Dereham Town pick up valuable three points in play-off push
- Credit: Dereham Town FC
Dereham Town gained three valuable points on a day when other results also went their way.
The Magpies were 3-0 victors against rock-bottom Romford courtesy of a brace from Toby Hilliard and a cool finish from Matt Castellan.
The result leaves Adam Gusterson's men in 7th in the Isthmian League North, four points outside the play-off places with two games in hand.
Play-off rivals Grays Athletic, Hashtag United, Felixstowe & Walton and AFC Sudbury all dropped points at the weekend.
Dereham found themselves in full control during the opening stages at Aldiss Park, and almost went ahead after six minutes as Romford keeper Robert Bunn tipped over Rhys Logan's left-footed drive.
Shaun Bammant then saw a close-range effort blocked, before Logan struck a fine low volley which forced Bunn into an excellent save.
The breakthrough came a few minutes later, however, when Logan crossed to the far post and Hilliard rose well to nod home.
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The hosts continued to push for a second, but only had a solitary goal to show for their dominance at the break.
At the start of the second period, Bunn got down well to save an Adam Hipperson free-kick after Bammant was cynically fouled outside the box.
Dereham were almost left to rue their missed opportunities when, in the 53rd minute, keeper Antoni Bort was pressed into action to save at the feet of Ogunnowo.
But they finally sealed victory with 15 minutes remaining, Hipperson crossing for Castellan who found space to slot home.
Romford's afternoon then went from bad to worse as Tamberson Eyong was sent off for comments made to the referee.
Dereham themselves went down to 10 men in stoppage time when Luke Johnson was dismissed for a harsh second yellow card.
But, with Bammant having been upended in the box, the Magpies completed an impressive showing in the closing seconds as Hilliard blasted in from the spot to make it three.
"It was a professional performance in a game we completely dominated from start to finish," said Gusterson.
"I was particularly pleased with how we kept our concentration defensively, and some of our combination play offensively - particularly in the second half - was good.
"We know there will be tougher tests ahead, but it was another important three points."