Cup holders Dock were soundly beaten at the Memorial Ground by their Wallasey Premier League visitors and so relinquished the Wirral Premier crown.

Although Dock started brightly enough, zipping the ball around on the fine surface, it was Great Float that drew first blood, when striker and captain, James Harris shot past Martyn Stevenson in the Dock goal, to give the visitors and early lead.

Paul Byrne then had a snapshot fire just wide, on 10 minutes, as Dock tried to counter straight away. The home side then suffered a setback, as Tommy Wingfield had to leave the pitch injured, after an earlier tackle left him struggling at left back, his place being taken by Dean Thomas. Dock forward Ian McGraa was prominent in all Dock’s forward moves, and he set up decent chances for Steve Owen and Rob Whyte, neither of which could be taken.

Great Float almost doubled their lead on the half hour, when a mix up in the Dock defence saw Martyn Stevenson stranded in no man’s land and well off his line. Float forward Robbie Black then chipped the ball toward the Dock goal, only for Steve Duckers to make a miraculous goal line clearance.

Five minutes later, Dock took full advantage of the earlier let off, when Steve Duckers crossed from an overlapping right wing run to put a pin-point ball onto the head of Dean Thomas, who buried the chance from 8 yards out. This was the second game in a row where ‘super sub’ Thomas had come from the bench to score.

Thomas then went close to giving Dock the lead after a fine one-two with Ian McGraa, but the visitors came closest to regaining the lead just before the break when Harris fired narrowly over.

HT: Dock 1-1 Great Float.

As in the first half, Dock were caught cold from the re-start, when the Great Float captain James Harris, scored his second goal, after rounding Martyn Stevenson, when put clear after the Dock defenders were caught square. Despite the defenders appeals for offside, the referee gave the forward the benefit of any doubt and he finished in cool fashion.

The willing running of Harris, ably assisted by good displays from Black, King and Parrington was now a constant thorn in the side of the Dockers defenders and he almost scored his third on the hour mark, forcing a good save from Stevenson.

Substitute, Thomas then suffered the curse of the Dock left back position when he too limped off injured, to be replaced by Mark Head. Dock were now struggling to make any inroads into the Float penalty area, and in truth, the visiting ‘keeper Carruthers was rarely troubled.

Float then went close to sealing the tie when a Parrington shot was deflected by Duckers onto the crossbar with Stevenson beaten by the flight. With fifteen minutes remaining, there was a glimmer of hope for Dock when Float substitute Anglesey was given a straight red card for an over zealous tackle on Carl Clampitt.

It was ten man Great Float that sealed their win, however, on 75 minutes. The now tiring Crotty brought down that man Harris again inside the box and the skipper fired the spot kick home to complete his hat-trick. Crotty, who was injured in the process of giving away the spot kick came off to be replaced by Chris Barrow.

It was fitting that Man of the Match Harris had the last chance of the game, where he almost added his and Floats fourth only for his shot to go wide.

FT: Dock 1-3 Great Float.

Dock. 4-4-2 (with substitues in brackets).
Stevenson, Duckers, Byrne, Crotty (Barrow), Wingfield (Thomas) (Head), Mason, C. Clampitt, J. Clampitt, Owen, Whyte I. McGraa.