Dereham take points, and that’s all that matters to Matt Henman
08:34 16 November 2015
© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2015
It was all about the result for Matty Henman as he saw his side complete a double over struggling Heybridge.
On a rain drenched Aldiss Park pitch, a 51st-minute own goal was enough to secure victory for the Magpies, who had won 2-0 at Heybridge in August.
“They had conceded lots of goals so set themselves up solidly and were hard to break down,” said Henman. “Therefore we needed to be patient and not concede ourselves.
“I thought we started sloppily, but after we changed our shape slightly we got into the game more.
“It was a similar story in the second half, with the first goal very important.
“They pushed more people forward in the last 15 minutes, but we defended well.
“It was a game where the result was more important than the performance – it was about getting another win on the board.”
Home keeper Will Viner was called into action as early as the sixth minute when he sprung to his left to palm aside Luis Morrison’s powerful close-range effort.
As play switched ends, Rhys Logan just failed to convert Frazer Blake-Tracy’s inviting cross from the left.
Following an even start, Viner was busy again in the 15th minute when he saved George Doyle’s close-range effort after the ball had fallen kindly for him in the crowded box.
As the heavy rain persisted, Heybridge’s George Cole and Dereham’s Ryan Crisp both blazed wide from distance.
Dereham midfielder Adam Smith gained possession in the centre of the park and released Crisp down the left and the striker delivered a dangerous low ball that sped across the visitors’ goalmouth, with no one on hand to apply a finish with 29 minutes on the clock.
Several passes began to go astray before Heybridge’s Cole hit a 25-yarder which was deflected, forcing Viner to quickly change direction and save.
As the Magpies searched for the opener, Lewis Butcher fired Logan’s pull-back over the top from the edge of the box and visiting keeper Danny Sambridge then juggled with Blake-Tracy’s cross from the left before claiming it. Dereham were forced to make a change, with Aaron Kay replacing Smith.
With half-time approaching, Luke Tuttle headed Logan’s cross wide from point-blank range.
The Essex side were then presented with an opportunity as Doyle played in Morrison who struck a low drive that Viner saved with his foot as the half ended goalless.
The inclement weather showed no signs of abating during the internal and soon after the restart Tuttle slid the ball to Logan in an advanced position, enabling the winger to strike a firm diagonal drive that keeper Sambridge saved inside his near post.
Dereham finally broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half. Blake-Tracy progressed down the left before crossing, with Heybridge defender Liam Thomas steering the ball past his own keeper.
The visitors looked for an immediate reply, but Cole’s poorly-hit 20-yard drive failed to trouble home keeper Viner.
The Magpies then began to get on top and Butcher came within inches of increasing their lead in the 70th minute when he looped a loose ball on to the Heybridge crossbar.
Tuttle then put Butcher through, but Sambridge raced from his line to clear. As the home pressure continued Tuttle fired over the top before Sambridge was forced to save substitute Sam Borrer’s low drive after Kay had chipped the ball into his path.
The vital second goal was proving elusive for the Magpies, with Tuttle shooting straight into Sambridge’s arms when well placed. Heybridge continued to fight for the equaliser and with minutes remaining Shorwin Stanley headed Morrison’s centre wide – but Dereham held firm to take the points.
Dereham’s scheduled home game against Haringey on Tuesday night has been postponed because their opponents have an FA Trophy replay.