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On Saturday, Birkenhead Hockey Club faced a team they had met at a pre-season friendly; West Derby. With a 1s team heavily affected by unavailability the 2s brigade came to the rescue.
Birkenhead quickly got up and running, with lots of back and forth from both teams. Both sides earned short corners, but there was no change to the scoreline. Bobby Dee made a great run, dazzling the West Derby defence, and placed the ball in front of Dan Brennan who jabbed it between the legs of the visitor’s keeper, opening the scoring for Birkenhead.
West Derby didn’t waste time and immediately applied pressure to the Birkenhead defence. They packed out the home side’s ‘D’ and a shot fired in from the far right which took a deflection into the far corner of the goal, bringing the scoreline level.
A short corner goal injected by Edd Thomas, set up by Rob Delius and flicked in by Dan Brennan, put the Birkenhead team in the lead by 2 goals to 1.
West Derby tried hard to level the scores but the Birkenhead defence stood strong. A shot was fired high towards the goal bt the West Derby side, with goalie Gary McKay getting a touch to ensure it went over the top. A one-on-one chance was also pushed wide. The Birkenhead goalie closed the runner down as he tried to open a shot, which was fired at McKay but headed wide, The first half ended 2-1 to Birkenhead.
The second half saw some strong plays, including missed attempts on goal by both teams. West Derby then equalised from a solid play, overwhelming the Birkenhead defence with shear numbers, leaving the score at 2-2.
Joe Walberg had a goal disallowed because the umpire blew for a short corner without playing advantage. After a series of short corners were given, a penalty flick was awarded. With commotion from players all over the pitch, a ding could just be heard. Dan Brennan beat the keeper but couldn’t beat the post.
West Derby saw that they had a good chance at stealing the win, pushed players forward. One broke through for a one-on-one. Taking the ball for a reverse, he switched and fired a shot towards the Birkenhead goal. With Gary McKay closing down the player, he managed to get enough shoulder on it to send it wide.
In the final moment, Birkenhead had momentum with Dan Brennan bearing down almost to the ‘D’, the umpire blew the final whistle. The final score was 2-2, which was a very fair result for a game that could have gone either way.