Birkenhead United 4 ECB 2 played 11/06/2016 at Shepherds Park

This was a strange game. Birkenhead started with a hiss and a roar and could have been three goals up after ten minutes, had they been accurate. Bays finally got out of their half and scored when a Dylan Stansfield header caught Damian Hirst off his line. Another Bays foray a few minutes later saw Hirst deny Kieran McMinn. Bays won the ball back, McMinn slipped a pass through to Stansfield  who slotted past Hirst and Bays were 2-0 up.


It was toe to toe for the next twenty minutes with play surging form end to end and both defences kept very busy.


The final minutes before half time then turned into a horror show for East Coast Bays. Birkenhead won another corner, others had been comfortably cleared, but this time Ethan Galbraith got up over his marker to head the ball into the net, pulling one back.


Hirst scrambled away a Jason McKeown free kick, the ball was cleared and Birkenhead attacked, the ball was crossed from the right, both keeper and defence failed to cut it out, it fell to Godwin Darkwa who cut the ball back to Matthew Banks, who equalised with a powerful strike.


The second half was more cut and thrust. Andrew Mobberley and Stansfield had chances while Galbraith was twice denied by Alex Carr.


Mobberley then had a strike cleared off the line, Birkenhead broke and Ryan Cain struck with a low drive that gave Carr no chance.


Bays then had a great chance to equalise as Stansfield broke down the right and crossed to Mobberley. He took one touch too many and Hirst was able to smother his strike. The ball fell to Judd Baker but his shot was headed off the line by Tom Davis, who had got back in time to cover his keeper.


Bays had made their third substitution, just moments before when Alec Solomons was injured in a tackle and had to leave the field. Bays were down to ten and Birkenhead took advantage.


Another Birkenhead foray, Cain had a shot that Carr failed to hold and the ball trickled over the line.


The final minutes saw Bays unsuccessfully trying to get a goal back.  A debut late in the game, for young Cody Rickard from the Development Team.


Team:  Carr, Carter, Solomons, Kolston, Robinson, Damon (Kadiya 62), McKeown, McMinn (Archer 50), Mobberley (Rickard 77), Stansfield, Baker


Goals:  Stansfield 15, 22


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