Magpies thump Brentwood in huge boost to play-off hopes
- Credit: Dereham Town FC
Dereham Town received a huge boost in their quest for promotion as they thumped play-off rivals Brentwood 3-0 at Aldiss Park.
Roared on by almost 200 fans on Tuesday night, Adam Gusterson's men produced an accomplished second-half performance to see off the Essex outfit.
All three strikes came in the final 20 minutes, with skipper David Hinton opened the scoring before striker Toby Hilliard added a classy brace.
The result sees Dereham rise to sixth in the Isthmian League North, just two points outside the final play-off place occupied by Grays Athletic.
For the best part of an hour, the teams had been fairly evenly matched on a chilly evening and the game looked like heading for a stalemate.
In what was a scrappy first half, Brentwood shaded the possession but the home side repeatedly looked dangerous on the counter attack.
Perhaps the best chance fell to Hilliard, who failed to make clean contact with a Shaun Bammant cut-back.
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The Magpies started to gain momentum as the second period progressed, and got their breakthrough after 70 minutes.
Adam Hipperson took on his man before squaring to Hinton, who produced a cool finish to slot into the bottom corner.
And just a couple of minutes later it was two as Hilliard, with the ball at his feet and back to goal, pulled off a cheeky backheel to catch Brentwood's keeper off guard.
The forward provided the cherry on top in stoppage time with a clinical finish after Dereham surged forward on another counter.
A delighted Gusterson said: "They were the better side for the opening 20 minutes, but we stood firm and gradually imposed ourselves in the game.
"We created numerous clear-cut chances and deservedly won the game.
"It’s vital we now follow this up in what is another massive game on Saturday."
Dereham will travel to Coggeshall Town for a 3pm kick-off this Saturday.
Coggeshall currently sit in 13th place.