Ian McGraa v StirrupDock turned round a half time deficit and put in a rousing second half display, to overcome Stirrup for the third time this season. The Wirral Premier Cup game was played out in bright conditions after heavy overnight rain made the Borough Road pitch wet but playable.

Stirrup started brightly and forced Martyn Stevenson in the home goal into three sharp saves within the first 18 minutes, to keep the scores level. When the breakthrough did finally come, it was in somewhat controversial circumstances. The officials gave a throw in to Stirrup 30 yards out, when the ball had clearly touched a Stirrup player last. However, there can be nothing taken away from the resultant shot from 25 yards out by Griffiths, which flew into the top of Stevenson’s net, giving the Dock ‘keeper no chance.

Dock then countered with chances of their own, notably for McGraa (pictured left) and Barrow, but were unable to breach the Stirrup goal. Stirrup also had some half chances up until the break, but at half time the score remained at 0-1.

HT: Dock 0-1 Stirrup Sports & Social.

Dock started the second half on the front foot and took just five minutes to equalize through a Ryan close range header. Mark Head and Ian McGraa created the chance with some fine interplay and after McGraa’s shot hit the post, Paul Ryan was on hand to head home the ball from close range.

Dock took the lead three minutes later, in strange circumstances, from the spot. After they should have been awarded a penalty for a blatant foul in the box, a Stirrup defender inexplicably picked up the ball whilst still in play. The referee had no choice but to blow up for hand ball and Mark Head smashed home the kick.

Dock had a let off on the hour when Mark Head headed a goalbound effort off the line and immediately, Dock swept upfield to score a third. Ian McGraa controlled the ball on the edge of the box, before drilling a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.

On 75 minutes, Mark Head added a second penalty after McGraa was felled in the Stirrup box, which also saw Stirrup goalscorer Griffiths sent off for his protestations.

Dock controlled the remainder of the game and had some more chances to add to their tally, but the Stirrup ‘keeper held firm.

To summarize, a proverbial game of two halves for Dock, but credit to Stirrup for a spirited display, especially when down to ten men.

FT: Dock 4-1 Stirrup Sport & Social.

Dock. 4-4-2 (with substitues in brackets).
Stevenson, Crotty, Irving, Head, Wingfield, , Hughes (Warburton), Owen, Charters, Ryan (Craven), Barrow, I. McGraa (Redmond).

Ian Irving v Stirrup

More Pictures

Report: Peter Warburton
Pictures: Chris Stading