Dereham Hockey Club men maintain impressive run

Dereham Mens 1st XI 1, West Herts 1

Dereham continued their impressive run of form with a 1-1 draw at home to second-placed West Herts in East League Premier A.

After three successive wins, Dereham faced the high-fliers without regular keeper Tom Vaughan, meaning George Boldero stepped up for his Premier A debut.

Boldero was called into action almost immediately as the Dereham defence were not as quick to get started as the West Herts attack. He made a sharp save low to his left to ensure the visitors didn't get a dream start. West Herts had endless possession, but were unable to make it countin the first 20 minutes. Dereham managed to create three or four gilt edged chances in the same time period, but the West Herts keeper was in fantastic form.

Herts created more chances as the half wore on, and it needed a last ditch clearance on the line from Matt Stainthorpe to ensure the scores remained level. The visitors eventually broke the deadlock with an incisive through ball leaving the forwards with a two on one situation which gave Boldero no chance as the forward swept the ball in to an open net.

In the second half, Boldero was called on once again with a sharp save, and Mark Hunter was able to clear the rebound from the goal line. Dereham pushed for an equaliser, and again were frustrated by the West Herts keeper. The away team always looked vulnerable at the back, and were unable to deal with the pace of the Dereham counter-attacks.

The home team finally drew level with 15 minutes to go, as Ric Timm pounced on the ball in the D, and finished smartly. West Herts were becoming more and more frustrated with their inability to create chances, and their winger was sin binned for arguing with the umpire close to the end of the game. Dereham pushed for a winner, and in the last five minutes Ric Timm beat three defenders along the back line before laying the ball to Richard Stainthorpe whose shot went agonisingly wide.