Dereham Hockey Club men experience joy and despair

Dereham Mens 1st XI 2, Bishop's Stortford 1

Dereham maintained their outstanding home form on Saturday before suffering their first Premier A Division defeat of 2012 the following day.

The double header weekend started with a 2-1 victory at home to Bishop's Stortford.

Dereham were forced to re-shuffle in the heart of their defence, for near enough the first time this season, and the changes showed, as it took a while for the defence to adjust.

Stortford pressed forward early on, and created a number of chances, but were unable to find a way past keeper Tom Vaughan who had returned following injury. Dereham then grew in confidence, and began to create chances of their own, but were also unable to find a way past the keeper.

The visitors eventually broke the deadlock with a run from just outside the 25-yard line before offloading to the far post for the centre forward to sweep home from two yards.

Dereham were gifted the opportunity to hit back when a Stortford defender passed the ball across the top of the D directly to Ric Timm, who took one step into the D before drilling the ball past the outcoming keeper to make it 1-1 at half time.

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Dereham started the second half stronger as they looked to build on their good fortune, and were rewarded early in the second half, when a through ball from Andy Howarth found Michael Timm free on the halfway line. Timm turned and beat three defenders on his way towards the D before rounding the keeper, and slotting the ball into the open net from the angle.

There were further chances for Dereham, but they were unable to add to their tally. Stortford battled hard, but their inability to finish cost them the game.

Wapping 4, Dereham Mens 1st XI 3

On a wet and miserable day in London, Dereham suffered their first defeat of the year against a spirited Wapping side who are looking to avoid relegation.

Further adjustments at the back meant the the usual pairing of Stainthorpe and Hunter weren't available, and once again it took time for the defence to settle.

Wapping started strongly, creating some good opportunities, but were unable to beat Vaughan in goal. The home side eventually broke the deadlock after 20 minutes with a close range effort.

Dereham fought back immediately, and it was Andy Lawrence who smashed home a short corner.

Lawrence doubled his tally shortly afterwards with another short corner, this time changing his angle before finding the bottom corner.

Wapping pulled back level with a deflected shot, and took the lead shortly before half-time.

Dereham came out of the blocks strongly in the second half, but created few opportunities, until they managed to win a third short corner, and Lawrence stepped up to complete his hat trick with another low shot giving the keeper no chance.

In the final 20 minutes, Dereham grew stronger, and came close to winning the game, only to be hit with a sucker punch in the last minute as Wapping took the points.