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Match reports for Gloucester City

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Match report courtesy of Parkways Own Sports Reporter (POSR) Mr. Graham Lloyd


FT: Gloucester City 3 (Robert 17 secs, H Williams 62, Jackson 79) Plymouth Parkway 1 (Carter pen 2)

Parkway travelled to Evesham, the current home of National League South (step 2) Gloucester City, in the 2nd Round Qualifying of the Emirates FA Cup. Amongst the crowd of 349 was a large contingent of Parkway supporters who had travelled in 2 coaches along with those who had made their own way. Gloucester gave a debut to Fabien Robert signed a couple of days earlier on loan from Forest Green Rovers. Robert, a former member of the French U21 squad, had previous league experience with Doncaster Rovers, Swindon Town and Aldershot.

The game got off to an explosive start with Parkway conceding possession from their kick off and the ball falling to Robert who cut inside from the left and fired into the top corner past the startled Kyle Moore with the goal timed at 17 seconds!! To their credit Parkway quickly regrouped and from their first attack on 2 minutes Mikey Williams drove into the box, was tripped and Adam Carter comfortably despatched the penalty.

After such a start the game settled into a pattern with Gloucester looking the more assured in midfield and pacy down both flanks. With Jamie Edge and Chris Knowles having plenty of the ball in midfield Parkway were forced on to the back foot but defended solidly with central defenders Rob Farkins and Nick Milton coping well under pressure. Parkway were unable to offer much of a threat up front with Gloucester continuing to dominate and play neat pass and move football forcing Moore into a smart save on 20 minutes. Parkway continued to compete well but had a let off on 25 minutes when an audacious lob from 25 yards by Joe Parker bounced off the top of the bar with Moore frantically back pedalling.

Parkway tweaked their formation slightly with Stewart Yetton dropping deeper to match the Gloucester diamond formation. With Robert and Jamal Lawrence providing pace and width, Parkway continued to come under pressure however a Mike Smith run down the right on 25 minutes saw his cross fly across the 6 yard box and cleared to safety. Gloucester forced a couple of corners around the half hour one of which saw Moore punch clear under pressure and appearing to pick up a knock when being bundled to the ground. Parkway created a chance on 38 minutes when, after a good tackle by Ryan Lane he surged forward down the left, played a neat one two with Carter to release Smith with the the Gloucester keeper Matt Yates just beating Smith to the ball. Joe Hanks then saw a snap shot just clear the Parkway bar as Gloucester generally remained in control.

Parkway had their best spell towards the end of the half with Lane and Williams causing Gloucester problems down their right with Edge receiving a yellow card on 44 minutes after halting another Williams run forward. After the excitement of the first 2 minutes, the game ebbed and flowed with Gloucester looking the more assured in possession and creating the better chances. Parkway however held their own, competed well and defended strongly but the Gloucester defence also looked comfortable with Yates rarely being tested. Harry Williams replaced Knowles at half time with Parker moving to the right flank.

Gloucester created the first chance of the second half on 50 minutes with Aaron Bentley, under pressure, hooking a deep cross behind for a corner followed closely by another Gloucester shot just off target. Yetton then fired well over from distance before Jack Deadman headed just over from a Gloucester corner on 58 minutes. On the hour another powerful run forward from Mikey Williams saw him curl a low effort on target which was pushed behind by Yates. With the impressive young Gloucester left back Noah Smerdon becoming more influential going forward, Gloucester regained the lead on 62 minutes. A long diagonal ball from Robert found Parker on the right who crossed from the bye line with Moore superbly blocking the first shot only for the ball to drop kindly to Harry Williams who fired into the roof of the net from close range.

Parkway immediately replaced Smith with Tiegan Rosanquest. Parker continued to threaten down the right with Gloucester replacing Lawrence with Jake Jackson on 70 minutes. Ben Joyce shot over from distance before good link up play between Yetton and Carter saw Yetton fire narrowly over on 71 minutes. Carter then headed over from a Bentley cross on 73 minutes as Parkway pushed for an equaliser. A crucial tackle from Smerdon then prevented Yetton getting a shot away as Parkway applied more pressure. A Mikey Williams free kick from 25 yards just cleared the bar before Gloucester broke on 79 minutes and got their third goal. With Parkway now playing a higher line and pushing forward, space was opening up in midfield and a long ball saw substitute Jackson stay just onside, race clear of a tiring defence unchallenged and calmly sidefoot wide of Moore from around 18 yards.

Farkins then picked up a yellow card on 82 minutes with Sam Hillson replacing Christian Pople who as usual had worked tirelessly throughout in the congested and competitive midfield area. Moore then pulled off yet another excellent save from Robert before Parkway's final chance saw Carter's shot saved by Yates on 88 minutes as this season's FA Cup adventure finally ended.

Whilst disappointing to go out, the team were not disgraced and the players all acquitted themselves very well against a side from 3 leagues higher. In a game of fine margins, clinical finishing proved to be the difference with both Gloucester substitutes scoring. It should not be forgotten that Parkway created history by reaching the 2nd round qualifying for the first time ever in their short 30 year history including beating two teams from a higher league on the way. In addition, the club's bank balance has been considerably enhanced.

The action now returns to the bread and butter of the Western league on Saturday with a visit to Hengrove, who Parkway have already beaten 5-1 in the FA Cup this season. They then travel to the same locality next Tuesday when they visit Bitton, who have a 100 per cent league record, in a rearranged Les Phillips League Cup tie. It would be nice to have a home game soon!!


And from the TSWL Website....

September 23
FA Cup 2nd Qual Rd

Two goals in the last half hour finally did for Plymouth Parkway on Sunday afternoon after an epic battle where the Western Leaguers more than held their own with the National League South hosts in the FA Cup second qualifying round writes Kerry Miller.

It was cruel on the visitors who made the 350 mile round trip to the Tigers’ temporary home at Evesham United with the real possibility of an upset and remarkably were level at 1-1 within 90 seconds of the kick-off. In the end it came down to City managing the blustery elements better with Parkway unable to utilise the strong wind sufficiently in the second half.

The game got off to a remarkable start as within 17 seconds, debutant Fabien Robert received the ball on the left and jinked in before driving an unstoppable curling drive over Kyle Moore for the lead. The former French U20 international is on loan from Forest Green Rovers and in the programme notes the club were hoping that he provided a few goals during his month long spell and he was not about to disappoint them. Parkway responded immediately and from the restart Mikey Williams’ pace was too much for Sam Avery and he was brought down in the area, Adam Carter dispatching the penalty with little fuss.

Robert was having fun in the centre of the park but Parkway were not there to make up the numbers and Mike Smith, Williams and Ben Joyce were all battling and showing well. Moore saved with difficulty from Jamal Lawrence who showed some searing pace when given the chance and Gloucester were using the long early ball with the wind with good effect although the defence, with Nick Milton, Christian Pople and Rob Farkins were magnificent. Stewart Yetton was just denied after the City defence was caught in possession then at the other end Joe Hanks’ flick was just tipped away by Moore as the action went from end to end. City should have taken the lead around the half hour when Robert’s first time pass sent Joe Parker free and with only Moore to beat his lob found the top of the bar for what could have been a very costly miss. Smith was having plenty of success against young full back Noah Smerdon who struggled for pace but the England Youth International looked good going forward and improved as the game wore on. Ryan Lane then went on a 60 yard run and found Smith but keeper Matt Yates just did enough before Williams and Yetton combined only to find the side netting.

City had the last chance of the half but Hanks blasted over from a good position and after some lengthy treatment for Williams the teams went in all square.

Parkway had enjoyed a fine spell but Gloucester are used to coping with the windswept and open Jubilee Stadium and with the breeze against them looked more comfortable. Parker and substitute Harry Williams went close then Moore saved well from Parker’s curling corner but a goal was looking on the cards and it arrived just past the hour. Parker had taken over the role from Robert who had faded from the game and his shot was parried by Moore only for Williams to hammer the loose ball home for the lead. Parkway were not done and Carter grafted for Joyce to sky a good chance then Carter’s fine first touch to a ball over the top set up Yetton but he shot over. Williams then wasted a free-kick from a good position before City wrapped it up on 79 minutes. Substitute Jake Jackson beat the offside trap and tucked away the chance to make it 3-1 and give his side another home tie with Dorking Wanderers in the next round.

Parkway can look back on how they refused to give up and more than held their own and can now return to the quest for the league and the FA Vase, where they next go to old rivals St Austell on October 13



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