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Apologies to those that missed the report .. I did put the thread on last Sunday but it appears I either failed to press submit or it didn’t save before I logged out .. hear goes 

FT: Plymouth Parkway 2 (Carter 12,76)
      Chipping Sodbury Town 3 (Burman 20, Dempsey 41, 
      White 55)

In front of a fair sized crowd of 227, Parkway were looking to get their 11th consecutive win against a Chipping Sodbury side who have had mixed results recently, drawing 0-0 at home on Boxing Day with bottom club Shortwood United giving them their first point of the season. Parkway showed 3 changes from last weeks narrow victory over Hengrove Athletic with Shane Krac returning from suspension replacing Mike Smith, Aaron Bentley replacing Nick Milton in central defence and Jordan Trott coming in for Ryan Lane at left back.

Parkway started the sharper winning a couple of early corners and headers without troubling Tom Sheppard in the Chipping Sodbury goal. The visitors then broke away with a shot from distance going well over. Parkway continued on the offensive with Bentley seeing a shot blocked on 8 minutes followed by an angled effort from wide on the right from Billy Palfrey going narrowly wide. Parkway finally made their early pressure pay and took the lead on 12 minutes. More good work on the right by Palfrey saw his deep cross reach Adam Carter at the far post who rose the highest through a crowd of bodies to head home from close range. On 15 minutes Shane Krac saw his effort from 25 yards fly just over before Chipping Sodbury equalised against the run of play on 20 minutes. A neat midfield exchange found Luke Burman centrally some 25 yards out who, with a clever turn and awareness, created space for himself and fired home low into the corner giving Kyle Moore no chance. Dan Dempsey picked up the first yellow card of the match on 24 minutes for an innocuous looking offence.

Chipping Sodbury gradually came more into the game looking particularly dangerous down their left as Parkway struggled to maintain their earlier superiority. With Sean Keet in commanding form at the back winning everything in the air and Carter and Jordan Annear unable to retain any quality ball in the final third, the game developed into a midfield battle with Chipping Sodbury continuing to grow into the game. Parkway did have the ball in the net from an angled Trott free kick on 27 minutes only to see a flag raised for offside. Carter then had a good chance to increase the lead on the half hour but directed his header wide when well placed. Krac shot just wide on 35 minutes with Chipping Sodbury continuing to look dangerous on the break without testing Moore unduly. They forced a couple of corners on the left and from the second one took the lead on 41 minutes with a close range near post header from Dempsey which may have take a slight deflection on the way in.

Approaching half time Krac made a strong run forward with his strike from 20 yards being deflected wide before Chipping Sodbury forced another couple more corners which were delivered with quality putting the Parkway defence under pressure. The final chance of the half fell to Parkway with Rob Farkins heading just over from a corner on the left. Having started well and being in control for the first 15 minutes, Parkway were guilty of conceding possession too often in midfield, failing to create any clear cut chances and allowed a pacy, quick breaking Chipping Sodbury to dominate play and convert the rare scoring opportunities that came their way.

Parkway made two changes at half time with Smith and Lane replacing Afful and Annear respectively in an attempt to provide more width and pace on the flanks which had been clearly lacking in the first half. This initially had the desired effect as Parkway created a couple of early chances with Trott having a shot deflected behind on 47 minutes and a good passage of play on the left ending with the industrious Christian Pople firing just over from 18 yards on 51 minutes. Chipping Sodbury however continued to look fluent and penetrative in midfield and increased their lead on 55 minutes. A quick break along the left caught the Parkway defence exposed with the ball being crossed to the unmarked Joe White on the right who had time and space to control the ball and drill an angled shot into the far corner from the edge of the 18 yard box.

Chipping Sodbury now came under some pressure with Parkway stretching the play as they tried to force their way back into the game. Smith was causing problems down the right and had a shot bravely blocked on 57 minutes as Keet and Dempsey continued to defend solidly. George Box then probably should have sewn the game up on the hour only to shoot wide when in the clear. Parkway continued to pile on the pressure as another attack saw Pople put Smith through only for his effort to yet again be blocked. . Parkway had further efforts on 65 and 67 minutes as they increased the pressure but all too often their final ball lacked quality as the visitors continued to look strong at the back and dangerous on the break with Burman shooting wide on 66 minutes.

Chipping Sodbury continued to be hard working, organised and aggressive as Parkway poured forward looking to create an opening but failing to breach the solid defence. Tiegan Rosenquest replaced Sam Hillson on 70 minutes as Parkway went to 3 at the back and committed more men forward. Palfrey saw a speculative 40 yard effort easily saved as Parkway's frustration and lack of composure began to creep in. Smith cutting in from the right then had yet another shot blocked on 74 minutes with Chipping Sodbury looking to hit long balls down the channels behind the 3 man defence, forcing another couple of corners. Despite their efforts attacking down the flanks it was a long, route one ball that saw Parkway give themselves a lifeline on 76 minutes. A long punt forward dropped on to the edge of the 18 yard box which saw Carter show strength by muscling his way past the last defender and just beat the onrushing Sheppard to the ball to prod home his second goal of the game.

Trott was then forced into a last ditch block on a White shot as Chipping Sodbury looked to exploit the stretched Parkway back line. James Kenway was then booked for a cyncial shirt pull as Lane attempted to break away with Parkway piling forward. Palfrey pulled a shot just wide before a determined run and cross into the 6 yard box by Rosenquest on 82 minutes resulted in Pople heading narrowly over with the keeper beaten. A clever back heel from close range by Carter hit Sheppard who knew little about it with another shot from Krac being deflected for yet another corner on 85 minutes. From the resultant corner a thumping header from Farkins, who was now playing up front, smacked against the post with everyone beaten and the subsequent rebound being headed just over the bar. A final series of attacks and corners were defended bravely with Sheppard continuing to punch away most balls that came into his zone. The visitors replaced Box with Liam Pullen going into stoppage time as another Carter header just missed the target. Parkway's final chance of snatching a draw came deep into stoppage time when yet another incisive attack found Lane unmarked coming in from the left only for his right footed, close range shot to fizz narrowly wide.

With Parkway throwing everyone forward, the visitors were happy to hit long balls into the wide open spaces deep in Parkway territory as they hung on for a nail biting victory.

A tough game against strong running, pacy, well organised opponents who capitalised on their few chances and defended solidly when required, particularly in the second half. After a bright start, Parkway conceded too much ground and possession in the first half allowing the visitors to control the game for long periods. A formation change and an increase in tempo in the second half just failed to claw the game back which, with more clinical finishing, more composure in the final third and a slice of lady luck, they may well have done. Not for the first time this season they have lost at home by the odd goal having taken an early lead.

Credit though to Chipping Sodbury who belied their 15th place in the league by winning only their 7th game from 23 starts. Parkway remain in 6th place and next Saturday look to get back to winning ways as they travel to 4th placed Clevedon to whom they lost at home in October by the odd goal in 7 having scored first!

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