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FT: Plymouth Parkway 10 (F.Williams 39 secs, 57, Carter 29,
53, 64, M. Williams 12 secs into the 2nd half, 48, Bentley
51, Damerell 78, Copp 86)

Odd Down (Bath) 0

Parkway entertained 6th placed Odd Down for their second league match in 4 days in a potentially tricky fixture knowing a win would take them to the top of the table. For the first time this season the starting 11 was unchanged from the previous game and with manager Lee Hobbs unavailable due to a family commitment, coach Karl Curtis took charge for the day. Jamie Lowry was named amongst the five substitutes.


For the second successive game Parkway got off to the perfect start by going ahead inside the first minute, this time on 39 secs. A smart move along the right released Fletcher Williams whose powerful, angled drive cannoned in off the far post giving him his first goal for the club. Parkway continued to look dangerous in the early stages with Aaron Bentley shooting just wide and a Mikey Williams effort being blocked close in. Odd Down gradually came into the game with Jacob Bird seeing his shot saved low down by Kyle Moore on 9 minutes with the game’s first yellow card shown to Billy Palfrey for a strong challenge on 10 minutes. With Parkway playing at a high tempo and moving the ball at pace through midfield, on 15 minutes Odd Down’s Callum Gould was yellow carded for a foul which halted a promising Parkway attack.


The visitors almost equalised in a breakaway on 16 minutes. A diagonal ball to the left found Reeko Best unmarked with his hooked cross finding Bird in the 6 yard box whose point blank header was superbly pushed one handed at full stretch round the post by Moore. The game now became more even with Connor Biggins becoming more influential in midfield for Odd Down as they continued to play on the break. On 24 minutes a fine overlapping run on the left from Jordan Copp saw his cross find Teigan Rosenquest whose first time shot was blocked with Rosenquest, now having switched to the right, seeing another effort hit the side netting on 26 minutes. Dave Hare then saw yellow after bringing down Copp who had made another penetrating run down the left. With Parkway now getting the upper hand, they increased their lead on 29 minutes. A long ball saw Fletcher Williams, playing in a more advanced role today, chase down and flick the ball over the onrushing Odd Down keeper Liam Jacques from around 12 yards with the ball dropping to the predatory Carter who finished calmly from close range.


With Parkway now firmly in control and their midfielders showing drive and tenacity and the Odd Down defence coming under increasing pressure, further half chances were created on 30 and 32 minutes. Parkway should have forged further ahead on 39 minutes. Another telling ball into the danger area was fumbled by Jacques with the unmarked Carter inexplicably nodding wide from very close range. A rare Odd Down attack on 41 minutes saw them awarded a free kick 25 yards out with a header going well over. Parkway created a couple more chances as the half came to an end with Fletcher Williams shooting over on 42 minutes and a Shane Krac snapshot being superbly saved by the feet of Jacques on 44 minutes. A thoroughly competent, disciplined display from Parkway who defended solidly, were creative and penetrative through their midfield and well worthy of their 2-0 half time lead. However there was little indication of what was to follow in the second half which got off to an even more explosive start than the first.


With many of the 176 in attendance still finishing off their half time pint and pasty, Parkway got their third goal straight from the kick off. A long diagonal ball into the 18 yard area from Bentley saw Carter just glance a header on to the left where Mikey Williams came charging in and rifled a first time shot into the roof of the net with the goal being timed at 12 seconds. On 4 minutes the same player then made another strong run with his shot being superbly saved by Jacques at full stretch. From the resultant corner Odd Down failed to clear with Mikey Williams notching his second by reacting the quickest and turning smartly to hook home from close range. With Parkway now in full flow and Odd Down looking shell shocked, the fifth goal came on 51 minutes. A sharp exchange of passes wide on the right between the tireless Rosenquest and the lively Krac saw Bentley latching on to the loose ball seeing his powerful strike on target sliced in to the roof of the net from on the goal line by an unfortunate defender under pressure from Mikey Williams. Lively post match discussions with your correspondent and the Parkway players involved took place with your scribe opting to credit Bentley with the goal!


With Parkway now looking more threatening with every attack, the sixth goal came on 53 minutes. A mad scramble in the 6 yard box and determined battling by Parkway to keep the ball alive saw Carter eventually slam home from around 6 yards. Carter then blasted wide when well placed after another flowing move. On 57 minutes Parkway got their seventh and arguably best goal of the game so far. Fletcher Williams, having his best game for the club after arriving in the close season, was left free some 35 yards out and without hesitation lashed home a superb strike giving Jacques no chance. The first 12 minutes of the half had produced 5 goals in a remarkable display of attacking football coupled with clinical finishing. Gould was replaced on the hour by Curt Dunn, one of only two named substitutes by the visitors. Parkway continued to pour forward with Krac firing just over on 61 minutes after being set up by Carter just before Parkway replaced the redoubtable Rob Farkins with Will Tinsley. Bentley moved into central defence with Tinsley slotting in at right back. Odd Down did manage a breakout on 63 minutes with a shot from distance being lofted just over. Tinsley’s first contribution to the game on 64 minutes was a trademark long throw deep into the penalty area to Carter who was bundled over by Dariuz Davey. Carter’s unusually feeble spot kick was parried away by Jacques only for Carter to redeem himself and pounce on the rebound to complete yet another hattrick.


Carter, having given the Odd Down defenders a torrid time all game was then replaced by Curtis Damerell with Parkway making their final change on 70 minutes with the hard working and influential Krac being replaced by Antonio Costa. With the visitors now visibly tiring, the changes proved only to enhance the Parkway momentum as on 78 minutes they got their ninth. Another superb, fluent passing move involving Fletcher Williams, Costa and Rosenquest saw the ball laid back to Damerell some 10 yards out with the substitute finishing with an angled drive in a calm, confident, clinical manner for his first goal for the club. Costa and Damerell then combined well to set up Rosenquest who shot was deflected wide by a weary Odd Down defender. On 80 minutes Bentley almost got his second when his forceful header from another corner was superbly tipped over by Jacques. With Parkway continuing to push everyone forward, a rare Odd Down break on 82 minutes saw Dunn shoot well over from 12 yards. Damerell, who had looked very sharp and threatening since coming on, then set up Rosenquest who shot wide. With Odd Down now under constant pressure Davey was booked on 85 minutes for a tired looking challenge centrally some 25 yards from goal. From the resultant free kick Parkway amazingly hit double figures with arguably the best goal of the game, maybe even surpassing Fletcher Williams’ earlier effort. Copp hit a stunning strike into the angle of the top corner which would have beaten any goalkeeper. Parkway almost increased their lead going into stoppage time with a neat exchange between Damerell and Costa, who had both played nice little cameos since coming on, saw the latter fire just over.


After a routine, solid first half display with Odd Down not completely out of it and competing well, the second half saw Parkway in devastating form with a ruthless display of fast moving, fluent attacking footballing which completely overwhelmed the plucky visitors. The game saw them much more clinical in their finishing which had been the missing ingredient in previous games with 6 different players getting on the score sheet today. Defensively they were solid with an unchanged back four providing a firm foundation on which to build their attacking play. The win sees Parkway climb to the top of the table, 3 points clear having played 6 games with a healthy goal difference of plus 23. Regrettably there will be no edited highlights of today’s goalfest as the volunteer videographer Mike Parrish was taking a welcome weekend break away with his family. Hopefully he’ll return to the gantry this week as the games continue to come thick and fast at Stadio Bolitho. Southern League Division 1 (step 4) side Bideford AFC visit on Wednesday in the first round of the Devon St Lukes Challenge Bowl with a 7.45 kick off followed by 10th placed Keynsham Town the visitors in the league next Saturday.

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Excellent as ever Graham. Good to see Fletcher Williams being so influential in the game, and also Curtis Damerell getting on the scoresheet.  Wonder if some of these two , and some of the other fringe players, get starts in the St Lukes Bowl game on Wednesday.

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