Martyn StevensonQueens Park was the visiting team to the Memorial Ground last Sunday and completed a league double over Dock. In doing so, Queens also maintained their 100% win record in the Birkenhead Premier League. Although most of the game was played out in bright sunshine, the spectators had to brave a cold wind throughout the match.

The pitch was in excellent condition and both sides were attempting to keep the ball on the ground and get their passing games going. The referee was keen to keep a lid on any over vociferous tackling and after 5 minutes both Dock’s centre forward and a Queens defender were booked for a high footed altercation. Shaun Crotty did well to clear a Queens shot off the line on 12 minutes and Dock responded when Steve Duckers and Crotty linked up well to force a Dock corner.

Queens started to assert their authority in midfield, with Cotgrave and Bowe dominating possession. For the next fifteen minutes, it was Queens who looked the more likely scorers, and good chances were missed from a series of crosses that Queens failed to convert.

Dock responded with a couple of sporadic attacks with Ian McGraa trying his best to get Dock moving forward. Before the half time whistle went, it was again Queens that had good chances to make the breakthrough. Again, a combination of poor finishing and a great save from Dock ‘keeper Martyn Stevenson, who pushed a goal bound effort onto the bar, kept the scores level at the break.

HT: Dock 0-0 Queens Park.

Queens made the breakthrough on 47 minutes when they caught Dock cold from the half time break and winger Murray tucked away a shot into the corner of Stevenson’s net after a free kick was poorly defended. Dock then introduced Ian Irvine to replace Mike Saunders who suffered a hamstring injury. It was Dock who came close to an equalizer from a free kick soon afterwards. Queens then again ‘upped a gear’ and just before the hour had an effort cleared off the Dock line, in an incident which saw Stevenson injured. Queen’s Terry Cotgrave then hit the bar from a free kick on the hour mark and Stevenson again pushed a Queens’s effort onto the post as the visitors searched a second goal.

As a reminder to Queen’s that their lead was a slender one, Duckers had a good chance to equalize, but Peace in the Dock goal made a great save. Tom Charters did force a good save from Peace but it came as no surprise when Queen’s doubled their lead from substitute Jackson’s header on 80 minutes.

In the final ten minutes, Queen’s had a couple more chances to extend their lead but the Dock rearguard repelled these with good goalkeeping and some fine last ditch defending.

In summary, Queen’s were well worth their win and Dock will need to improve before the two sides meet again next month in the Wirral Premier Cup Final.

FT: Dock 0-2 Queens Park.

Dock. 3-5-2 (with substitues in brackets).
Stevenson, Crotty, Byrne, O’ Hanlon, Duckers, Owen, Charters, I. McGraa, Saunders (Irvine), Kenyon, Whyte

Queens attack

Report: Peter Warburton
Photos: Chris Stading

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