FT: Ivybridge 1 (Zimmerman 22)
Plymouth Parkway 5 (Smith 8, Farkins 25, Trott 44,
Hilson 72, Lane 81)
Playing their 1st game for almost 3 weeks, Parkway took the short trip up the A38 to Ivybridge to play the rearranged fixture from earlier in the season which was abandoned at half time due to floodlight failure with Parkway leading
4-2. On the bench, Parkway included a couple of youngsters from their reserves, Jack Rhead and Fabian Johnson-Ewers. Good to see for the future of the club. Parkway were quickly into their stride looking particularly dangerous down their left with Luke Durham prominent. A couple of early chances were created with Rob Farkins heading narrowly over. Another neat interchange of passes on the left saw Parkway take the lead on 8 mins with the ball finding it’s way to Mike Smith centrally on the edge of the box. He swivelled smartly and smashed home a shot via the underside of the bar. A well constructed and well taken goal. Parkway continued to press with Ben Joyce, Mikey Williams and Ryan Lane controlling midfield and Smith, Durham and Glyn Hobbs pressuring the Ivybridge defence up front. Another effort then hit a post on 12 mins after more good play down the left. Ivybridge gradually got to the pace of the game and saw an effort deflected for a corner from which they equalised on 22 mins. Slack marking in the Parkway defence saw their former favourite Josh Zimmerman run unmarked from deep and rise unchallenged at the back post to power home a header from around 6 yards. Parkway responded quickly and 3 mins later retook the lead through central defender Farkins who stabbed home from close range after Ivybridge failed to deal with Jordan Trott’s inswinging free kick from the right. This goal was the 20th in the league by a Parkway defender this season (thanks statto Genny Turner)! Parkway continued to dominate, creating numerous further chances and pinning Ivybridge back. On the odd occasion they did manage to get forward, the Parkway defence, with Nick Milton outstanding, dealt comfortably with the sporadic attacks with Kyle Moore in the Parkway goal relatively untroubled. Just before half time Parkway increased their lead. Yet more neat, one touch build up play ended with left back Jordan Trott firing a low, curling shot into at the far corner with his trusty left foot. That’ll be 21 goals from defenders then Genny! The second half took a while to get going with play becoming scrappy, passes going astray, quality lacking and very few chances being created. Ivybridge were competing better and not allowing Parkway as much time and space as they had in the first half. Despite this, Durham cutting in from the left saw his effort parried away with no one following up to collect the rebound. Play now became more even with Ivybridge pressing but the Parkway defence generally remaining in control, happy to absorb pressure and build from the back. Aaron Bentley replaced Durham on 62 mins, slotting in to the right of the back 4 with Sam Hillson moving to centre midfield and Williams going wide left. Trott saw his free kick headed off the line on 71 mins with Parkway further increasing their lead shortly after. Smart play by Hobbs saw him put Hilson clear on the right and he slotted home at the near post from close range. Smith was immediately replaced by Connor Macauley on the right as Parkway regained the ascendency and got their 5th, and arguably best goal of the game on 81 mins. Lane, who had been impressive all game, received the ball just inside the Ivybridge half, twisted away from his marker, showed strength and poise to evade a couple of tackles and finished clinically, pushing his shot wide of the keeper from around 15 yards. A fine individual goal that his performance deserved. Hobbs then went on a trademark strong run, shooting powerfully from around 25 yards with the keeper saving well, pushing the shot over. On 86 mins young Rhead replaced Lane and in his short time on the pitch, showed a couple of promising touches and a bit of pace. The game stuttered to it’s conclusion with Parkway remaining in control and racking up yet another well deserved victory which puts them 20 points clear at the top of the table. A very workmanlike, controlled performance with the second half not quite having the quality of the first, mainly due to an improved showing from Ivybridge and the heavy pitch preventing too much flowing football. The fact that the 5 goals scored were scored by 5 different players and the club and league’s leading scorer was not amongst them underlines the team ethic and non reliance on just one player to score goals.
He did however provide a couple of assists!! Parkway now travel to Cullompton Rangers next Tuesday in the semi final of the Devon Bowl before Camelford, the only team to beat Parkway in the league this season, visit Stadio Bolitho next Saturday.