Dock AFC v Offerton Green FC 12th March 2017The Dock, Offy’s opponents were looking to make it third time lucky in this Cheshire Cup Semi final. In the two Sunday’s prior to this game, they had suffered two semi final defeats to Woodchurch United and Queens Park.

Dock should have taken the lead early on but for a ‘Banks’ like save from Offerton’s keeper, Richie Torkington, diving to his left to somehow scoop away a, Paul Byrne, goal-bound header, which came from, Ian McGraa’s free kick. Torkington then produced another good save from, Charlie McInnes header but the flag had already gone up for offside.

For most of the first half, neither side in possession had the nous to outwit the two solid looking defences. Offy, when they got near the Dock, penalty area, their crosses were easily dealt with by the tall Dock, defences, or the safe hands of Martyn Stevenson, the keeper. Danny Dignan, caused a bit of concern to Stevenson, when he had him stretching to tip his cross over the bar. Only for a superb piece of defending by Steve Owen, on his goal line, denied Tyrone Turner, from scoring with a superbly struck volley from the edge of the area.
Seven minutes from the break, the deadlock was broken. Will Bulpin’s corner, found the head of Dock’s, Matty Carlin, who gave Torkington, no chance with his well-placed header in the left hand corner.

Dock AFC v Offerton Green FC 12th March 2017In the first attack of the second half, Bulpin, fired a shot over Torkington’s bar. Offy, made a couple of substitutions, putting Mike Taylor, on and Joel Atkinson, replacing, Jordi McNally, and Barry Kennerk, They started to look more refreshed up front. But, for me one of turning points of the match, was the introduction of Dock’s Ollie Nugent. A most interesting individual. He is a member of the England cerebral palsy team. Was a member of the England team that finished fifth, in the world championships played over here, then he was part of the squad for the seven aside tournament in the Paralympic games over in Rio. He was with Tranmere Rovers, from the age of eight, played for Chester FC, and is currently at Runcorn FC. His ambition, to become a professional footballer. Certainly an inspiration with anyone who has got a disability. Nugent’s pace up front, was an instant threat to Offy’s defence.

The other turning point, was the referee, Mr. Kenny waving away Offy’s appeal for handball. Mike Taylor’s free kick into the area was definitely ‘nudged’ away by a Carl Clampitt elbow. Previous to that, Dieter Downey, forced Stevenson, into a brave save, he set himself for a volley on the right hand side of the area, but sliced his shot.
Nugent, showed his talent when he ran through the defence and lashed a shot just wide of the post. On the next assault, Torkington, did well to get a hand to Steve Owen’s shot, then from the rebound, Jamie Pickering, somehow appeared from nowhere, to clear, Charlie McInness’s, shot.

Dock AFC v Offerton Green FC 12th March 2017Unfortunately for Offerton, their heroics meant nothing. Nugent, sprinting onto a through ball, got their just before Torkington, to drive the ball into the empty net. When they finally found him under a pile of jubilant team-mates, there was just time to restart before the final whistle was blown. A valiant attempt by our lads, but just quite not good enough on the day.Dock AFC v Offerton Green FC 12th March 2017