Dereham Town hoping to out-shoot the Fenmen
DEREHAM boss Matt Henman believes the best strikers in the league will be on show when his side travel to Wisbech this Saturday – and he hopes the Magpies frontmen will out-fire the Fenmen.
Wisbech duo Chris Bacon – who had two spells at Dereham – and Dubi Ogbonna have contributed 18 goals between them this season, helping the Cambridgeshire side to second in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division table.
But Dereham have an impressive armoury of attacking players themselves and their trio of strikers – Luke Tuttle, Scott Sutherland-Gray and Shaun Bammant – have found the net 14 times in the league.
Henman said: 'I know Chris well from his second spell at Dereham and from when I was at King's Lynn. He's a good lad and a good striker at this level. He's quite a handful and with the other lad up front they are a good combination.
'But I like to think we have got good front men of our own and I would say the five of them are among the best in the league. We will have to defend well, but hopefully we will be able to cause them problems as well.'
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As Dereham were without a game on Saturday following their 1-1 draw with Norwich City Under-21s in the Norfolk Senior Cup last Thursday, Henman took the chance to watch Wisbech beat leaders Mildenhall 3-0 on Saturday.
Despite that impressive result, the Dereham boss insists he is not daunted by the challenge facing his side this weekend: 'They are an efficient side, well organised with some threats going forward,' said Henman.
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'But I came away thinking that it is a game where if we play well, we've got a good chance. We've shown throughout the season we can handle strong opposition and we need to approach this game like we did the FA Cup games earlier in the season. If we can get to that level of performance we have a good chance.'
Dereham will assess the fitness of Adam Smith, who suffered a recurrence of his ankle problem in the match against Norwich, while Olly Willis is edging closer to fitness after a groin strain.
Henman had called for an improvement against the Canaries after Dereham's shock FA Vase exit at Haverhill Sports Association and he was pleased with the reaction of his side, as only a late equaliser denied them victory: 'In terms of togetherness and executing plans it was very pleasing,' said Henman.
'We set out to get men behind the ball and defend deep. It wasn't that pretty to watch and we made it quite a dull game, but in a way that was what we wanted because if it was an open game they would have been favourites.
'Even in extra-time we kept at it. We could easily have thrown the towel in after they scored, but we worked hard and we could even have nicked it right at the end. It was exactly what we needed to get the Vase game out of our system.'