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FT: Clevedon Town 1 (Hayer 81)
       Plymouth Parkway 2 (Carter pen 12, Palfrey 26)

Parkway travelled to 4th placed and in form Clevedon looking to halt the hosts impressive run of 7 consecutive victories. The  young Clevedon side had beaten Parkway 4-3 at Bolitho Park earlier in the season and had impressed most present that evening so an exciting game was envisaged.

Parkway made 3 changes from last weeks surprise home defeat including the welcome sight of influential midfielder Mikey Williams returning from injury earlier than anticipated. The game got off to a high tempo, even start and it soon became clear both sides were looking to go on the offensive and play fluent, attacking football. Parkway created an early chance on 5 minutes with a Williams half hit snap shot being saved by Sam Blackiston after good work by Adam Carter had set him up. A Jordan Trott free kick on 10 minutes saw Parkway win a couple of headers in the 6 yard box with Clevedon just managing to clear the danger.

With Tyler Ashmead looking dangerous down the right, Clevedon created their first chance on 11 minutes with the lively Liam Dempsey firing just over. With both sides looking to pass and move the ball swiftly, Parkway took the lead on 12 minutes. Clever midfield play released Ryan Lane who, showing good pace and neat control, drove into the penalty area only to be clumsily bundled over when poised to shoot. Carter stepped up and coolly and confidently clipped home the penalty. With Shane Krac and Billy Palfrey looking sharp and creative in midfield and Christian Pople covering vast areas of the pitch in breaking up play, making vital interceptions and blunting Clevedon attacks,

Parkway gradually grew in confidence as they looked to increase their lead. Clevedon however also continued to look dangerous, particularly on both flanks, with the unmarked Lucas Vowles pulling his shot just wide on 16 minutes. Play continued to flow from end to end with both teams moving the ball around well but both defences also looking solid. Parkway were creating the clearer chances with Krac seeing his 20 yard effort well saved on 19 minutes followed by Lane being sent clear by Krac only to see his delicate chip just failing to beat Blackiston who did well to anticipate Lane's intentions and tip the ball just over the bar. Parkway continued to impress as they gained control of the midfield with Krac curling a superb effort from 20 yards just wide on 24 minutes.

The Parkway defence continued to look solid and resolute restricting Clevedon to a couple of long range efforts with Kyle Moore rarely being tested. Another Parkway move through the midfield area on 26 minutes saw them double their lead. Carter showing good strength, persistence and awareness on the right, held off a couple of challenges and squared the ball to Palfrey who hit an instinctive first time shot into the top corner from around 18 yards. Clevedon quickly regrouped but despite having their fair share of possession, were unable to penetrate the Parkway back line with Rob Farkins and Nick Milton in dominant form ably supported by full backs Trott and Aaron Bentley. On 42 minutes Parkway almost increased their lead from arguably their best passage of play of the game. Starting from the back, the ball was moved swiftly through Pople, Krac and Williams with Lane receiving the ball on the left but pulling his first time effort narrowly wide of the far post with Blackiston beaten. Clevedon's Sam Holden received the first yellow card of the game after scything down Lane as he attempted to race clear down the left. The half ended with Bentley heading over from another well flighted free kick. A thoroughly enthralling half with both sides looking to play neat passing football with Parkway creating the clearer chances and deserving their 2 goal lead with the impressive Clevedon outfit competing well in all areas and still well in the game.

The second half started with Clevedon pushing forward at a high tempo and showing intensity with plenty of possession and having the first shot of the half on 53 minutes which Moore saved at the second attempt. With Clevedon pushing forward, spaces were opening up at the back and on 56 minutes Parkway should have increased their lead. Yet another forceful interception by Pople saw him release Carter who went one on one with keeper only to see his effort smothered and cleared when maybe he should have done better. Palfrey was then sent clear one on one with the keeper with players in support only for Blackiston to bravely block his effort around 10 yards out. Clevedon continued to threaten and on 62 minutes a superbly struck long range shot from Liam Dempsey was pushed round the post at full stretch by Moore, arguably his first meaningful save of the game.

Back came Parkway and on 67 minutes another slick passage of play ended with Lane cutting in from the left only to be thwarted by yet another fine last ditch block by Blackiston. Clevedon remained well in the game with the Parkway defence continuing to hold firm despite conceding a series of corners. Parkway continued to create chances and on 69 minutes Lane saw yet another close range effort blocked followed by a Williams shot across the 6 yard box narrowly clearing the far post. On 70 minutes Clevedon rung the changes with Tom Baker and Alex Camm replacing Elliott Nicholson and Danny Lock respectively.

The replacements gave new impetus to the Clevedon midfield as Parkway were forced to defend deeper and in numbers maybe rueing those earlier missed chances. The hard working Carter, who had been a constant threat playing as the lone striker throughout, was replaced by Jordan Annear on 74 minutes as Clevedon continued to push forward and eventually pulled a goal back on 81 minutes. A long, looping well directed free kick from wide on the right by Syd Camper evaded everyone but found central defender Glen Hayer rising at the far post who glanced home a header from close range.

The final 10 minutes saw Parkway come under increasing pressure with a Clevedon volley flying way over and an Archie Ferris header from a corner also just missing the target. Parkway's defensive qualities now came to the fore with Farkins and Milton outstanding as they withheld a series of Clevedon attacks with Teigan Rosenquest replacing Shane Krac in stoppage time to slow the play down as they looked to see the game out. After dominating much of the game and spurning a host of second half chances,

Parkway ended up hanging on in the final ten minutes for a gritty but ultimately deserved victory against an impressive young Clevedon outfit who on today's display are more than capable of taking points off the teams around them at the top of the league. It was easy to see why they had gone on a run of 7 successive wins. On the day, the quality of the Parkway approach play was unfortunately not matched by clinical finishing and had they taken their chances the margin of victory could and should have been much wider. Credit also to Blakiston who kept his side in the game with a series of vital saves and blocks midway through the 2nd half.

Parkway remain in 6th place, 6 points behind and with 5 games in hand over Clevedon who drop to 5th with the other top 4 teams all winning today. It's back up the A38/M5 on Tuesday with Parkway travelling to face to 1st Division Wells City in the  twice postponed 2nd round Les Phillips League Cup tie.

Many thanks to Graham Lloyd for writing this excellent report 

Now.... I must remember to to hit submit...


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