Match Report from Pete Crockett
Marine’s eleven match unbeaten league run was ended by a final minutes spot kick at Plymouth Parkway’s Bolitho Park. In difficult conditions on a heavy playing surface both sides had spells of dominance in a match that Marine will feel unfortunate to have lost.
Marine got off to the worst of possible starts finding themselves a goal down in four minutes. A right-wing corner was whipped in by the host’s Ryan Lane to the front post where Austen Booth got ahead of his markers to power in a header.
For the rest of the half Marine took control of proceedings. Their passing was crisp, and they spread the play expansively. On seven minutes a driving shot from the overlapping Sam Turl was well saved by Harry Lee in the host’s goal. Attack upon attack then poured down upon a resolute home team defence.
On 25 minutes a looping Conor McDonagh effort hit the home team’s cross bar; then three minutes later Henry Spalding cut in from the flank and again forced the home team keeper into action; on 38 minutes James Harding broke free in the inside right position and struck a firm shot that was well saved by the Plymouth team’s keeper.
With 40 minutes played the equaliser arrived. The home team failed to effectively clear a corner and the ball fell to Tyrone Duffus on the right-hand edge of the box. Some fifteen yards from goal he created an opening and fired a well struck shot across goal that powered past the keeper to nestle in the back of the net. In the 45th minute Henry Spalding cleverly engineered a shooting opportunity with a good turn, but his shot slipped past the post.
As they munched their half time Cornish Pasties the Marine support were relatively optimistic. After a poor start their team had taken control of the match by passing well, using the full width of the field, and creating enough openings to have even gone in with a lead.
The second half was a completely different affair. Plymouth Parkway were now the side applying the greater pressure. However, they were struggling to break down a resilient Marine defence. Their best openings came when a Harrison King cross shot was blocked by Mat Liddiard and ballooned over the bar; when a mazy run from Callum Hall saw him beat three Marine players and fire a powerful shot on goal that produced an excellent diving save from Josh Gould; and when a Ben Seymour front post header went just wide of the upright.
The pivotal moment of the match arrived with only a few minutes remaining. The host’s Harrison King fed a pass into Ben Seymour in the Marine penalty area. There was a coming together with Ty Duffus and the striker fell to the floor. The referee, who was well positioned, instantly pointed to the spot.
Ben Seymour picked himself up and hammered the penalty to Josh Gould’s left. The Marine custodian dived the right way but could not get a touch on the well-placed spot kick. Marine then pressed valiantly for a late equaliser but it was not to be their day and the impressive unbeaten run came to an end in drizzly Plymouth rain.
This was a match that really was a game of the proverbial two halves. In the first Marine passed with crispness and were adept in using the full width of the pitch. The Marine midfield were dominating possession and the wide men were a persistent threat.
In the second half that same fluidity eluded Marine. The reasons for that are probably down to three factors, the first that Plymouth Parkway more effectively imposed their preferred style of play on Marine; the second, following on from the first, that Marine got drawn into going a little too long a little too often; and the third that at times Marine invited pressure upon themselves with the concession of free kicks in wide areas that enabled the hosts to load the box and build some momentum.
So, the unbeaten run has come to an end. However, there is no shame in losing to a strong Plymouth Parkway team who have the fifth best home record in the league. On a more fortunate day the result could have been very different and Marine could have gained at least a point.
Alas it was not to be. However, when one good run of results ends it offers the opportunity for the next one to begin. This is a time for retained positivity as this Marine team is certainly good enough to continue the impressive momentum they have established in the first few months of 2023. To paraphrase the Chumbawamba lyrics from 1997 “We get knocked down, but we get up again, you’re never going to keep us down”.
Manager: Lee Hobbs
Colours: Yellow & Navy
Line-up: 1. Harrison Lee 2. Aaron Goulty 3. Ryan Lane (c) 4. Toby Down (14. Michael Williams 53’) 5. Callum Rose 6. Austin Booth 7. Callum Hall 8. Dan Rooney 9. Ben Seymour (12. Gabriel Billington 89’) 10. Rio Garside (16. Harrison King 64’) 11. Jack Crago
Subs not used: 15. Tom Bath
Goalscorer: Austin Booth 3’, Ben Seymour 87’pen
Editors Star Man: Harrison Lee
Rio Garside 16’, Ryan Lane 33’, Jack Crago 90+1’
Manager: Lee Spalding
Colours: All Blue
Line-up: 1. Josh Gould 2. Sam Turl 3. Ryan Campbell 4. Jamie Edge 5. Tyrone Duffus 6. Mat Liddiard (c) 7. Henry Spalding 8. Joe Tumelty (12. Brad Hooper 59’) 9. Conor McDonagh 10. James Harding 11. Zack Kotwica
Subs not used: 14. Malik Sesay, 15. Leon Morrison
Goalscorers: Tyrone Duffus 39’
Editors Star Man: Mat Liddiard
Sam Turl 60’, Jamie Edge 65’, Zack Kotwica 77’,
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Courtesy of Mike Wray
Click here for the sights and sounds from Saturday
Courtesy of Parkway TV
Post Match Team Sheet
Referee: Devon Campbell
Assistant Referees: Stephen McCulloch, Shaun Edge