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FT: Plymouth Parkway 3 (A. Bentley 13, Carter 56, 75 pen)
Brislington 1 (N. Plummer 25)


A decent crowd of 212 were in attendance as Parkway entertained Brislington looking to maintain their challenge towards the top of the league. They made 3 changes from last week’s victory at Westbury with new signing Jordan Bentley replacing the suspended Nick Milton in central defence and Jamie Lowry and Teigan Rosenquest starting in midfield in place of Jack Calver and Michael Landricombe.


Parkway made a sharp start and almost took the lead on 4 minutes. A good interchange between Lowry and Rosenquest set up Billy Palfrey whose angled shot came off the inside of the post and rolled along the line before being cleared to safety. With Brislington packing the midfield area and defending deep, Parkway were forced to work hard to create openings with the impressive Lowry well supported by Shane Krac and Palfrey in central midfield seeing plenty of the ball with Rosenquest and Mikey Williams lively on the flanks. On 10 minutes good play between Lowry and Adam Carter set up Williams who fired just wide. Parkway’s early pressure paid off as they took the lead on 13 minutes. A corner from the right deep to the far post found Aaron Bentley rising the highest to squeeze a header into the top corner.


Parkway continued to threaten with more good approach play from Krac ending with a header by Carter being blocked with Ben Payter in the visitors goal saving well from Williams follow up shot on 16 minutes. On 22 minutes a penetrating move along the right with Lowry and Williams prominent saw the ball laid back to Krac who fired over from 25 yards. Little had been seen of the visitors as an attacking force with Neikell Plummer looking isolated up front and it was somewhat of surprise when they drew level on 25 minutes with arguably their first meaningful attack. A free kick wide on the right was poorly defended with the ball being recycled and delivered back into the danger area with more hesitant Parkway defending allowing Plummer to react quickest to the loose ball, hooking home from close range. Parkway continued to dominate possession in trying to build from the back however Brislington were defending strongly and pressing hard in midfield denying Parkway time on the ball to create too many openings or clear chances. Despite their final ball sometimes lacking quality against a well organised Brislington defence and a lack of composure at key times, Parkway continued to be patient in their build up with Carter firing high and wide on 43 minutes. The final action of the half saw a mazy run and powerful shot from Williams being superbly saved by Payter. A half generally dominated by Parkway with Brislington proving hard to break down and defending strongly and doing well to go into the break on level terms.


Parkway started the second half at a high tempo and a flowing move on 49 minutes between Krac, Williams and Rosenquest ended with a Palfrey snap shot from 18 yards being palmed over by Payter. From the corner a Jordan Bentley shot from around 20 yards was deflected over shortly before another Palfrey effort was deflected wide as the visitors came under increasing pressure. With the hard working Carter continuing to cause problems with his strength and clever link up play, his persistence eventually paid off on 54 minutes when he was clattered in the penalty area by Payter who received a yellow card. However the keeper quickly redeemed himself by guessing correctly and diving the right way to save Jordan Copp’s spot kick. Parkway were not to be denied for long and they retook the lead on 56 minutes. Determined work and persistence by Krac on the left saw him pinch the ball from a defender, drive to the bye line and lay the ball back to the predatory Carter who slotted home from close range.


Parkway continued to dictate play and another penetrating run towards the 18 yard area on the hour by Williams was halted by a blatant shirt pull from Mark Fear who was rightly yellow carded. Brislington continued to battle hard and compete well as they came under increasing pressure but rarely managed to get into the Parkway half. Fear was replaced by Josh Knight on 63 minutes as they looked to introduce fresh legs on the sapping surface. With Williams a constant threat with his direct running and good close control, he laid the ball into Krac who linked well with Carter whose shot on the turn from 15 yards was deflected wide for another corner. With the Parkway full backs now being given more time and space to push forward, a telling run and cross from Aaron Bentley was deflected for a corner by a tiring Brislingon defence. With Parkway continuing to dominate and show patience and persistence, more good work by Williams found Carter in the 18 yard area and his clever lay off saw Krac pull a shot agonisingly wide of the far post.


On 75 minutes Parkway were awarded their second penalty, hotly disputed by the visitors. A strong, determined run into the penalty area from deep by the increasingly influential Krac saw him brought down some 10 yards from goal with this time Carter stepping up to take the spot kick calmly sending Payter the wrong way to extend the Parkway lead. Daniel Adams then replaced Mike Rimmer for Brislington with Fletcher Williams coming on for the quietly efficient, neat and tidy Palfrey who had contributed well in the congested midfield. With Brislington offering little up front Parkway continued to press with Rosenquest showing good skill to work his way in from the left with his stinging shot being deflected on 82 minutes. Krac, who had put in an excellent second half performance, was replaced by recent acquisition Francis Rowlands on 86 minutes as Parkway looked to see the game out. Entering stoppage time another penetrating run from Rosenquest saw his fine strike superbly tipped over by Payter, one of his many terrific saves of the afternoon.


A hard working, gritty Parkway performance who had to show patience and perseverance to break down a dogged and spirited Brislington who defended resolutely throughout whilst rarely putting the Parkway defence under pressure or testing Kyle Moore. With leaders Bradford Town defeating bottom club Odd Down (Bath) 4-0, Parkway remain in second place 3 points behind with a game in hand. Exmouth moved menacingly into third place 3 points behind Parkway also with a game in hand after a 2-0 home victory over Bitton. Parkway have the opportunity to go top on Tuesday should they win at the unpredictable Keynsham Town on their 3G pitch before embarking on the cross country 325 mile trek to Suffolk next weekend for the 4th round (last 32) FA Vase tie with Eastern Counties League side Woodbridge Town.

As always many thanks to Graham for his report. 


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