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FT: Exmouth Town 4 (Lever 15, Harris pen 18, Steer 74, 83)
Plymouth Parkway 1 (Costa 7)

                                                                                                 HOLDERS PARKWAY EXIT LES PHILLIPS LEAGUE CUP AT FIRST HURDLE

Parkway travelled to Exmouth Town in the twice previously postponed 1st Round tie of the Les Phillips League Cup, a trophy of which they are the holders. A much changed Parkway side from that which defeated Hamworthy United in Saturday’s FA Vase saw 5 changes with 6 regular first team starters either unavailable or named as substitutes.


The game got off to an explosive start with both keepers called into action in the first 2 minutes with Robbie Powell saving from Ryan Lane and then Kyle Moore in the Parkway goal also forced into a fine save. Exmouth made the early running looking the more dangerous with Parkway captain Rob Farkins picking up a yellow card for a foul on 4 minutes. Parkway then grabbed the initiative forcing a couple of corners with Ben McLvaney seeing his shot cleared off the line before Parkway took the lead on 7 minutes. A good passage of play along the right saw the ball played into Antonio Costa who shot home low into the far corner from around 20 yards through a crowd of players. Play continued in a frenetic manner on a bobbly surface with both defences coming under pressure. Exmouth equalised on 15 minutes with Mark Lever firing home from around 18 yards after Parkway had failed to clear their lines. The game then took a decisive turn on 18 minutes. Exmouth were awarded a contentious penalty for handball by Farkins with the ball striking his arm in a crowded penalty area whilst he was on the ground. Subsequent comments to the referee by Farkins saw him receive his second yellow card reducing Parkway to 10 men. Harris fired home the spot kick giving Moore no chance.


With Parkway forced to reorganise, the game developed into a more cagey affair with neither side able to dominate with Parkway having their fair share of possession and looking to play through midfield and Exmouth looking to be more direct. Despite Lane, Teigan Rosenquest and Kieran Dyer working hard in midfield, they were unable to create too many chances with the Exmouth defence looking comfortable. A good passage of play along the left by Parkway on 24 minutes ended with Lane ballooning a shot high and wide when well placed. Exmouth continued to look threatening down their right flank but the Parkway defence held firm with Moore rarely being called into action. A series of free kicks awarded for petty infringements from both sides continued to break up play with neither side able to create any momentum or further clear chances. Despite being a man down, Parkway continued to stay in the game, defended solidly and worked hard in midfield with a good share of possession but were unable to break down the host’s resolute defence.


Parkway made a good start to the second half with a neat passage of play down the left between Jack Calver and Costa seeing Calver's powerful shot being saved at the near post by Powell. Exmouth’s Callum Shipton then saw yellow on 55 minutes as play generally lacked too much quality with both defences remaining on top and few chances being created by either side. On the hour Parkway were reduced to 9 men with Copp being sent to the sin bin for remarks made to the referee. Things got much worse for Parkway 4 minutes later when they were reduced to 8 men. After consultation with her assistant, the referee showed a straight red card to Craig Duff for an apparent off the ball incident. With Parkway now putting everyone behind the ball and offering little attacking threat, they looked to contain Exmouth who, despite their superiority in numbers, were unable to increase their lead. A good save by Moore on 68 minutes kept the score at 2-1 as Parkway continued to battle well to try and stay in the game. On 72 minutes Parkway introduced what turned out to be their only replacement of the game with Billy Palfrey coming on for the tiring Costa with the hosts replacing Lever with Adam Bilcock at the same time.


With Copp rejoining the game on 70 minutes and Parkway back up to 9 men, they looked to go more on the attack but fell further behind on 74 minutes. A routine back pass to Moore saw the keeper lose control and possession on the bumpy surface with Ben Steer nicking the ball and steering, how else, the ball home from a narrow angle into an unguarded net. With spaces now opening up all over the pitch and Parkway tiring, on 77 minutes Harris was put clean through but fired over from around 20 yards. With Parkway now offering little attacking threat and looking at damage limitation, they went further behind on 83 minutes with Steer breaking clear on the right unchallenged and shooting home across the exposed Moore. Exmouth brought on their final 2 substitutions on 85 and 88 minutes as the game seemed to be meandering to it’s conclusion. However there was to be one final twist. The game finished as explosively as it had started when, well into stoppage time and the game lost for Parkway, a reckless, unnecessary challenge by Lane in front of the dugouts sparked an unsavoury melee involving players and officials from both sides. Once the dust had settled and order restored, Lane was shown a straight red card and the final whistle blown with no further play taking place.


A miserable night for Parkway with the pivotal moment probably being the early sending off of Farkins. Despite this, they continued to hold their own for much of the game with 10 men but, irrespective of their perceived performance of the referee, further acts of individual indiscipline ultimately cost them the game in the last 20 minutes against a strong, well organised Exmouth side. The upcoming league encounter at Exmouth on 21 December could be an interesting affair. The sendings off and knock on effect of the inevitable suspensions will undoubtedly now have an impact on the remainder of a busy December schedule. Parkway are back in league action on Saturday when Bridport are the visitors to Bolitho Park when it is envisaged a stronger squad will be available and they will look to regroup and regain their composure as they continue to challenge for league honours.

Well done Graham Lloyd for compiling this report in time for breakfast


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Terrible night for Parkway, defence of the Les Phillips Cup fell at the first hurdle and gave a big boost to Exmouth (a team that look like they will be in the final mix for promotion places). All three red cards (and sin binning) resulting from ill discipline, something which I thought had been left behind this season. Assume they'll be three match bans for Duff and Lane as well which, added to the one match suspension for Farkins, will , as Graham said, have repercussions beyond this game in a crowded December fixture list.

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First of all, a great report very accurate and saves me doing one on the Exmouth Town thread.

It was good to see the Parkway faithful at Southern Road last night helping to get a healthy attendance of 146.

I thought it was a case of indiscipline that cost Parkway  last night even when Parkway were down to 10 there was nothing in the game.

I know Parkway for what ever reason had changes to there team last night ,but Town had a few out as well ,so it just shows playing twice a week you need to have a decent squad to choose from . 


Looking forward to hosting you guys again on December 21st in the League, UTT

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