A new-look Dereham Football Club side started their Thurlow Nunn Premier League campaign at Aldiss Park with a convincing 2-0 victory against Brantham Athletic. 

The Magpies won an early corner that Sam Watts headed wide from an inviting Bradley Spooner cross, a sign of things to come.

A few moments later, home keeper Tom Coombe had to be alert to tip a Brantham cross over his crossbar.

Dereham was looking to play some neat football and won another corner on the left. Brad Spooner’s centre was headed firmly goalward by Watts, but it was blocked by one of his teammates to prevent Dereham from taking the lead

The visitors won a free kick just outside the box. Coombe comfortably saved the weak effort in the 17th minute. 

Dereham won a free kick on the left, Spooner delivered a superb curling centre that beat three home players looking to apply the final touch. 

Jordan Buttle then stabbed the ball across goal and inches wide in the 28th minute as the Magpies continued to look the most likely to open the scoring.

Dereham made the breakthrough in the 40th minute. Clarke laid the ball into the path of Brad Spooner who hit a powerful low 20-yard drive that screamed into the bottom corner of the net. 

Dereham then missed a good chance to increase their lead when Andy Eastaugh headed another Spooner kick over from close range. 

However, the Magpies did increase their advantage in first-half stoppage time. Jordan Lake found Spooner out on the right, who delivered another excellent centre that Sam Watts powerfully headed home through a group of players. 

After the break, a good run and low centre from Buttle nearly unlocked the visiting defence.

The Suffolk side created their first chance in the 54th minute when Aiden Phair turned and struck a left footer that did not have enough power to trouble Coombes. 

In the 61st minute Brantham’s Kian Wilson found Lanchlan Haines in an advanced position in the home box but defender Eastaugh made a timely interception. 

The visitors used three of their substitutes as they tried to claw their way back in the game, but Gee continued to dominate in the centre of the pitch, breaking up the play alongside his fellow defensive midfielder Lake.

Another curling Spooner free kick was begging to be finished in the 79th minute.

Spooner played a precise one-two with Michael Campbell and was through on goal but visiting keeper Finlay Shorten stood up well to save. 

In the final minute, Lewis Dugdale sent over an excellent ball from the left that Spencer Cawcutt headed off target.

Josh Maccan put Campbell through with a great ball from the left, but the striker failed to finish as the keeper closed him down. 

Brantham's stopper made a final, athletic, save to prevent Lewis Dugdale from extending the lead to three as the Magpies made it two goals for three points on the opening day.

The Magpies return to Aldiss Park on Monday, August 4 to take on  Walsham Le Willows in an FA Cup extra preliminary match.