Dock Goal Scorer DeanoDock will look back on this game with disappointment and two points lost, rather than a point gained against a spirited Prenton Dell at Plymyards. The recent fine autumnal weather gave way to windy conditions and good football was at a premium on a tricky pitch. Although Dell can be pleased with their effort and hard work, Dock nevertheless created more than enough chances to win the game handsomely.

Dock had an early scare inside 5 minutes when Dell centre forward Bigland had the ball in the net, only to be correctly ruled offside. Bigland then followed this effort up with a volley that cleared Martyn Stevenson’s crossbar as Dell used the strong wind to their advantage. Dock’s first effort on goal came from Steve Owen, whose shot screwed narrowly wide on 20 minutes. Mark Head then went close for the visitors following a sweeping move that started in the Dock half when Tom Charter won a thunderous 50-50 tackle.

It was Dell, however, that took the lead on 23 minutes, when after a long hopeful through ball was misjudged by the Dock defenders, Bigland raced on to finish well with a low drilled shot into Stevenson’s net.

In the latter stages of the first half, it was Dock who were now mastering the windy conditions with their short passing game and good chances fell to Chris Barrow, Mark Head and Rob Whyte but none of their efforts were enough to trouble Dell ‘keeper Bimpson.

HT: Prenton Dell 1-0 Dock.

Dock kicked off the second half with the strong wind behind them and were soon camped out in the Dell half, where the home centre half Kevin Thompson was proving to be a formidable obstacle for the Dock forwards. A flurry of good chances then came to Dock, notably for Head, Barrow, Whyte and Owen, but through some poor finishing and some stout defending, Dell held onto their lead.

On 70 minutes, Mark Head took a heavy challenge and had to be replaced by Dean Thomas, whose impact was almost immediate when he came close with a snapshot on 73 minutes. Two minutes later, however, Dock earned a deserved equalizer through Thomas (pictured above), who headed home a Jon Clampitt free kick, after Dell were penalized for a late challenge some 30 yards out.

With Dell visibly tiring now, Dock looked to push on for the winner and Rob Whyte had the ball in the net, only to be ruled offside from what would have been a Thomas assist. With two minutes remaining, Dell’s defence managed to clear a goalbound effort from a header by Whyte off the line.

As the referee blew for time, there were contrasting moods on the respective lines. Dell celebrated a hard earned point, while the Dockers support went home ruing a series of missed chances, which should have earned them the three points.

FT: Prenton Dell 1-1 Dock AFC.

Dock. 4-4-2 (with substitues in brackets).
Stevenson, Charter, Carlin, Brunt, Wingfield, Head (Thomas), C. Clampitt, J, Clampitt, Owen, Barrow, Whyte.