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FT: Keynsham Town 0
Plymouth Parkway 3 (Carter 15 pen, 43, M. Williams 49)


Travelling for the first time on their recently acquired customised club coach, Parkway made the rearranged midweek trip to Keynsham Town knowing a victory would see them return to the top of the league on goal difference. With Ryan Lane,Craig Duff and Nick Milton returning from suspension, Parkway had virtually a full squad available and made 3 changes from Saturday’s victory over Brislington. Lane, Duff and Ryan Guppy made the starting line up replacing captain Shane Krac, Jordan Copp and Jamie Lowry. Krac, Copp and Milton were amongst those on a full bench with Jack Calver still carrying a minor niggle not risked. Rob Farkins took over the captains arm band.


With light rain falling, the game got off to a lively start with the hosts looking to play a more direct style on the 3G surface and had the first chance of the game on 12 minutes with a free kick from 25 yards just clearing the bar. With Parkway adapting well to the surface and starting to move the ball at pace, their first chance came on 14 minutes with Teigan Rosenquest making a good run with his shot being well saved by Ash Clark with Carter pouncing on the rebound and the keeper blocking the follow up effort. Parkway took the lead in their next attack. A fine ball from Farkins to Rosenquest wide on the left saw him cut into the penalty area only to be brought down by keeper Clark who received a yellow card. Carter stepped up to take his second penalty in successive matches and despite Clark getting a hand to the ball he was unable to complete the save. The game developed into an open affair with contrasting styles as Parkway looked to play a fast moving passing game through midfield and the hosts looking to play more direct with a series of long diagonal balls to Craig Wilson and Jamie Noble on the flanks. On 18 minutes Wilson made a strong run along the left with his dangerous cross being well defended. With Lane and Rosenquest showing good energy and playing at a high tempo, they combined well on 20 minutes to create a chance for Mikey Williams who’s well placed shot was well saved by Clark. Wilson then made a strong break along the left with his shot from 20 yards being pushed behind by Kyle Moore. A period of Keynsham pressure then saw Noble hit the side netting after a pacey run down the right.


Parkway continued to move the ball at pace with Lane and Rosenquest prominent as they looked to increase their lead. Keynsham continued to play on the counter and after Parkway had needlessly conceded possession 30 yards from goal another shot from distance went just wide. Clark was forced into action again on 29 minutes making a good save low down at his near post from a Lane shot. With the Parkway defensive unit looking solid and well organised and their midfield pressing high, Keynsham were being restricted to long range efforts with Matt Long firing just wide on the half hour. Williams and Carter then combined well on 32 minutes with Carter’s close range strike being blocked before play switched to the other end forcing Moore into a terrific save from a Matt Brown shot from distance. Parkway continued to threaten with the busy Billy Palfrey seeing his free kick easily saved by Clark on 40 minutes. With Parkway continuing to apply pressure they increased their lead on 43 minutes with a superb passage of play. Another precision cross field ball from Farkins found Williams wide on the left who showed excellent control, balance and pace to evade 3 or 4 challenges and slide a perfect ball into the alert Carter who got ahead of his marker to cleverly slot home at the near post. A good end to the half for Parkway with the second goal just reward for their slick, at times outstanding, approach play which had the hosts on the back foot for much of the period.


Parkway started the second half sharply and increased their lead further on 49 minutes. Duff’s persistence wide on the right saw him win the ball from a hesitant defender and play the ball to the edge of the 18 yard area where Williams showing good awareness and quick feet, smartly shifted the ball to his right foot curling a low shot into the bottom corner giving Clark no chance. The game took a decisive twist on 51 minutes. The irrepressible Rosenquest was brought down in midfield around the halfway line and from the ensuing melee the hosts Adey Harvey was shown a straight red card for raising an arm to Rosenquest with Duff and George Rooke receiving yellow cards for their involvement. Once order had been restored, Parkway continued to dominate possession playing at a high tempo and with good energy with the hosts rarely looking threatening and being forced to defend deeper. Krac replaced the ever efficient Palfrey around the hour mark as the tempo began to drop with Parkway looking to conserve energy and retain possession. Another good Parkway move along the left on 68 minutes saw Guppy fire just over with Cam Ricketts replacing Jamie Noble shortly after for the hosts. Rosenquest almost got the goal his performance deserved on 72 minutes with his shot being blocked close in after good approach play between himself and Williams. Parkway made their final substitutions on 75 minutes with the impressive duo of Lane and Mikey Williams being replaced by Copp and Fletcher Williams. Carter almost completed his hattrick when a stray back pass found him on his own in the 18 yard area with Clark denying him the opportunity as he tried to round the keeper.


With Parkway looking comfortable in possession and composed in defence, the game took another dramatic turn on 77 minutes with the hosts being reduced to 8 men for almost the remainder of the game. A strong run down the right by Aaron Bentley saw him clearly tripped from behind by Rooke who promptly received his second yellow card with the Keynsham captain Mike Grist being sent to the sin bin for remarks made to the officials. Keynsham now put everyone behind the ball as Parkway slowed the game right down, kept possession and continued to conserve energy and see the game out which they did with comfortably.


The victory sees them go back to the top of the table with an improved goal difference from Bradford Town aided by their first clean sheet in seven games. Arguably their best performance for some time with an accomplished, competent, disciplined display on an all weather surface which clearly suited their style of play. Goals at crucial times just before and after the break effectively sealed the game. Parkway can now approach their 4th round FA Vase tie at Woodbridge Town on Saturday in good spirits with an injury and suspension free squad. Despite one or two minor teething issues with the coach, it was a delighted group of players, officials and supporters who arrived back at Bolitho Park at around 2 a.m. and who are now no doubt looking forward to 1030 on Friday morning when they set off on the long journey to Suffolk.


Many thanks Graham, early night tonight me thinks

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