On a very heavy, sticky pitch Dock and Rock Ferry Social fought out an intriguing battle with which could have gone either way and provided great entertainment for the neutral spectators. After an even first ten minutes Rock Ferry Social started to impose themselves onto the game aided by a strong breeze and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 24th minute when Steve Jones curled an excellent direct free kick from wide on the left hand side of the Dock penalty area into the top corner evading the despairing, outsretched grasp of the Dock goalkeeper. This jolt sprung the Dock into life and they responded with a wonderfully worked and executed goal in the 31st minute when Mike Saunders broke from midfield to connect with a diving header from Ross Carragher’s pinpoint cross to level the scores. Both teams continued to create chances before the half time whistle with the score evenly locked at 1-1.

The second half began much as the first had ended with chances continuing to fall to both teams without anyone able to provide the killer touch until 54 minutes when Rock Ferry were awarded a penalty after a clumsy challenge in the penalty area by Dock centre-back Matty Carlin to upend Jamie Kenyon. Tony Waters duly despatched the penalty to once again give Rock Ferry a 2-1 advantage. On the hour mark Dock introduced substitute, Darren McGuinness, into the fray to add a little pace in search of an equaliser. After 68 minutes the little man duly obliged with a blistering run and exquisite lob over the head of the advancing goalkeeper to level the scores. The game seemed destined to end in a draw with neither side able to press home any advantage despite some very tired limbs in the most difficult of conditions. In the 79th minute Gareth McEvoy embarked on a storming run into the Rock Ferry penalty area and was pulled down with a late challenge just before he was able to get his shot away. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot and reliable goalscorer, Gary Reay, picked up the ball and sent the keeper the wrong way to put the Dock into the lead for the first time. Four minutes from time Darren McGuinness evaded the Rock Ferry offside trap following an excellent Gary Reay dummy to put him in the clear and he kept his cool to slot the ball past the advancing goalkeeper to make the final score Dock 4 Rock Ferry Social 2.

Report by Jeff Sheeran