Away from the luxuries of the Tardini Stadium, the Parma faithful travelled in their numbers yet again, this time Budrio was the destination to pack into the tiny Stadio Pietro Zucchini, it was a sea of yellow and blue as the flags flied and the pyro began as the teams took to the field.
The visitors started the stronger as they aimed to make it five wins out of five in Serie D this season, Daniele Melandri and Michele Messina were giving the hosts all sorts of problems as they ran riot down the right wing as Mezzolara struggled to get into the game.
After a hectic opening 15 minutes the home side began to settle and almost took a surprise lead as Parma captain Alessando Lucarelli failed to get enough on his backpass to keeper’ Kristaps Zommers, luckily the veteran defenders blushes were spared as Mezzolara failed to take advantage of the mix up.
Melandri continued to cause problems for Mezzolara, as he began a lovely move in the 24th minute in which Parma should have taken the lead, dancing down the line Melandri played a square ball to Davide Giorgino who in turn played a precise lob over the Mezzolara defence only for Cristian Longobardi to get his volley all wrong as his tame effort was straight at the keeper’ from close range. Longobardi was beginning to get more involved in the game and Just two minutes later he again failed to connect properly again as his shot from the edge of the box was comfortably saved.
Despite Parma having the best of the first half, Mezzolara were giving Parma’s two centre halves a torrid time, as Luca Cacioli and Alessandro Lucarelli time and again were getting caught out and losing position in several mix up’s at the back, most notably on the half hour mark when a text book ball over the top caused havoc as neither Cacioli or Lucarelli dealt with it leaving Zommers rushing out into no man’s land, Luckily for the visitors Mezzolara again failed to capitalise.
This was arguably Parma's toughest 45 minutes yet this season as they struggled to come to terms with the bobbly pitch and the physical aspect of the hosts game, the half came to an end again with Parma on top as both Marcello Sereni and Davide Giorgino both had half chances which failed to work the Mezzolara goalkeeper.The second half began much the same as the first with Melandri causing problems down the right wing. On the hour mark it was a Melandri cross that gave Parma their first chance of the half as Yves Baraye headed over with no real conviction.
Parma dominated the second half and were inches away from taking the lead on the 76th minute as Melandri fired a superb ball low and hard across the six yard box all it needed was a touch of any description and it was a goal however it somehow managed to miss everyone and go out for a goal kick.
As Parma pressed Luigi Apolloni crouched, hands over his face, cutting a very frustrated figure on the touch line desperate for his team to find the back of the net by any means, as the board went up showing five minutes added time they very nearly did, only for Marcello Sereni to fluff his lines, it was that man Daniele Melandri again who was the architect of the move, as his ball found Sereni at the back post, unmarked in acres of space, all e had to do was score, the midfielder somehow managed get it horribly wrong and fail to find the net.
The host held on for a memorable draw, a draw in all honesty they probably deserved as the referees whistle at the end sparked wild celebrations from the Mezzolara players, showing just how much this poinr meant to them. Next up for Parma is Correggese back in the comfort of the Tardini where they will be looking to get back to winning ways.
Parma XI; Zommers, Messina, Ricci, Corapi (Miglietta 77), Cacioli, Lucarelli, Melandri, Giorgino, Lomgobardi (Guazza 70), Baraye (Lauria 60), Sereni.
By Giovanni Dougall