Hobbs not getting carried away after Plymouth Parkway make history

Plymouth Parkway made history at North Leigh
Plymouth Parkway made history at North Leigh

Plymouth Parkway boss Lee Hobbs is not getting carried away with making history after his team reached the FA Cup third qualifying round for the very first time.

The newly-promoted Pitching In Southern League Premier side needed a stoppage time winner to complete a thrilling 3-2 comeback away at North Leigh.

Their prize is another away trip to Oxfordshire, this time to take on National League South outfit Oxford City.

It’s been a slow start to the season for Parkway but Hobbs is not the type to start panicking – as his reaction to being 2-0 down at half-time against North Leigh showed.

“It was surreal,” said Hobbs. “It was difficult to start throwing water bottles around or kicking teacups, because we actually played quite well.

“We didn’t take the one or two chances we had and we had one cleared off the line.

“At the full-time whistle, we were really delighted and obviously happy.

“But we didn’t celebrate like a lot of teams would’ve done, because we know we’ve got to go back there in the league campaign.

“It’s not something I like my teams doing because when you go back there it can bite you on the bum.”

And as for wading into unchartered FA Cup territory, Hobbs knows Plymouth Parkway will have to put in the performance of their lives if they are to knock out Step 2 opposition.

“We’ve got to be at our absolute maximum. Let’s not beat around the bush, Oxford City are a proper football club,” said Hobbs.

“We’ll just give the best version of us. We’ve got to go to Oxford City and embrace it for what it is.”

Hobbs has seen unprecedented success since his arrival at Plymouth Parkway six years ago, when the club were two divisions below, in the South West Peninsula Premier Division.

But in their debut season at Step 4, things aren’t going according to plan, with a run of five straight league defeats seeing them prop up the table.

So the cup has provided a welcome distraction, and Hobbs believes it can give them the boost they need to pull off his greatest achievement to date.

He said: “Two weeks ago we were in a bad place, four or five injuries, losing every game since we picked up a point against Chesham.

“Now we’re unbeaten in four, albeit in four cup games. The dressing room’s in a different place now. Hopefully we can start to accumulate some points and climb the table.

“I’ve been the manager who’s won all the leagues coming up. Those are big achievements. But I think my biggest achievement will be keeping the team in this league this year.

“We can’t look too far ahead. For now it’s all about making sure we start picking up points because this division is brutal and it’s a very, very tough league.”

Ladbrokes, with the support of its owner Entain, has launched a multi-million-pound investment programme, Pitching In, designed to support and promote grassroots sports. For more details see: https://entaingroup.com/sustainability/pitching-in/