unable to penetrate a sold looking Tavistock back line. The deadlock was broken on 42 minutes with Parkway conceding possession on the edge of the Tavistock 18-yard box and a quick break along the right saw Tallen Burns break clear finishing clinically with an angled low shot at the near post from around 15 yards.
Tavistock almost increased their lead on the cusp of half time with a Ben Cross header from a free kick going narrowly wide. A fairly even, competitive half played at a good tempo with Parkway creating the better chances without unduly testing Oak with both defences generally in control and Tavistock taking the chance that came their way. Owen Price, Tornado Bello and Frank Lovett replaced Josh Robbins, Jason Vincent and Kian Burns at half time and they would continue to make further substitutions throughout the half.
Parkway remained unchanged for the start of the half. Parkway created the first clear chance of the half on 49 minutes when a dangerous cross from the left by Jordan Copp was headed behind for a corner. Continued Parkway pressure brought their equaliser on 52 minutes. Williams dispossessed the experienced former pro Calum Davenport then cleverly set up the unmarked Bath who hammered home from around 12 yards. A Parkway break along the right then saw a Harrison Davis shot blocked and deflected for a corner. Play began to open up and become more stretched however with both sides pressing in midfield, defences remained in control with chances few and far between. On the hour Parkway almost took the lead with a Rob Farkins header from a free kick flying just over the bar.
Andrews and Watson continued to impress in midfield with the industrious Hall and Palfrey matching them as both sides looked to create openings. On 65 minutes Parkway made their 4 substitutions with Jack Rhead and 3 trialists, which included a young goalkeeper, replacing Krac, Palfrey, Williams and Kyle Moore. With neither side dominant in possession, play continued to switch from end to end with both sides creating a couple of half chances with neither keeper being really tested.
On 77 minutes a Parkway break saw Rhead send Davis clear with his angled shot being comfortably saved by Jamie Castle the Tavistock substitute keeper. Tavistock continued to press high forcing a couple of late corners with Parkway now playing more on the break and on 85 minutes a trialist floated a dangerous cross into the area with the hard working Bath heading just wide. The final action on 90 minutes saw a shot from the edge of the box from the impressive Andrews superbly blocked by the equally impressive Farkins.
The draw was a fair result in a good, competitive work out for both sides who, despite the absence of a few regular players, no doubt will take plenty from the game to carry forward into the remainder of pre-season with fitness levels also improving. Parkway continue their build up to the season this Saturday with a visit to Mousehole who have been recently promoted to the Western league Premier Division and will no doubt provide a stiff challenge. By that time Parkway will know what lies ahead as the Pitching In Southern League fixtures are due for release on Friday.