A break in the bad weather made for a rather sunny afternoon in Devon for the travelling support to Bolitho Park, but that was about the most they were to enjoy on the day, meeting a tenacious Parkway on the rise up the table as they appear to have got to grips with Step 3 football.
The first half had little to offer the purists with both sides struggling to assert themselves or find a pattern to their play. The focus was as much on the fine vocal travelling support and friendly banter with their rivals as it was on the action and sunshine.
To be fair, there were chances. Callum Hall had the first for the hosts inside two minutes but he sent his effort wide of the target. At the other end, a long ball from Luke Pennell was flicked into the path of Moses Emmanuel by Amos Nasha but United’s record goalscorer sent his shot high and wide from the right edge of the box.
A free-kick for Plymouth on the quarter hour whipped round the wall but well clear of the target. However, moments later debutant United ‘keeper Dan Wilks did have to make a good one handed save to deny Ben Seymour.
Ten minutes later Sanmi Odelusi forced a similar reaction from Parkway’s Adam Parkes and on twenty seven minutes Amos Nasha had the ball in the net only to be met with an assistant's offside flag.
Hassan Jalloh seemed to have the host defence on the back foot for much of the half and on thirty two minutes his dribble dance was followed by a ball slotting in Emmanuel who watched his first time effort bounce off the far post.
With United in the ascendancy, Parkway then stole the initiative, breaking quickly down the right before a low cross was met by an unmarked Seymour who fired home for a 34th minute lead.
After the break United started the brighter with Jaden Thompson-Brissett twice denied in the box in the opening ten minutes.
However with sixty-two gone, Seymour rattled the United bar at the other end and seemingly turned the game.
Three minutes later Parkway were 2-0 up when Jack Crago rose highest for a corner to head home. Seymour went close moments later and United were like the proverbial boxer on the ropes.
Continuing the story of United heartbreak on seventy-two minutes, debutant Wilks handled the ball outside his area and was shown a red card. With no substitute goalkeeper in the squad, skipper Charlie Wassmer donned the gloves but he was helpless when Ryan Lane drilled the resulting free-kick past the wall, low inside the far post to make it 3-0.
In the last ten, as Parkway sat back, United substitute Cameron Green hit the bar and Odelusi slid the ball home for a consolation, but with a telling defeat, multiple bookings and a long journey home it will be a day most with a United hat will want to forget.
Report by Tim Fuell.
Photos kindly supplied by Tom Finnie ©.
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