From Yellow to Red - Parkway stung in final few minutesTiverton Town vs Parkway | Match Report
By Graham Lloyd
Parkway travelled to Tiverton Town for the Devon derby looking for their first away points of the season and hoping to build on Saturday’s 3-0 win over Hendon. One change was made with Matt Wright starting in place of Henry Wilson still gradually returning to full fitness after his lengthy injury lay off.
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Parkway made a dynamic start and almost took the lead on 3 minutes with Wright seeing his close range header superbly blocked by Lewis Williams in the home goal who then reacted sharply with a point blank save from Wright’s follow up shot from the rebound.
Parkway maintained the pressure with Mikey Williams stabbing home from close range on 4 minutes only to be adjudged marginally offside. Play continued at a frenetic pace with Adam Parkes rushing from his goal on 5 minutes to clear a long ball in the Tiverton right hand channel. On 7 minutes a Tiverton free kick from deep was headed on to former Parkway striker Tom Bath whose scuffed shot was easily saved by Parkes.
With Parkway playing with urgency and intensity, they deservedly took the lead on 9 minutes. A free kick played wide to Callum Hall on the right saw his quality cross to the far post headed back across the 6 yard area by Jack Crago with Rio Garside ghosting in to hook home from close range.
Play continued at a frantic pace from end to end and on 13 minutes a Tiverton cross from the right was headed behind for a corner by the imposing Oscar Halls. A perfectly delivered Parkway free kick on 16 minutes found Ryan Lane whose shot from around 18 yards fizzed just wide.
Garside and Tom Purrington then combined well on the left with Purrington’s shot deflected by a defender into the grateful arms of the keeper. Parkway continued play a high tempo game stretching the visitors defence and on 18 minutes Wright did well to retrieve the ball in a tight situation in the corner close to the bye line and lay the ball off to Purrington who set up Garside whose first time shot heading for the top corner was spectacularly tipped over by Williams.
Parkway continued to close down and press in midfield forcing errors from the hosts who were struggling to get a foothold in the game. Connor Salmon looked to be their best outlet having plenty of possession but unable to bring his teammates into the game. On 25 minutes Lane became the first player to be cautioned for a foul, the first of many cautions as it subsequently turned out. On 27 minutes a quick Tiverton break along the right saw the pacey Niall Thompson go clear but quickly get crowded out by some determined Parkway defending with Halls and Toby Down forming a solid central defensive partnership.
Thompson threatened again on 30 minutes volleying an effort narrowly wide after good build up play along the Tiverton left.
With Wright and Crago winning most of the aerial challenges in the final third and bringing the Parkway midfielders into play, it came as no surprise when Parkway doubled their lead on 33 minutes.
Wright laid off a header to Hall and continued his run with Hall crossing to Wright on the left who headed back across the 6 yard area with once again Garside reacting quickset to nod home in an almost carbon copy of the first goal.
Once the celebrations had died down Garside was booked presumably for delaying the restart in line with the FA’s new directives and laws. Seemed harsh. Parkway continued to look the sharper side forcing Tiverton to play on the counter with a cross from the left being confidently gathered by Parkes on 36 minutes.
On 39 minutes good work along the right by Williams saw his cross pick out Hall who shot wide. Salmon continued to look the hosts most threatening player but lacked support in midfield with Parkway looking comfortable in defence with Halls and Down competent and in control when coming under pressure.
Parkway were forced into a substitution on 42 minutes with Joe Belsten pulling up and unable to carry on with Wilson coming on as his replacement probably sooner than the management had intended. On 43 minutes Parkes made arguably his first meaningful save of the half smothering Jack Rice’s effort low down close to his left hand post.
A long clearance in behind the Tiverton defence saw a one on one chase between Hall and the home goalkeeper with Hall seeing yellow for his committed challenge. The final action of the half in the 4 minutes of added time saw Crago and the host’s Louis Morison shown yellow cards for a bit of silliness in the corner as opposed to anything malicious.
An excellent half by Parkway who generally controlled the game from back to front playing probably their best football of season and thoroughly deserving of their lead, creating the clearer chances and defending solidly. The only downside, a couple of unnecessary yellow cards.
Tiverton made a change at the break with Jacob Shore replaced by Jack Veale who was not included on the official team sheet but announced over the PA.
Parkway started the half well with a dangerous cross from the left by Crago headed clear by Jamie Richards. Play went through a scrappy phase and on 49 minutes Parkway were reduced to 10 men with Lane shown a second yellow card after appearing to slip going into a challenge in midfield for his second dismissal in 6 games.
Parkway were forced to adjust their formation with Williams dropping to left back from his more advanced role and Aaron Goulty slotting in at right back replacing Wright who had caused the hosts defence numerous problems with his determined and clever hold up play.
Tiverton began to look the more threatening and on 54 minutes a long ball wide to the left saw the unmarked Thompson’s lobbed effort drift narrowly wide of the far post. Tiverton continued with their patient build up with River Allen showing an astute range of short and long range passing. On the hour another Tiverton attack along the left saw Parkes do well under pressure to comfortably gather the cross.
With Tiverton now the dominant side, on 67 minutes neat build up play on the right saw play switched to the left with Jack Endacott firing a first time angled volley just wide.
With Parkway now being forced to defend in numbers and play on the counter, Purrington did well to make an interception in his own half, surge forward with Hall in support splitting the hosts defence with Hall dragging his shot from around 20 yards agonisingly wide of the right hand post. Allen then saw an effort drift just wide from distance with Tiverton being restricted to long range efforts and Parkes remaining relatively untested.
On 71 minutes the dangerous Salmon fired just wide from around 18 yards with Mikey Williams then seeing yellow for presumably delaying the restart by being too slow to take a throw in.
Allen then saw yellow shortly after for reasons unknown. The game took a further twist on 74 minutes. With Parkway waiting to take a free a free kick on the left, a Tiverton player went to ground in the 18 yard area followed by vigorous appeals from a few home players. After consulting with his assistant, who appeared to be further away from the incident, the referee cautioned Crago for a second time reducing Parkway to 9 men.
With Parkway now forced to get everyone behind the ball and concentrate fully on defending, on 76 minutes a superb covering tackle by Hall in his own half saw him race forward only to be bundled over midway in the Tiverton half with Purrington’s free kick coming to nothing and another yellow card for Tiverton.
With Tiverton now applying constant pressure and Parkway continuing to defend manfully, Parkes still remained relatively untested other than dealing competently with high balls from a series of crosses.
On 80 minutes Thompson fired well wide after cutting in from the right as Parkway continued to hold on. Alfie Moulden replaced the tireless Hall on 82 minutes with Parkway countering occasionally and looking to head for the corners and retain possession whenever possible. On 84 minutes the elusive Salmon fired wide from around 25 yards with Bath shooting wildly over from around 8 yards when well placed in Tiverton’s next attack.
On 87 minutes Moulden and Garside linked well along the left managing to force a corner which was easily dealt with by the Tiverton defence.
Approaching 90 minutes Allen shot wide for the hosts with 7 minutes added time then being indicated. In the first of those the Tiverton pressure finally paid off as they pulled a goal back with a rising drive from around 20 yards from Carlo Garside through a crowded 18 yard area.
From the restart Parkway looked to retain possession which they briefly managed to do with Moulden releasing Garside who was fouled around 40 yards from the home goal with another Tiverton player being booked.
With time running out Williams made a strong run from deep in his own half to the left hand corner where he was crowded out. With Parkway appealing unsuccessfully for a foul on Williams, Tiverton broke clear in the 6th minute of added time and with Parkway retreating and stretched, the ball was launched into the 18 yard area with Salmon showing quick feet and awareness to create a pocket of space and fire home from around 8 yards with the final whistle coming shortly after the restart.
After being the superior team in the first half and dominating the game, Parkway will be extremely disappointed not to have won with Tiverton eventually taking advantage of the extra men and probably relieved to grab the equaliser at the death. The 2 sendings off undoubtedly affected the course of the game which was understandably highly competitive but by no means a dirty one with hardly a malicious or reckless challenge from either side.
Taking 4 points from the Bank Holiday double header fixtures can be considered a satisfactory return but it so easily could have been 6.
Attention now turns to the 1st Round Qualifying of the FA Cup on Saturday with fellow Southern Premier side Dorchester Town the visitors to Bolitho Park.
Dorchester lie one place ahead of Parkway in the league but only alphabetically with both sides having an identical goal difference and had an eye catching win at Poole Town today with a late goal from either side. The following Saturday sees a return to league action with Hanwell Town the visitors.
1 L. Williams, 2 C. Garside, 3 Endacott, 4 Rice, 5 Richards (capt), 6 Shore (Veale 46), 7 Allen, 8 Morison (Smith 80), 9, Bath, 10 Thompson, 11Salmon.
12 Thomas (unused), 14 Britton (unused), 15 McCue unused?), 16 Smith, 17 Veale, 18 Rogers (unused|?).
1 Parkes, 2 Belsten (Wilson 42), 3 Lane (capt) (2nd yellow 49), 4 Hall (Moulden 82), 5 Halls, 6 Down, 7 M. Williams, 8 Purrington, 9 Crago (2nd yellow 74), 10 R Garside, 17 Wright (Goulty 53).
11 Cairo (unused), 12 Moulden, 14 Goulty, 15 Jones (unused), 16 Wilson,
Attendance: 443 (estimate 60 away).