Dereham topple leaders

Dereham Town 2, Soham Town Rangers 0 THE Magpies recorded a great win against the Ridgeons League championship leaders at Aldiss Park on Saturday after a fine match.

Dereham Town 2, Soham Town Rangers 0

THE Magpies recorded a great win against the Ridgeons League championship leaders at Aldiss Park on Saturday after a fine match.

A second-half own goal by simon Flanz put Dereham ahead, Robbie Harris sealing the points.

Caretaker manager Adam Gusterson, who hands over the first team reins on Easter Monday (see back page) was able to name a full strength side, writes Rene Kendal.

Dereham had two chances in the opening minute with keeper Margarson having to thump Sam Willis' cross to safety before Barrett blazed wide from 20 yards after a good build up down the right.

In the fifth minute Soham launched a quick break down the middle with Sam Willis making an important tackle to thwart Jones deep in the home half.

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As the high tempo opening continued, Harris produced a penetrating run and cross that flew across the Soham box.

The Cambridge side were soon in their stride, winning four corners within the space of five minutes, but could not fail to trouble keeper Marshall.

In the 17th minute Dereham missed a good chance. Wilson played a great long ball down the right to Harris whose pacey low cross to the far post could not be converted by Mudell.

Marshall was forced into action having to claw hold of Jimson's goal-bound header.

Margarson then leapt to his right to make a crucial save to keep out Mudell's low 15-yard drive after the striker had worked a neat one-two with Sam Willis.

In the 30th minute Soham created a move down the right with Libram finding Turner, who delivered a deep centre towards Jones. The striker's low volley was heading for the net until Marshall made a brilliant save low to his right.

Soham continued to press without opening the resilient home defence before Mudell won a flag kick for the Magpies. However Barrett's centre was well claimed by the keeper.

The first half was an end-to-end affair and it was all square at the break.

The title-chasing visitors came out looking for an early goal with Jimson creating space well in the box and firing a low drive that Marshall held with Simpson looking to net the rebound.

The home keeper then dived to his right to save a Libram header following Flanz's cross from the right.

As play switched ends Muddell tested Margarson with a dipping drive from the left of the box which the keeper tipped behind.

Soham skipper Simpson played in Libam down the left as the striker homed in on goal Wilson made a vital interception.

In the 59th minute Howell received the ball near the right by-line turning inside his man before delivering a left-foot cross that eluded Harris near the penalty spot. However Flanz attempted a cushioned header towards his keeper which entered the net to put the Magpies in front.

Dereham were forced into two changes with Garner and Anselin replacing the injured Terrington and Olly Willis.

In the 67th minute Dereham won a throw-in on the left. After receiving the ball Garner sent over a low cross into the danger area with Harris smartly moving inside his marker to superbly slot home.

Soham, needing all the points to maintain their title push, piled forward but the Magpies' defence was in excellent form.

Cullington was having an on-going tussle with Furnell and was cautioned for a heavy challenge on the striker.

Beaumont replaced Harris for the home side in the 82nd minute and was immediately sent away following a long clearance.

After out-pacing McNeill he struck a fine left-foot shot which the keeper tipped to safety. Minutes later the young striker came close again when his scorching right-foot drive was pushed onto the post by the keeper.

With minutes remaining Libam burst into the Dereham box and hit a fierce low drive, but Marshall was in great form and again confidently saved.

Dereham played out the remaining minutes to take the points with a superb performance against their quality opponents.

The Magpies' next game is on Easter Monday when they visit Walsham-le-Willows for the first time, ko 3pm.

Dereham v Soham: S Marshall, O Willis, C Terrington, J Wilson, D Cullington, A Gusterson, N Howell, S Willis, R Harris, G Barrett, S Mudell. Subs: C Anselin, S Garner, D Beaumont, G Mann, J Eastoe-Smith.