Willand Rovers 4 Plymouth Parkway 0
WILLAND Rovers went to the top of the fledgling Toolstation Western League Premier Division table on Wednesday evening with a stunning and comprehensive victory over visiting Plymouth Parkway at Silver Street writes Kerry Miller.
A clinical hat-trick from Luke Mortimore and a close range header from new boy Ben Bickle dismantled Parkway who had no answer to the pace and finishing of Mortimore and the speed of passing on what was a pitch which looked poor but played extremely well. Almost 200 gathered on what was a night which started dry but got wetter and they watched Parkway, many people’s favourites to go right through to Southern League football next season, got off to a fine start pinning Willand in their own half for the first ten minutes. The potent strike force of Stuart Yetton and Adam Carter were a real handful early on and when the home defence gave the ball away in midfield Carter ‘s fierce drive was parried by Mike Searle to Mike Williams but he could not guide his free header with enough accuracy and the chance was gone.
It proved costly as Willand began to claw their way into the game and Bickle set up Mortimore who was denied close up by a defender and from the corner Adam Hill nodded wide. It was a wake up call which Parkway did not heed for on 19 minutes they gave the ball away in midfield in identical fashion but Rovers took full advantage as Brett Worbey fed Mortimore who drove under Kyle Moore to give his side the lead slightly against the run of play. He was then given the freedom of Silver Street minutes later and weaved inside before shooting wide just as the first of a series of fierce showers made its presence felt. The pendulum had swung completely and Mortimore again raided as a ball over the top caused problems and having won the tackle he curled a shot around Moore and into the same corner to double the lead and stun Parkway. It was almost a half hour hat-trick moments later as he was put through and lobbed home but an offside flag put paid to the celebrations.
Parkway themselves regrouped and Yetton had a firm header saved then Ryan Lane showed superb speed and no little skill in sending over a cross which Mike Smith chipped just over. They were creating chances but took none and when the second half began a come back was not being written off by anybody.
Around the hour mark the venue of the points became clear but they could easily have gone elsewhere if the fates had decided it. Yetton shot over from 18 yards before Worbey struck a free-kick which Moore tipped onto a post and Parkway somehow escaped and seconds later instead of 3-0 it could so easily have been 2-1 as Yetton hit the post with a header. Willand cleared a corner off the line before Smith blazed over and in truth that was where the visitor’s chances of a share of the spoils disappeared.
Rovers and the home fans then believed a win was on the cards and with Mortimore’s pace causing them no end of grief he was one of a counter attack which Parkway could not cope with and Worbey’s chip found Bickle who nodded home the third with some style. Three minutes later it was 4-0 as Mortimore ran half the length of the pitch before drawing Moore and steering home the hat-trick goal.
Substitute Christian Pople was just over with a drive late on but with four goals in the bank Willand managed the game to the end and sit proudly at the top having come out of the Devon derbies the victors. They now go to Shepton Mallet on Saturday in the FA Cup while Parkway have a trip to Bristol in the same competition to take on Hengrove Athletic.
Press and Media Officer
Toolstation Western League