Dereham FC finish home campaign with late victory

Dereham Tn 2, Haverhill 1

Nicky Howell's injury-time strike handed Dereham victory in their final home match of the season.

The Magpies stand 10th in the Ridgeons League Premier Division, but could rise up to seventh if they win their final match, at Felixstowe & Walton, on Saturday.

Gary Starling came within inches of netting for the hosts in the fourth minute when his fierce drive skimmed the upright following a corner.

As heavy rain descended on Aldiss Park, Sam Borrer had a 20-yarder deflected for a corner before Nathan Howard forced Haverhill keeper Liam Cutts into a fine save.

The visitors won a free-kick 25 yards out in the 21st minute and Marc Abbott's low shot was directed into the net by Dereham's Luke Hannant with keeper Matt Powley wrong-footed.

In the 30th minute Marc Abbott curled a free-kick just over the top as the visitors threatened again.

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Dereham equalised in the 35th minute when defender Michael Sommerfield leapt well to head home a Starling cross from the right.

After the break Dereham pressed hard and Adam Smith was denied by Haverhill keeper Liam Cutts in the 55th minute.

Ollie Willis was finding space down the right and from one of his crosses in the 62nd minute Howard steered the ball wide. Sommerfield then hit a powerful 35-yard effort narrowly wide of the target before Howard latched onto a direct through ball but dragged his shot wide.

Starling curled a free-kick over the top as Dereham continued to look the more likely to score, with Howell heading wide and Adam Smith firing into the side netting.

In added time Howell fired home a loose ball in the box to give Dereham a late winner.

Rene Kendal