FT: Plymouth Argyle Reserves 1 (Garside 46)
Plymouth Parkway 3 (Milton 5, Trott 17, 85)
2nd placed Parkway travelled to Coach Road Newton Abbot knowing a win against league leaders Argyle reserves would see them create a new league record of 11 successive wins from the start of a season surpassing the previous record held by themselves and Saltash United. The leagues highest attendance of the season, 379, included Argyle’s first team mangement team and a few familiar faces from local clubs including Saltash, Torpoint, Tavistock, Ivybridge and Callington. Parkway showed 1 change from their last game whilst a youthful Argyle side contained 7 apprentices and not a sign of any first team squad professionals as is sometimes the case. Parkway started the sharper with Glyn Hobbs seeing his snap shot deflected over. From the resultant corner on 5 mins, former Argyle apprentice Jordan Trott’s well delivered corner from the right was flicked on at the near post and found defender Nick Milton who converted from close range at the far post. His 2nd goal in sucessive games. Argyle responded well and saw a shot well saved by Kyle Moore on 9 mins. Argyle gradually got their game going and looked dangerous down both flanks passing and moving the ball well with speed and precision. Parkway matched them and the game developed into an even affair with both sides playing some quality football. Parkway increased their lead on 17 mins from a free kick just outside the box on the right. Trott’s first attempt hit the wall, rebounded back to him and he followed up to finish unerringly with his shot beating the keeper at the near post. Argyle then had a period in the ascendency putting Parkway under pressure but they defended well with Moore producing a couple of outstanding saves. On 26 mins Parkway could have gone further ahead when Mike Smith was brought down in the box after a powerful run had sent him clear, the defender earning a yellow card. Hobbs took the spot kick in his customary manner, however the keeper stood his ground and not only saved the kick but held it as well. Someone had done their homework!! Argyle now became the more dominant side and began to dictate midfield with their pace and slick movement forcing Parkway on the defensive. However they defended in numbers and depth and were grateful to their keeper for a series of quality saves the best of which came from a glanced header from one his own defenders. The half ended with Argyle on top and looking the more threatening however Parkway continued to compete doggedly and managed to keep their goal intact with Moore making crucial saves at crucial times and dealing confidently with numerous crosses and corners. The second half started with Argyle pulling a goal back on 46 seconds! A shot from Rio Garside took a wicked deflection, completely wrong footing Moore as it crept over the line. Argyle remained the dominant force and should have equalised on 52 mins when a poor back pass saw their player intercept, round the keeper and fire over an unguarded goal from a narrow angle. A critical miss. The game continued to ebb and flow and on 53 mins Christian Pople headed narrowly over from a corner with a Smith shot being well saved shortly after. Argyle continued to move the ball around, utilising their pace in wide areas and looking comfortable in posession denying Parkway any time on the ball and at times forcing them to defend desperately. They were reduced to hitting long balls out of defence and playing on the break. On the hour a scramble in the Argyle 6 yard box ended with a couple of shots being blocked on the line. Argyle continued to threaten but the Parkway midfield and defence continued to compete and remain calm under some pressure. On 74 mins leading scorer Hobbs was replaced by recently released Argyle apprentice Connor Macauley with Smith moving to a more central postion and Macauley wide on the right. On 79 mins Argyle had an effort rightly disallowed for offside as they continued to apply pressure. Parkway finally increased their lead on 85 mins, slightly against the run of play. Macauley made ground down the right, cut inside and was fouled just outside the box. Set piece specialist Trott stepped up and curled a superb free kick around the wall once again beating the keeper at his near post. There was still time for Macauley, who had produced a nice little 15 min cameo, to have a couple of close range efforts blocked and pick up a harsh yellow card in an attempt to win the ball when chasing back. The final word went to Moore who made yet another fine save going into stoppage time to complete his well deserved man of the match performance. An excellent, highly competitive, fairly even game played in a good spirit from 2 very good sides which was a credit to the league. We saw another side to Parkway tonight who, when under the cosh for lengthy periods, showed resilience, determination, and composure against technically accomplished, fit young opponents who’s passing and movement at times was a pleasure to watch. Parkway’s superior experience, physical strength and “know how” in how to grind out a game when under pressure was ultimately the difference between the two sides. The record breaking win sees Parkway close the gap to one point behind Argyle but still with 3 games in hand. They will be looking to keep the run going on Wednesday when Ivybridge visit Stadio Bolitho. Parkway’s evening came to a perfect end when Ben, the youngest member of the Baggot dynasty, won the 50/50 raffle!!