Dereham Town five points clear at top
DEREHAM Town reclaimed top spot in the Ridgeons Premier table on Saturday with a convincing 5-0 win at Histon Reserves' Glass World Stadium then moved five points clear of closest rivals Kirkley & Pakefield when they beat them 3-0 at Aldiss Park on Tuesday night.
In a lively first half midweek, Adam Smith produced a magnificent solo run, beating four Kirkley players to set up Scott Roberts to open the scoring after 34 minutes.
Second-half appeals for a Dereham penalty were denied, a corner awarded instead. But from the flag-kick Ollie Thomson leapt to head the Magpies' second goal.
The third strike came 10 minutes from time when Scott Woodgate scored from close range.
Other results: Ely 2, Wisbech 3; Felixstowe 2, Leiston 2; Haverhill 3, Brantham 1; Newmarket 1, Walsham-le-Willows 1; Wroxham 1, Norwich Utd 1.
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Magpies' boss Matt Henman said after the weekend win: 'After the disappointing result at Wisbech and the end of our unbeaten start in the league it was very important to return from Histon with a win and a good performance.
'After a tight first 20 minutes we scored twice and we were able to control the rest of the game, and once we scored the third and fourth it was important to rest and look after some of the lads with knocks.'
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Henman added: 'The team have really worked hard to get through a period of injuries and suspensions and the lads who have come in have shown that they want to keep their shirt.
'Hopefully the next few weeks we will see the return of a few important players and provide even more competition for places. If we want to stay at the top of this league then we'll need everyone fit and pulling together.'
At Histon, Dereham's injury problems continued when Sam Groves had to replace Ian Morgan in the 20th minute after he had suffered a head injury in the first minute.
The Magpies went in front in the 23rd minute after Danny Beaumont had got behind the home defence for the first time. After receiving Scott Roberts' ball down the right, the striker squared the ball across the face of the home goal, enabling Scott Woodgate to stab home.
Histon keeper Crook did well to save a Roberts volley as Dereham pressed for a second. This came in the 40th minute as another Beaumont cross from the right was not properly cleared, and after Adam Smith's shot was charged down the ball fell to Scott Roberts, who drilled home a low drive.
Almost immediately from the restart the Magpies netted a third. Ollie Willis played a neat one-two with Ryan Foster before delivering a low cross from the right by-line that Kyle Downes guided home from the six-yard line.
Scott Roberts had a shot well saved by Crook in the 57th minute following a fine long ball by Ollie Thomson but the keeper could do little to prevent substitute Steve Harley from netting Dereham's fourth in the 65th minute from another pin-point Willis cross.
Skipper Ollie Willis went from provider to scorer in the 67th minute when he latched onto Ryan Foster's neat flick to skilfully chip the home keeper to register his side's nap hand.
On Saturday, Dereham visit Debenham LC and on Tuesday night they are at Plantation Park to play Norwich United.