Dereham resistance is broken by leaders
West Herts 3, Dereham 1
Dereham visited the top of the table side missing two regulars, which enabled them to give debuts to schoolboys James Lavers and Ryan Rollins.
They set about their onerous task with a specific game plan in mind, to soak up as much pressaure as possible and hit the home team on the counter.
The first half couldn't have gone much better for the visitors. Despite being on the back foot from the start, the defence and midfield stood firm, and resolutely defended the D restricting any opportunities for the home team.
Halfway through the half, it was Dereham who took a shock lead with a sucker punch counter attack. Ric Timm latched on to a through ball and smashed a shot past the outcoming keeper.
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This spurred the home team on, but the defence stood strong, and went in to the break with a one-goal lead.
Following the break, it was much more of the same from the visitors as gritty determination took over and the precious lead was defended with everything the team could muster.
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They were able to hold strong until with 20 minutes to go, West Herts broke through, and were able to grab a deserved equaliser.
The draw was still on the cards, and once again Dereham dug deep, but it wasn't to be, as West Herts scored their second with just 12 minutes to go. Dereham went looking for a further equaliser, but in doing so conceded a third goal.
Dereham II 5, Rutland 0
Dereham secured their fourth clean sheet of the season in a game notable by the performance of four players under 16 years old.
George Boldero in goal produced a series of stunning saves, Matt Turner contributed a couple of assists, while 15-year-old Tom Lovesey and 13-year-old Bruce van Poortvliet scored their first senior goals.
Veteran defender Pete Hazell (his age being more than the combined age of the four youngsters) added to his tally of short corner goals with two more thunderbolts and Graeme Campbell continued his rich scoring vein with the final goal to complete a comfortable victory.