Dereham Town have to settle for a point as visitors grab late equaliser
- Credit: Archant
Dereham Town had to settle for a point at Aldiss Park on Saturday after visitors Gray Athletic scored an 86th minute equaliser.
The 2-2 draw at least got the Magpies' points tally moving again after successive defeats and joint boss Adam Gusterson was happy enough after the game.
'Could've won, could've lost, eventually drew! That's the standard of Isthmian League North and I am pleased we are now being competitive against top quality sides. Big run-in which we're all ready for,' he tweeted.
Dereham, who are now outside the bottom three on goal difference only, will be looking to open up a gap on Saturday when they travel to 12th placed Canvey Island.
Both sides had to adapt to the strong wind on Saturday but looked to use the ball constructively. The Magpies were awarded a penalty in the ninth minute when Owen Murphy was tripped and Adam Hipperson sent Clarke Bogard the wrong way from the spot to open the scoring.
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Dereham were playing positively against the breeze and Adam Smith headed onto Hipperson who made Bogard save from an acute angle. In the 29th minute Rhys Logan was fouled 25 yards out and Danny Beaumont's free-kick forced the keeper into a smart full length save.
Grays equalised in the 32nd minute when the ball reached Correy Davidson outside the box and he netted with a superbly taken volley.
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In the second half Smith blazed over from the edge of the box before Joe Gatting headed Logan's right flank cross over from point blank range. Dereham regained the lead in the 51st minute when Logan passed inside to Crisp who found David Hinton on the left hand side of the box and he rounded two defenders before firing home into the bottom corner for a superb goal.
In the 60th minute an attempted back pass to keeper Pride was intercepted by Bishop and as he looked set to score home defender Shaun Wones dived to block.
Gray's started to exert a spell of pressure, with Dereham scrabbling to clear their lines on three occasions, and it finally paid off four minutes from time when a mix-up allowed Aaron Gordon score. In added time Dereham wasted a great chance when Hipperson blazed over from inside the box and the same player then forced Bogard into a fine save.
Dereham: E Pride, D Beaumont, O Murphy, D Hinton, S Wones, M Castellan, R Logan, A Smith, J Gatting, R Crisp (J Forshaw 71), A Hipperson. Subs: D Frary, L Johnson, A Plumstead.
Ref: P Quick; Att: 238.