Dereham Town begin their Norfolk Senior Cup final countdown
- Credit: Archant
Dereham Town have begun their Carrow Road waiting game after completing their Ryman League season, writes Rene Kendal.
The Magpies rounded off their third Division One North campaign with a 2-1 defeat at Barkingside on Saturday. And when the final whistle blew the countdown to their second Norfolk Senior Cup final in a row finally took centre stage.
Matt Henman's men will have to be patient though with that clash against Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division champions Norwich United, their next match, not being played until Friday, May 13.
United however will not be left kicking their heels for quite as long with two matches, including a League Cup final on Monday, of their term left to play ahead of the showcase county cup fixture.
Dereham – who lost last year's Senior Cup showdown at the home of Norwich City 3-2 after extra-time against Wroxham – begin their preparations for the match knowing they've secured a third successive top-10 finish at Step Four of the non-league ladder despite losing their last game.
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It might have been different had they not had a clear penalty appeal turned down in the opening minute after Luke Tuttle was impeded.
Dereham were still ruing the penalty decision when Barkingside were awarded a spot-kick of their own, on 18 minutes, when Jonathan Adebayo was brought down by Matt Howard in the box.
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Luke With made no mistake from the spot to put the home side in front.
Playing constructive football was proving difficult, but Dereham grabbed the equaliser in the 37th minute.
Fraser Blake-Tracey delivered a quality ball into the box from the left which Tuttle diverted towards Lewis Butcher who slotted home from close range to make it all square at the break.
However, Barkingside regained the lead against the run of play in the 71st minute through Michael Spencer.
It had been a completely different story on Thursday night during what was a night to remember for frontman Tuttle.
The hot-shot netted four times at Aldiss Park as Henman's troops thumped Great Wakering Rovers 5-1.
Tuttle opened his account with a 20-yard volley before winning, and then converting, a penalty.
Just after the half-hour Dereham were awarded another penalty and Tuttle completed his treble.
Wakering pulled a goal back early in the second half through Jake Gordon but they never threatened a comeback.
Matt Howard's glancing header made it four, from Tuttle's cross, before the provider netted again to round off a five-star display.