Dereham Town on the charge for glory
PUBLISHED: 23:47 08 January 2015 | UPDATED: 23:47 08 January 2015
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Dereham Town will be looking to continue their upward momentum when they host two home games in four days, writes Gavin Caney.
While the Magpies’ new year got off to a losing start at Soham Town Rangers, Matt Henman’s men have bounced back from that undeserved 2-1 defeat with a bang.
On Saturday they saw off fellow top-five hopefuls Thurrock 2-1 at Aldiss Park to leave manager Henman admitting reaching the Ryman North play-offs are more of a realistic target than a bonus.
That victory – achieved thanks to goals from Michael Clunan and Ryan Hawkins – was followed up by a hard-fought 2-1 Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-final success at Thetford Town on Tuesday night.
The Magpies went behind to their lower-level hosts but responded impressively with Clunan and Hawkins doing the business in front of goal again.
The away triumph leaves Henman’s men in with a more than realistic shout of matching their 2011 county cup success. And that dream is just as much of an ambition as reaching the end-of-season shoot-out for promotion, according to Henman.
He said: “I think trying to get in the play-offs and winning the Norfolk Senior Cup are equal in terms of importance for us.
“We want to win every game we are in and we’re in a good position as a group because we haven’t got too many injuries, other than Adam Smith with his knee and Luke Tuttle and Gary Starling who are longer-term problems.
“The Norfolk Senior Cup final is mid-May, which is after the the league and play-offs have finished. If we get there it can give the players another incentive.”
Dereham, now eighth after not playing a league game in midweek, are just four points off the play-offs with plenty of matches in hand on their rivals.
On Saturday they welcome lowly Heybridge Swifts to Norfolk before hosting another side at the wrong end of the table – Barkingside – on Tuesday evening.
If results go their way, Dereham could be just one point behind their Norfolk rivals Wroxham by this time next week.
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