Josh Dures
Jamie Kenyon

A quick return to action against Heygarth , this time in the league, and once again it was a spicy encounter with no quarter asked or given.

‘The Goose’ pulled out of the game when he inadvertently poked himself in the eye when applying mascara getting ready for a Saturday night out with Brunty and Day V. Lately. Not to worry for long…. as we secured the services of Dave Pleavin in between the sticks and he showed his class in answering the call and producing a solid performance.

It was a good positive start from the Dock and in the opening moments Mark Head fluffed a shot when well placed and Brunty headed over from a Paul Byrne cross. Heygarth answered this by forcing Pleavin to save a shot from outside the box and catching the back four square on occasions with balls over the top. Mark Head was into the action again on 10 minutes and he showed some good skills down the right ending in him shooting past the post.

Heygarth took the lead after 12 minutes; rather fortunately, after a free kick awarded to the Dock in their own half was taken by Liam Simon. He failed to get enough distance on it and the ball fell to a Heygarth player who launched it first time over the top into the path of his centre forward. With the Dock back four flat footed, the forward slotted past the despairing dive of Pleavo. You can count the mistakes Liam Simon has made on the fingers of one hand since he arrived at the club, so no worries there.

Dock replied with Kenyon shooting over the bar when he just couldn’t quite get over it enough and the same player dragged a shot wide after some good work to set himself up on the half hour mark. Pleavo was called into action when he bravely won a header on the edge of his box with the centre forward bearing down on him and on 36 minutes, Head put in a tremendous cross that no one got on the end of.

Dock won a free kick deep into Heygarth’s half and Hammond (slaughtered) with Holmes took it short. Holmes advanced across the Heygarth 18 yard line and unleashed a rocket of a left foot drive that skimmed the top of the bar with the keeper rooted to the spot. Just before the half time break a quick throw in from Holmes found Gary Reay inside the box. Backing into the defender, Reayman turned and shot against the outside of the post. This proved to be the last action of the half and 1.0 to Heygarth at the break it was.

Lee Hammond was reprimanded at half time when he produced a hip flask full of whisky from his shorts and Brunty was demanding Snowballs and Babycham from physio Mick Reay.

Early into the second half Hammond was replaced by Josh Dures. It didn’t take long for Dures to make his mark as he headed home from a corner moments after entering the frey to make it 1.1. On the hour mark Reayman was clear on goal with Kenyon alongside him but the hitman elected to shoot high, wide and not so handsome. This marked the start of some sustained pressure from the Dock as Dures was causing problems and the energetic Donaghy, unluckily, hit a post. That said, Pleavo still had to save with his legs as the Heygarth forward got free from the otherwise commanding O’Hanlon.

On the 67th minute, Dock had a clear penalty appeal turned down when a handball stopped Reayman from heading at goal from 8 yards out. A minute later, Pleavo gathered a corner and launched a kick down field to put us on the attack. Reay man guided it on to Kenyon who took it in his stride and finished calmly to make it 2.1.

It was a rather subdued next 10 minutes until Dures made a heavy challenge right on the Heygarth line that they were not best pleased with to say the least ! Two minutes later an off the ball incident sparked a 21 man brawl in the middle of the pitch. I say 21 man brawl because as I was watching it from the touchline, I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was Brunty wanting to introduce me to his new mate, Dave V. Lately! I told Lately to do one and booted Brunty back onto the pitch to join his team mates. Once the game restarted Brunty was fouled to spark another confrontation that took the flames to another level.

Heygarth looked dangerous as they pressed for an equaliser and up the other end Kenyon shot tamely at the keeper as the clock ticked down. 88 minutes had elapsed as the Dock won a free kick on the edge of the Heygarth box but a Mark Head effort hit the wall and ran to safety. Deep into injury time Heygarth had a similar scenario and their effort hit Sean Holmes on the head and out.

As the final whistle blew there was ‘handbags’ and spilt make up as the teams ‘shook hands’ and Brunty found the shade of lippy that he has been on the lookout for ages !

Man of the Match: – Dave Pleavin for a solid and assured performance. He is always welcome at the Dock.

Report: Mike Stephens
Photos: none (I was at Anfield)