Jon ClampittDock began the defence of their Wirral Premier Cup crown, with an emphatic home win against a determined Cat outfit, from the Birkenhead Sunday Division One.

Both sides started at a quick pace on an excellent surface at the Memorial Ground. The referee had to blow up for a few late challenges in the first few minutes, mainly due to the pace of the game, rather than any underhand tactics. From one of these early infringements against the Cat defence, Dock took the lead through a twenty five yard direct free kick, which was expertly drilled home, left footed, by Jon Clampitt (pictured left) on five minutes. This wasn’t to be his only contribution in what turned out to be a Man of the Match performance.

On ten minutes, sloppy defensive play by Dock, gifted the visitors an equalizer, when Carl Clampitt failed to clear when under pressure and the resultant cross squirmed under goalkeeper Martyn Stevenson for the Cat forward to poke home from close range.

On 17 minutes Rob Whyte limped off with a hamstring strain to be replaced by Tom Charters, a substitution which resulted in a tactical change for Dock. Just three minutes later, Dock regained the lead, again from the boot of Jon Clampitt. After a Dock corner was only half cleared by the Cat backline, Clampitt thundered in an unstoppable twenty five yard shot into the top corner.

Both teams continued to entertain the spectators and Martyn Stevenson in the home goal had to pull off two smart saves in quick succession from twenty yard snapshots.

HT: Dock 2-1 The Cat.

Dock started the second half on the front foot with Ian McGraa prominent upfront, ably assisted by the hard working Mark Head (pictured below), who had moved upfront in the re-shuffle from the first substitution. It was the latter who made it 3-1 on the hour mark when Head ran onto a long through ball and exquisitely chipped home form the edge of the box, over the on-rushing Cat ‘keeper. Head was then replaced by Steve Duckers and soon after Dock made their third and last substitution when another hamstring injury, this time for Crotty, saw Ian Brunt come on for the last 20 minutes.

Steve Owen then spurned two glorious chances in the last ten minutes, the second of which hit a post after good work from McGraa. With Cat now visibly tiring, it was no surprise they conceded a penalty with five minutes to go after a trailing leg upended McGraa in the box. Up stepped Jon Clampitt to round off an excellent personal display to fire home his third and Dock’s fourth goal from the spot.

To summarize, an excellent game to watch, which for sixty minutes was evenly contested. The final result, however, was fully deserved by Dock after a hard working display.

FT: Dock 4-1 The Cat.

Dock. 4-4-2 (with substitues in brackets).
Stevenson, Crotty (Brunt), Byrne, Carlin, Wingfield, Owen, C Clampitt, J Clampitt, Head (Duckers), McGraa, Whyte (Charters).
Mark Head

Report: PETER WARBURTON