Parkway lose top spot after failing to breakdown St Blazey
Plymouth Parkway...0 St Blazey...0
PARKWAY'S inability to break down a resolute Blazey defence cost them top spot in the Peninsula Premier as Bodmin's crushing 11-0 victory over Penzance moved them into pole position a point ahead of Wayne Hillson's side.
"Very heavy conditions for both teams which led to an evenly contested game," said Hillson.
"The first half had few chances but Blazey could have won it if they had taken their chances but in the end we finished the strongest with three or four good chances which their goalkeeper did well to keep out.
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"We're a little bit disappointed but in all fairness, although I thought we just shaded it, a draw might have been the fairest result," said the Parkway boss.
Despite the game finishing goalless, the large crowd still witnessed an entertaining game as both sides belied the wet conditions by showing real attacking intent throughout the 90 minutes.
Parkway's Jon Heveran did get the ball in the Blazey net in the 15th minute only for the assistant referee to flag for offside.
Three minutes later Blazey's Josh Sims brought a good save out of Parkway goalkeeper Ben Elphick.
And the home side then went close themselves, in the 21st minute, when Warren Daw's long-range looping shot was superbly tipped on to the crossbar by visiting custodian Bradley Ager.
The second half proved to be even more end-to-end than the first as both sides traded chances.
Heveran started things off two minutes in, with a low 25-yard strike that Ager could only parry.
Blazey midfielder George Swain then came close to breaking the deadlock when his surging 58th-minute run ended with a shot that whistled just past the Parkway post.
The action switched to the other end, 10 minutes later, with Parkway striker Ryan Richards bursting into the visitors' area only for Ager to race quickly off his line and smother his shot.
Parkway again went close when Richards sent in a cross from the left that found Daw, but his diving header flew inches past the Blazey post with Ager stranded.
With Western League side Buckland Athletic without a game, striker Chris Wright included in the Parkway squad, but he was not introduced into the fray until the 74th minute.
Despite Wright's presence on the pitch, it was Blazey who had a great opportunity, nine minutes from time, when Seb Broomfield was put clean through on goal only for his shot to bounce just past the post to cut short the visiting fans' premature celebrations.
The closing stages saw Parkway create several chances with Dan Griffiths twice denied by the busy custodian Ager – in the 88th and 89th minutes.
In stoppage time Griffths saw his back header drop onto the top of the Blazey crossbar.
And in the game's final act Wright's shot, from Paul Heveran's low right wing cross, whistled just the wrong side of the post.
CSWPL DIVISION ONE EAST
Plymstock Utd...5 Crediton Utd...0
AFTER their mauling at Okehampton, sevens day previous, the U's returned to winning ways against a plucky Kirton side that arrived at Dean Cross with the bare 11 players.
Just as important as the victory was that the welcome three points lifted Pete Hill's side above their opponents, out of the bottom two, for the first time this season but it was not until the beginning of the second period that the visitors challenge finally fizzled out.
Indeed, Crediton almost got off to the perfect start when a slip by Lewis Young let in Jamie Williams, who ran on before squaring the ball into the path of Tom Matthews but the youngster hurried his shot, firing wastefully wide.
The opening exchanges certainly favoured the visitors who looked the more assured outfit with Matt Dochniak creating havoc down the right flank, but in was the home side who broke the deadlock on 17 minutes.
A Matt Strickland through ball sent James Yates racing away to neatly side-step the visiting goalkeeper Ben Maddison before rifling the ball into an empty net.
The U's doubled their advantage on the half hour when Pete Bradley won a personal duel with Richard Edworthy before slipping in Aaron Hulme who drove home from 12 yards.
Dochniak was again in the thick of the Kirton action, cutting in from the right before sending in an angled drive that had Paul Pethick scrambling across his line to save and there was still time for Williams to head a Dochnick corner just over before the half-time whistle sounded.
The game was over as a contest within six minutes of the restart, with the hosts adding two more to their total – both courtesy of Hulme.
The first of these arrived after 50 minutes when the striker was put in position by Yates and although he still had a lot to do he held off a challenge from Lee Waring before sending a rising drive past Maddison from each yards.
The U's regained possession, straight from the restart, and Hulme again found himself well placed to complete his hat-trick by lifting the ball over Maddison from 12 yards.
Little was being seen of the visitors as an attacking force with the U's attacking at will and on the hour things could have got worse for the Kirton as Edworthy was forced to clear a Yates header off the line and a shot from Bradley was well tipped over by Maddison.
As the game entered its last quarter the U's went nap when a Bradley corner caused havoc in the home rearguard and the ball finished up it the net with Hulme claiming the last touch to bring his personal tally for the afternoon to four.
With the hosts now taking their foot off the pedal Kirton did produce a late flurry with Dochniak going close but the U's hung on to record their first clean sheet of the season.