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FT:                                                                               Plymouth Parkway 4 - 2 Bradford Town  

                                                        (Bentley 7,13, Carter 36, Williams 83)      (Hailston 15, Cottle 30)

Despite heavy rain over the last 48 hours the game went ahead in front of a crowd of 146 which included a sizeable number of visiting supporters. Parkway made 3 changes from their midweek league cup victory and included their 3 new signings in the squad with Jordan Annear starting up front, Les Afful on the left of midfield and Jamie Lowry on the bench.

Being remembrance weekend, prior the kick off, the Exhortation was recited over the PA, and an impeccable minutes silence was observed.Bradford carried out their customary tradition of presenting a poppy wreath to their opponents on this weekend. A classy touch. The wreath will be laid at the Naval War Memorial on Plymouth Hoe on Remembrance Sunday by 2 ex Royal Navy personnel closely connected with Parkway.

Parkway made the early running, forcing a couple of corners and took the lead on 7 minutes. An exchange of passes between Afful and Shane Krac on the left saw the ball crossed into Adam Carter whose header reached full back Aaron Bentley who bundled home at the far post. Parkway continued to take the attack to Bradford with a Bentley shot being pushed behind by Adam Forster on 11 minutes. The resultant corner was headed just over by Carter. With Bradford playing with just one up front ,Parkway continued to apply pressure and doubled their lead on 13 minutes. A Krac free kick from deep on the left found Bentley powerfully heading home at the far post for his second goal of the game.

With virtually their first meaningful attack Bradford hit straight back to reduce the arrears. A testing free kick from the right was swung across to the far post where Will Hailston stole in to glance home from close range. Bradford gradually forced their way back into the game with a period in possession with captain Martin Lenihan becoming more influential in midfield. On 26 minutes Parkway's Rob Farkins, returning from captaining the British Army side and scoring on Thursday, almost repeated that effort but his header flew narrowly over. With Bradford continuing to look dangerous on the break, Matt Morris then had a shot well saved by Kyle Moore. Another Farkins header was then scrambled off the line after good build up play down the left.

Bradford drew level on the half hour after a neat passage of play saw Parkway fail to track the midfield runners resulting in Dan Cottle being put through and finishing crisply, angling his shot across Moore from around 10 yards. The lively Hailston then shot just wide as the game continued to flow with both sides moving the ball well on the stodgy surface. Parkway regained the lead on 36 minutes when a powerful run and precise cross from Bentley from the right found Carter rising around the edge of the 6 yard box to curl his header beyond the reach of Forster. The hard working Mikey Williams then went on a mazy run and neat link up play ended with his fierce shot being superbly saved. Bradford ended the half strongly with Parkway now defending in numbers clearing the ball off their line and Cottle firing just over. An entertaining, fairly even half with both sides looking well organised and converting their chances.

The first chance of the second half saw Annear work himself space on the edge of the box but his effort lacked power and was comfortably saved. More good Parkway build play saw Krac set up with his shot going wide as play continued to fluctuate with Christian Pople, the midfield anchor, working hard in breaking up play and rarely wasting a pass. Afful was replaced by Tiegan Rosanquest on 58 minutes with Ashton Shenley replacing Reeko Best for Bradford. Good work on the right by Annear saw his cross headed just over by Carter with Annear himself having a shot well saved on 63 minutes. Bradford continuing to look dangerous then forced a smart save by Moore as the Parkway defence held firm with Nick Milton showing composure under pressure. On 70 minutes the hard working Carter was replaced by the experienced Jamie Lowry who came on to shore up midfield with Parkway leaving Annear as the lone striker. A slip on the slippery surface at the back by Parkway saw Bradford break clear only for a weak cross to be smothered by Moore at the near post. Cottle was replaced by Jacob Sloggett on 76 minutes just prior to Annear almost opening his Parkway account only to lose control at the vital moment when one on one with Forster. Bradford continued to push forward down both flanks but Parkway, showing grit and determination, managed to maintain their slender lead with Lowry showing his experience by reading situations and looking comfortable in possession.

After another period of Bradford pressure had been withstood by solid Parkway defending, they finally regained their 2 goal lead on 83 minutes. A flowing passage of play through midfield with Krac and Williams at the heart of it ended with Williams, under pressure, breaking at pace into the box from the right and curling a sublime shot into the far corner around the despairing keeper. With a 2 goal cushion, Parkway were now content to retain possession high up the pitch to see the game out. Both sides made their final substitutions on 87 minutes with the Krac, who had been heavily involved throughout, being replaced by Sam Hillson and James Rustel on for Charlie Maddison. Parkway now slowed the game down to see it out as Bradford struggled to get out of their own half as the game came to it's conclusion.

A thoroughly entertaining and absorbing game which was in the balance right to the end with both sides contributing equally. Once again hard work, commitment and team spirit coupled with solid defending and midfield creativity were the basis for today's victory. Parkway leapfrog Bradford into 6th place as they continue to attempt to maintain contact with the leaders, still with games in hand with some teams above them. Parkway now have a week to recoup and recover prior to visiting Bridport next Saturday.

Match report by Graham Lloyd

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