Dereham Town 2 Romford 3 – Magpies still struggling to find consistency
PUBLISHED: 10:26 23 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:26 23 January 2017
Dereham went down to a narrow defeat at home to Romford as the Magpies’ search for consistency goes on.
Dereham manager Matt Henman was able to welcome back Adam Smith, Vadim Costandachi, Daniel Morphew and David Hinton to the side that beat Wakering Rovers last Saturday.
They made a great start when the ball looped over the head of visiting centre back Ryan Mallett, allowing striker Joe Gatting to sprint forward and lob keeper Callum Chaffee in the sixth minute.
Romford had a chance to equalise minutes later after home keeper Will Viner let Greg Akpele’s left flank cross slip from his grasp but Aswasi Margo fired into the side netting from close range.
The home side were forced to make a change as the returning Costandachi had a recurrence of his groin injury and had to replaced by Morphew.
The Magpies came close to increasing their lead in the 27th minute; after winning a corner on the right Morphew’s powerful header from Rhys Logan’s centre was arrowing towards the net until defender Ryan Boswell made a vital clearance.
The Essex side were spreading play wide well and nearly benefited when the ball was played inside to Greg Akpele who swivelled outside the box and hit a fierce left foot drive that forced home keeper Viner into a superb full length save.
Romford gained possession on the right and the ball was lifted into the home box; Dereham could not clear their lines, enabling Jonathan Abebayo to turn and net with a quality left shot in the 42nd minute.
The visitors found the net again three minutes later as Kai Bichard rose well at the far post to head home Akwasi Marfo’s ball from the right to give them an interval lead.
However, the Magpies soon levelled things up after the break following a corner on the left. Harley Black delivered the ball towards the near post where Danny Beaumont headed on towards Gatting who gleefully cushioned a header into the net for his second goal of the match with 50 minutes on the clock.
Dereham were harshly reduced to 10 men in the 60th minute. Logan chased a long ball over the visiting defence and as he looked to net the keeper stooped to head the ball clear after racing from his box.
Logan accidentally caught the keeper’s head and to the amazement of the Aldiss Park crowd received a red from the referee.
Romford pressed with their numerical advantage and Akpele netted from close range and restore Romford’s lead in the 74th minute. As the drama continued visiting keeper Chaffer was injured as he looked to have fouled Ryan Crisp in the box but the referee dismissed Dereham’s penalty appeals.
Dereham won a free kick in an advanced position that Hinton chipped straight into the stand-in keeper’s arms and Crisp drove a cross from the left over the top as the Magpies lacked the required quality to find the equaliser.
Dereham: Viner, Black, Grant, Linford, Frary, Constandachi, Logan, Smith, Gatting, Hinton, Beaumont (Crisp 70).
Subs: S Dodden, W Sainsbury-Logan.
Romford: Chaffer (Reynolds 82), Boswell, Dicks, Cossington, Mallett, Barry (Olukoga 82), Adenauer, Akpele, McKenzie, Bichard, Marfo: Subs: Brown-Sykes, Taylor, Ishmail.
Referee: N Smith