Mark Head GoalThe Dock AFC committees early season decision to change their home games to the Memorial Ground, Borough Road, was thoroughly vindicated on Sunday. All other matches on the Wirral fell foul to the recent wet weather and Dock took full advantage to register three points against fourth placed Woodchurch. The win now sees Dock in third place, four points above Woodchurch. The ground staff is to be commended for producing a good pitch which resulted in an entertaining game.

Dock’s manager, Jason Williams, had an almost fully fit squad to choose from for the first game of 2014, so a strong starting eleven and substitute’s bench were in evidence.

The game started brightly with both teams eager to zip the ball in the early stages. After eight minutes, Dock was awarded a somewhat soft penalty when Mike McGraa was adjudged to have been fouled inside the Woodchurch penalty box. However, his tame spot kick was saved by the Woodchurch ‘keeper. The visitors almost took the lead on twenty minutes when a snapshot flew just wide of Martyn Stevenson’s upright. A minute later, Steve Owen fired over for Dock, after good work from Luke Hughes and Steve Duckers.

On the half hour mark, Ian McGraa has a good effort saved and just before the break he failed to meet a cross from Jon Clampitt after good work down the Dock’s left wing.

HT: Dock 0-0 Woodchurch.

Dock started the second half brightly and the impressive Clampitt registered a good save from the keeper after Ian McGraa had been fouled on the edge of the box. On fifty minutes, Mike McGraa had an effort cleared off the line as Dock pressed for an opening goal. On fifty five minutes, the breakthrough came from a towering header by Dock centre half Paul Byrne. After Tom Charters had been fouled, Ian McGraa sent in a wicked cross for Byrne to beat the ‘keeper from eight yards out (pictured below).

Dock almost scored a second on sixty five minutes when Tom Charters shot was tipped over for a corner. The referee then went back to book Jon Clampitt for simulation in the box in the lead up to the shot. Despite Clampitt’s explanation to the official that he was teaching Tom Charters a new dance move for the 2014 Christmas party, the booking stood.

On seventy eight minutes, Martyn Stevenson produced a fine save, and two minutes later Dock sealed the game when substitute, Mark Head pounced on a poor defensive header to power in a low shot to the keepers left (pictured top left). The Woodchurch goalie managed to get a hand on the ball, but it trickled over the line for the Dock’s second.

There were further half chances for both sides, the most notable being when Woodchurch hit the post in the last minute, with the ball rolling on the line for Stevenson to keep out.

In summary, a well deserved victory for Dock, with confidence high before next week’s trip to Queens Park.

FT: Dock 2-0 Woodchurch.

Dock. 3-5-2 (with substitues in brackets).
Stevenson, Crotty, Carlin, Bryne (Irvine), Duckers, Hughes (Saunders), Owen, Charters, Clampitt, I. McGraa (Head), M McGraa.

Paul Byrne Goal

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