Dereham gained a good point against table-toppers Lakenheath in a hard-fought game on Saturday (final score 1-1) at Aldiss Park.

They forced two corners in the opening minute, which Lakenheath cleared. 

In the 10th minute, Jamie North linked well with Jordan Lake and struck a goal-bound 20-yard drive that forced visiting keeper Charlie Beckwith to dive full length and save.

The Magpies then won a free kick from a similar distance, North’s deflected drive was again superbly saved by Beckwith.

Dereham were content to play open passing football in a well-contested first 20 minutes. 

Just after Buttle picked up a yellow card, Lakenheath missed a good chance in the 26th minute when Tom Thurborn glanced Kaine Manners centre wide from point-blank range.

The visitors then won a free kick just outside the box. Coombes made a great save from Luke Young’s drive, but Tom Thorborn reacted well to head home the loose ball and give Lakenheath the lead.

Mac Gee was then sin-binned for comments to the referee after he was penalised for a foul on half-way.

Dereham faded after a promising start and needed to improve after the break. 

In the 47th minute Robbie Sweeney turned well and put Buttle though but his attempted pullback was intercepted.

Dereham should have scored minutes later when Beckwith made an another fine close range save from Bradley Spooner’s header and Buttle failed to net the rebound from close range.

Dereham were pressing well now and asking all the questions.

Spooner then slipped North in on the left of goal but again Beckwith saved.

The visitors ended the home pressure by winning a corner, which Karl Saffrey headed over the top.

In the 66th minute, Dereham kept possession well before Jordan Lake fired inches wide.

Dereham brought on Michael Campbell and he made an immediate impact. After taking a touch just inside the box on the left, he struck a low left-foot drive that entered the net via the inside of the post in the 67th minute.

Spooner then headed wide when well-placed after they attacked down the right.

Jamie Smith and Young both had shots that cleared the home crossbar. North put Sweeney through, and he lobbed the advancing keeper, but a defender got back to clear.

Skipper was cautioned for the home side.

Campbell fired over after Lake played him in as the game remained open.

Watts was booked for a cynical foul in the closing minutes, and the points were shared.

Match report by Rene Kendal