South West Peninsula League Premier Division
CAMELFORD 2 PLYMOUTH PARKWAY 2
Attendance: 61 (head count)
Parking: Club car park inside the ground
Weather: Very warm pitchside, plenty of sunshine
The Camelford matchday programme has no less than 117 advertisements in it, surely that must be a record breaker? Unfortunately there's not much else inside. To their credit they stuffed 3 sheets of loose A4 paper in the middle with a bit of SWPL cut and paste stuff, the ground regulations and a list of Camelford vice presidents. Not exactly the best read on the non league circuit.
I'd arrived a tad early after a big dinner at The Molesworth Arms in Wadebridge, this was a precaution in respect of the thousands of tourists flooding in and out of Cornwall, better safe than sorry. The ground isn't the easiest to find but its one of those that if you've found it once you won't forget it the next time. There was nobody on the gate at 2.20pm and a friendly bloke and younger assistant were going car to car taking in the gate money. It was these two that flogged me the programme.
Despite Met Office warnings of a pretty crap Saturday it was a hot, sunny and rather humid day at Trefrew Park, plenty of sunshine for the sun lovers but it was uncomfortable and stifling if you were out in it for too long. The sun really brought out the best in what appeared an excellent looking pitch, it looked a picture amidst the tidy looking surroundings of the ground. It seemed to play nicely once the game started as well, ball bobble balance was insignificant.
Structure wise the clubhouse straddles the halfway line with a couple of small flat pack economy stands at either end, one has blue and white seats the other is just covered steps, it looks similar to the Tavistock set up but on a slightly smaller scale.
The Tea Hut facility is a refreshment bar with an opening pitchside as well as being accessible from inside the clubhouse. Due to my big pub dinner I had no room for burgers and sausages. Maybe next time? The place seemed to get a steady trade bearing in mind I counted only 61 spectators in attendance today (and quite a good few of those were from Plymouth).
The rest of Trefrew Park is the usual hard standing apart from behind the goals at the far end which is out of bounds due to it just being grassed, a couple of signs are up but most folk seemed to ignore them, perhaps its a league ground grading rule that there is no access to areas without the hard standing? Not sure, bit daft risk assessment wise, no foreseeable hazards in my book.
Camelford have not had the best of starts to this new season, I'd already seen them get stuffed 4-0 in a friendly over at lower league Liskeard Athletic. They seem to be blooding quite a few younger players, rumour has it this is more down to injuries and player unavailability than youth policy objectives, they'd face a really stiff task against one of the acknowledged big sides in the Premier Division, Plymouth Parkway. The visitors were fresh from what should be recognised as a truly outstanding 0-6 FA Cup win away from home at higher league Bridgwater, no wonder some longer term scholars of South West football have Parkway underlined for this years league title?
Before kick off the general feeling was simply how many would Parkway win by today. For large parts of the first half the Plymouth machine gobbled up wide expanses of possession but seemed to be having engine problems with the turbo factor up front.
Approach play and support strategy was swift and in numbers but far too often it failed to home in on the target. Camelfords defence were applying themselves admirably to the task superbly assisted by a fine goalkeeping performance.
When Camelford went upfield it was a novelty that lacked threat, Parkway were mopping up any advances at source. It was therefore quite a surprise when Camelford went 1-0 up. Half time grumblings from the yellow and blue clad away clan were placated by the odd burger and other clubhouse goodies but never were the 3 points in doubt, it was simply a matter of time before the fort was breached.
It wasn't long into the second half when Parkway got a fully deserved penalty, some have said it was unjust, take it from me I was probably the closest to it on the ground and it was the correct decision. 1-1 and the Parkway supporters appeared in a much more positive frame of mind.
Everyone now expected Plymouth to steam roller Camelford into oblivion, it didn't happen, in fact Camelford started to look the better side as they got wide, strung passes together and had much more threat up front, Parkway optimism turned to groans and grumbles. When Camelford went 2-1 up it was nothing that they didn't deserve. Could they somehow hold on to provide the biggest upset of the league season to date? Unfortunately for Camelford they just failed to hang on for the line with Parkway manfully digging out a scrappy equaliser for a valuable point. I feel it is fair to say Parkway supporters will probably admit they did not play that well today but still had just about enough in the tool box to dig out a point.
As for Camelford surely this will instil some much needed confidence for the winter campaign ahead, if only they could have hung on for what would have been a major scalp down at homely Trefrew Park?