Parkway pick up first win of the season

Plymouth Parkway v Hendon | Match Report

By Graham Lloyd

Parkway still looking for their first point of the season after 4 games entertained unbeaten Hendon at Bolitho Park in front of a lower than average crowd of 332. Parkway made 4 changes to last week’s narrow 4-3 defeat at Chesham United with captain Ryan Lane and Toby Down returning from suspension, Joe Belsten returning from injury and Mikey Williams starting in place of Callum Rose, Dylan Jones, Matt Wright and Ionel-Ciprian Lolot.

Graham Lloyd

Full Match Report

Images: Tom Finnie

In perfect playing conditions the game started at a high tempo with both sides moving the ball well and it was Parkway who took the lead from the penalty spot on 7 minutes.

A jinking run from Williams saw his shot blocked for a corner which was not cleared with Parkway winning a free kick wide on the left. Once again the ball was not cleared and a scramble in the 6 yard box ended with a handball close to the goal line with Lane converting the resultant spot kick. Parkway continued to play with intensity with the visitors also seeing plenty of the ball in midfield but unable to penetrate the solid Parkway backline too often overhitting their final ball.

Parkway continued to press and on 13 minutes a long ball along the their right saw the tenacious Callum Hall force a corner from which Tom Purrington’s far post header was comfortably gathered by Matt Kerbey. Hendon continued to compete well but Parkway maintained a solid shape denying the visitors any scoring opportunities with their high pressing and closing down creating a series of unforced errors.


Parkway continued to dominate the midfield exchanges with Henry Wilson constantly breaking up the visitor’s attacks with timely challenges and interceptions.

Parkway continued to move the ball at pace and look threatening and they doubled their lead in somewhat bizarre fashion on 24 minutes. A long Parkway clearance wide along the right saw Kerbey charge from his goal and scuff his attempted clearance which fell to Belsten whose first time angled cross cum shot towards goal from around 45 yards just reached the goal before the onrushing Jack Crago and Ethan Light who collided with each other and into the post with the ball trickling over the line.

Light was unfortunately injured in the collision and unable to continue and was immediately replaced by Eren Kinali. Hendon responded with a period of pressure without creating any clear chances with Oscar Halls and Down forming a solid barrier in the centre of defence with Adam Parkes in the Parkway goal rarely tested. On 36 minutes the visitors Sam Adenola became the first player booked after a trip on Lane as Parkway continued in the ascendancy forcing errors from Hendon who were conceding possession too easily.

On 40 minutes good link up play between Belsten and the busy Rio Garside down the right saw Kerbey just beat Crago to the cross. On 41 minutes Hendon created arguably their first clear chance of the game with Kinali, under pressure from Williams, firing an angled drive just over from around 12 yards. Approaching half time Hendon had a strong shout for a penalty waved away claiming a handball in the 6 yard area after a defensive scramble with the ball eventually being cleared.

The 4 minutes of added time proved to be quite eventful. Firstly Crago made a superb 40 yard recovery run to win the ball 25 yards from the Parkway goal with Williams then picking up a yellow card for a foul just outside the 18 yard area wide on the Hendon right. The free kick was overhit resulting in a couple of throws in along the Parkway right around halfway. A Hendon arm appeared to be raised, a multi player melee then ensued with the eventual outcome seeing the visitor’s Daniel Matsuzaka shown a straight red card with his team mate Lucas Perry along with Crago both shown yellow. 

An entertaining half with Parkway generally in control, dominating possession, forcing errors from the visitors, looking solid at the back, creating the clearer chances and benefiting from a slice of good fortune for the second goal.

Parkway started the second half in the same vein creating early pressure with Hendon’s Niko Muir-Merchant seeing yellow after a foul in the 49th minute. Despite being down to 10 men, the visitors continued to compete well and created a good opportunity on 50 minutes with Kinali shooting across goal and narrowly wide. Parkway made their first change on 54 minutes with Wright replacing the industrious Hall.

On 56 minutes a Hendon free kick wide on the left saw Halls head clear with the Plymouth Argyle loanee looking strong and competent in the air winning a number of aerial challenges. Hendon’s second change on 56 minutes saw Bagname Keita replace Muir-Merchant. Hendon continued to battle well and look for a way back into the game and on the hour good link up play down their left ended with a shot on target being blocked and cleared by Down.

Parkway gradually began to regain control of midfield, stretching the visitors and on 61 minutes a free kick from around 35 yards by Garside was fumbled by Kerbey with Halls just unable to reach the loosed ball.

On 65 minutes a flowing move along the left with Lane, Williams, and Wright exchanging a series of passes saw Lane’s dangerous cross reach Garside who worked an opening but mishit his shot from around 15 yards which was comfortably gathered by Kerbey. Hendon continued to mount the occasional counter attack and on 66 minutes won a free kick on the left which was cleared, recycled and a header easily gathered by Parkes. Parkway then broke clear with Crago getting beyond the last defender and dragging his shot narrowly wide when well placed.

On 69 minutes another pivotal moment in the game saw the visitors reduced to 9 men with, for the second successive season, having their goalkeeper dismissed. A long ball deep into the Hendon half saw Crago again race clear into the 18 yard area with his poor first touch taking him away from goal with the advancing Kerbey adjudged to have clipped Crago who went to ground.

The referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty with the keeper arguably rather unfortunate to receive a straight red card. With no substitute goalkeeper on the bench, the visiting captain Joe White went in goal and his first task was to retrieve the ball from the back of the net after Lane had slotted away his second penalty of the game. Parkway immediately replaced the hard working Crago with Dylan Jones with Will Dupray coming on for Riley-Snow for Hendon.

With victory virtually ensured, the tempo of the game dropped with the visitors now intent on damage limitation launching the occasional counter attack with Parkway dominating and controlling possession at their own pace. Parkway made their final change on 77 minutes with Alfie Moulden replacing Wilson who in his second game back after a lengthy injury layoff had once again put in an impressive shift in his defensive midfield role. On 80 minutes Moulden cut inside from the right firing narrowly wide as Parkway continued to apply pressure creating a couple of half chances with White making some important saves. With the game gradually petering out and Parkway continuing to press in the 7 minutes of added time, Belsten and Purrington combined well along the right to set up Jones whose shot on the turn from around 20 yards was pushed away by White.

The final action saw a through ball from Belsten pick out Jones who went clear along the right with his angled strike across the goal going narrowly wide of the far post as Parkway coasted home to a deserved win.

A much improved performance from Parkway with virtually their strongest squad available for the first time this season with players returning from injury and suspension. Despite playing against 10 men for all the second half and 9 for the last 20 minutes, Parkway showed the necessary desire and determination when against a full complement in the first half to establish a 2 goal lead which they rarely looked like relinquishing. An encouraging display to earn their first 3 points of the season, 2 more than at the same stage last season, which sees them climb from the foot of the table to 17th at this very early stage. However the team is still a work in progress and much hard work will be required to build and improve on today’s performance.

The second game of the double header weekend on Monday sees Parkway travel to their nearest away game of the season, a mere 134 mile round trip, to Devon neighbours Tiverton Town. Tiverton have made a solid start to the season and lie 11th with 7 points after 2 wins, a draw and 2 defeats including a 3-2 victory at Beaconsfield Town today with former Parkway striker Tom Bath bagging 2 goals. A tough local derby is envisaged.


Match Info


Plymouth Parkway

1 Parkes, 2 Belsten, 3 Lane (capt), 4 Wilson (Moulden 77), 5 Halls, 6 Down, 7 Williams, 8 Purrington, 9 Crago (Jones 72), 10 Garside, 11 Hall (Wright 54)


12 Moulden, 14 Goulty (unused), 15 Jones, 16 Richards (unused), 17 Wright


1 Kerbey (red card 69), 2 Adenola, 3 Perry, 4 Riley-Snow (Dupray 72), 5 Diedhiou, 6 Matsuzaka (Red card 45+4), 7 Light (Kinali 26), 8 Leonard, 9 White (capt), 10 Muir-Merchant (Keita 57), 11 Bin-Semakula


12 Kinali, 14 Lucien (unused), 15 Allinson-Stalham (unused), 16 Keita, 17 Dupray

Attendance 332.

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