Dereham Town deliver a perfect response by beating Needham Market

Matt Henman was a happy chappy on Tuesday. Picture: IAN BURT

Matt Henman was a happy chappy on Tuesday. Picture: IAN BURT - Credit: IAN BURT

Dereham Town manager Matt Henman was left delighted after seeing his side cruise to a 3-1 victory over Ryman North title-hopefuls Needham Market.

The Magpies started well at Aldiss Park on Tuesday and having squandered an early chance Craig Bussens fired his men ahead from close range after just 10 minutes.

Dereham went close to increasing their lead on several occasions and Needham punished the hosts for failing to take their chances when they equalised in the 54th minute with Sam Newson slotting home.

Play opened up in the closing stages with a string of chances at either end, but it was Dereham who delivered when it mattered.

Ryan Hawkins netted a powerful strike on the turn and in added time Sam Borrer made it three.

Henman, whose troops lost 2-0 at Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday, said: 'We put a lot of pressure on ourselves after Saturday, so to respond by playing as well as we did and getting a deserved win, against what I see as the best side in this league is a perfect response.

'It is also a really pleasing victory as it not only helps to build momentum at a very important time in the season, it also gives us that belief that if we do get into the play-offs that we can beat any side in this league.

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'I thought we showed against Needham just how well we can restrict sides and that when we play to our strengths we are a very difficult side to play against. Also, Andy Wilton put in an excellent performance and showed why a lot of people, myself included, think he is one of the best keepers at this level.'

Dereham, seventh but just one point off the play-offs with a game in hand, host Tilbury on Saturday before visiting Waltham Abbey on Tuesday. Borrer and Michael Clunan are unavailable at the weekend.