Irby001The Dock made a couple of changes from the 3.0 midweek victory over Heygarth with veteran Paul Roberts replacing Paul Davis in goal, Chris Hannon replacing Paul Byrne and Danny Donaghy coming in for Mick Saunders. It was Donaghy who was unlucky not to open the scoring as he rattled the bar after 10 minutes when a break from Craig Johnson saw him round the keeper only for the ball to break to Donaghy who hit the bar with his effort from 15 yards.

A minute later it was Gary Reay who found the net after Irby only half cleared with a header and Reay did the rest from close range to make it 1.0. Ian Brunt started well in his second appearance of the campaign and he put his marker down by winning a couple of trademark headers early on and Paul Roberts announced his return with a good save low down from the Irby winger who was put in albeit with a suspicion of offside . Irby hit the post just after this and just when you feared the worst, Dock went up the other end and scored ! A long punt upfield on 25 minutes, saw Johnson ,again in an advanced position, control the ball with a fine first touch and lay off to Jack Beech who played him in with a fine ball that split the Irby defence and saw Johnson fire past the keeper with aplomb. 2.0.

5 minutes later Dock where 3.0 up as Colin O’Hanlon planted a fine header to the far post and by now Dock were cruising. On 40 minutes a Mark Head raid down the right flank saw him pull the ball back to Reay who netted with a right footed effort that the keeper got a hand to but couldn’t prevent it making 4.0

To Irby’s credit they kept pressing and they missed a chance to score when Paul Roberts had to come to meet the ball but was always second favourite to get there. The resulting scramble saw the Irby player lob the ball wide of the post. It gave Irby some hope and soon after they were awarded a penalty by Referee Alan Darlington. A poor goalkick resulted in an under pressure Chris Hannon playing the ball back into danger and resulting in a foul in the area on the Irby player. Irby scored from the spot kick to make it 4.1.

Any aspirations of a comeback were snuffed out straight away as Reay claimed his hat-trick on 43 minutes. Ross Carragher played a deep free kick to the far post where it was met by Brunt’s HEED. As the ball burst with the impact, Reay finished in fine style to make the half time score 5.1 to the Dock.

The half time interval saw O’Hanlon replaced by Paul Byrne who had no problem slotting in at centre half but it was a good save from Roberts who tipped over the bar to deny an Irby effort early on in the half. Dock were now kicking up the hill and Danny Donaghy saw some action as he worked himself into good positions down the Dock left only for his crosses to come to nothing.

The game drifted into a bit of a lull and Dock where a bit flat at times. The 55th minute saw Ray Redmond replace Ian Brunt in midfield. Brunt having a 30 minute session booked at the Irby branch of ‘ Tantastic ‘ to attend. On 59 minutes, Roberts again was called upon to turn a shot from the edge of the area around the post. On the hour mark , a couple of strong challenges in the middle of the park from Johnson and astute passing from Beech sparked the game into life again and a couple of verbals were dished out from various players just to add a bit of spice into proceedings.

It was on 70 mins that the goal of the game was scored. Roberts rolled it out to Hannon who in turn played it on to’ Hip Hip’ who cut inside his marker and threaded a ball 30-35 yards through to Mark Head who took it round the keeper to score to make it 6.1. It was a quite superb goal from start to finish…defence to attack… 6 or 7 touches…made by the through ball ,reminiscent of the ball Beardsley played for Aldridge to score against Forest in the famous 5.0 game at Anfield.

A minute later Mark Head drilled a corner onto the head of Johnson to score for his second of the day. 7.1. To wrap it all up, on 81minutes a Mark Head cross was put in at the second attempt by Johnson to claim his hat trick… Final whistle, 8.1 to the Dock.

Man of the match
Craig Johnson.


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