Witham 1 Dereham Town 1: Magpies unlucky not to take victory at Witham
- Credit: Archant
Dereham were unlucky to leave Spa Lane with only a point.
Play was scrappy in the opening minutes as the players adjusted to the blustery conditions.
In the 13th minute Rhys Logan lifted a free kick into the box with the ball coming out to Adam Hipperson whose 20-yard drive was deflected for a corner.
Witham came close in the 20th minute when Declan Nche swivelled outside the box and hit a firm wind assisted left foot drive that clipped the outside of the post.
The Magpies missed a great chance when Hipperson went on a penetrating run to the left by line before delivering a low cross that David Hinton sliced wide from close range.
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Witham gained an interval lead in the 45th minute with a fortuitous goal when Liam Whipps' cross from the left lifted over keeper Elliott Pride and dropped into the net.
Now with the wind in their favour Dereham pressed hard at the start of the second half. Manager Adam Gusterson introduced Ryan Crisp to support Hilliard up front. They won a penalty in the 60th minute when the ball struck defender Issac Nitosi's arm in the box. Adam Hipperson sent Madden the wrong way from the spot for the equaliser.
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The Magpies won two corners as they began to dominate. Hipperson was fouled just outside the box as he tried to tee up a shot in the 72nd minute.
Logan curled the resultant free kick way over the top. Dereham won a corner on the right and Logan's delivery fell to Hipperson whose low drive struck Whipps and deflected into keeper Madden's arms. Hipperson then had an effort cleared off the line by Nitosi after unselfish play by Hilliard but Dereham could not find the winner they deserved.
Witham: Madden, Willis, Whipps, Smith, Nitosi, Emsden, Taylor, Nche, Kemp (West 82), Tosoni (Khayar 77), Jacobs (Bell 88). Subs: Khayar, Stewart, Deighton.
Dereham: Pride, Murphy, Dickerson, Linford (Crisp 55), Snapkauskas, Castellan, Logan, Quantrell, Hilliard, Hinton, Hipperson. Subs: Smith, Stewart, Matthews, Willis.
Referee: O Morris-Sanders