In the first of five games in eight days for Paul Hughes’ side, it was Hayes & Yeading who found the winning combination in a game of few chances at the SKYex on Saturday afternoon.
The Devonian visitors started very well and could have been ahead inside a minute but for the brilliance of Jack Smith in the United goal. Luke Warner-Eley was dispossessed outside his own box by Ben Seymour who set the ball square to Callum Hall, he in turn hit a drive from the edge of the box that Smith dived full stretch to push wide, not too shabby for a ‘keeper playing only his second game in 14 months after injury.
In the tenth minute a chance for United saw Roger James and Reece Cole both have efforts blocked in the Plymouth area with the ball bobbling around like pinball before falling to newly crowned Supporters’ Player of the Year Moses Emmanuel but his shot was also blocked by a last ditch Plymouth defenders boot.
A minute later a long ball upfield by the visitors saw Smith get caught outside his area by a weird bounce of the ball, Seymour took possession but Smith did well to hold him up before retreating as Seymour passed to Rio Garside who chipped the retreating Smith but his effort cleared the crossbar comfortably.
Parkway skipper Ryan Lane tried a curler from the left side of the box minutes later with the ball just curling outside the far post and this glut of chances in the first fifteen minutes didn’t continue as the next note to hit the book was two minutes before the break as Roger James collected a pass on the right flank, he fed the ball inside to Cole Brown who himself moved inside but his 20 yard shot with his weaker left foot flew over the top and a fairly drab first half ended goalless.
The gaffer made a double change at the break which included a change of formation with Amos Nasha and Hassan Jalloh replacing Roger James and Reece Cole.
The changes paid dividends within two minutes of the re-start as Jalloh picked the ball up in the middle of the park and raced his way into the visitors’ area before slotting the ball through the dive of Plymouth ‘keeper Jack Arthur to break the deadlock in United’s favour.
Soon after Emmanuel nearly had another, the striker having collected the ball on the corner of the box, moved inside past his marker and hit what looked like a perfect curler towards the far corner only to be denied by a superb fingertip save from Arthur that saw the ball diverted onto the post and away to safety.
With chances still really at a premium, it was 82 minutes before another fine United move saw Emmanuel break free from halfway, he slid the ball right to Sanmi Odelusi who played a square pass back to him but his shot was fairly timid and easy for Arthur to gather.
United looked to have sealed a two goal victory in the fourth minute of added time when Emmanuel sent Adam Liddle away on the right side where he broke into the box before pulling the ball back from the bye-line for Emmanuel to coolly slot the ball past Arthur into the far corner.
Unbelievably there was still time for the visitors to spoil Jack Smith’s clean sheet when he and his defence failed to clear a loose ball in the box thus allowing substitute Jack Crago the chance to fire home from close range in the seventh added minute.
Thankfully only a few further seconds remained and United got back to winning ways ahead of the most hectic schedule we’ve had to close out a season in recent memory.
Aside, Moses receives the Supporters' Player of the Year trophy from club volunteer Holly Taylor prior to the game.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Anthony Mills.
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