Dereham Town’s FA Trophy exit
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Dereham Town crashed out of the FA Trophy following a below-par display at Aldiss Park on Tuesday night, writes Ed Colman.
A goal in each half was enough to send Sholing through to the third qualifying round and the visitors fully deserved their victory, as they bagged £3,250 in prize money to make their 203-mile trip home to Southampton seem that little bit shorter.
It was the second time they had been forced to make the lengthy trip to Norfolk after Saturday's original staging of the fixture had been abandoned after 70 minutes due to fog.
The Boatmen – who last season won the lower-tier FA Vase at Wembley – took the lead on Saturday before Toby Hilliard equalised. That's how it remained until the mist descended and the sides had to leave the field of play.
The Magpies started brightly in midweek, with Craig Bussens winning his side a corner inside the first minute which saw Sam Olaofe clear Michael Clunan's headed effort.
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Matt Henman's side went on to dominate the early stages with Clunan again going close after a through ball from Olly Willis.
However, with six minutes gone, Matt Howard bought down Sam Wilson on the edge of the Magpies' penalty area and Kevin Brewster's superb strike curled around the wall and past Andy Wilton into the back of the net.
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Just minutes later Wilton produced a one-handed save to deny Dan Mason after he was gifted the ball by a poor defensive header from Jay Eastoe-Smith.
The Magpies struggled to compose themselves after conceding, with the visitors continuing to create the more meaningful chances, with their only effort to equalise falling to Sam Borrer after 39 minutes but his shot was saved by Matt Brown.
After a nervous end to the first half, the Magpies came out much improved in the second half as they began to dominate proceedings with Borrer and Bussens both having shots early on after the break.
The Magpies continued to force Sholing to sit deep but in the 63rd minute Dereham's spell of dominance came to an abrupt halt as Nick Watts rose above everyone in the penalty area to head home Wilson's inswinging corner.
Late on the visitors created several chances to add to their tally, but Wilton produced a string of high quality saves, and after an excellent display Sholing earned themselves a home tie with Conference South Farnborough in the next round.
Dereham will be looking to bounce back immediately on Saturday when they host Chatham Town in a Ryman Division One North fixture.
The Magpies' attentions quickly turn away from the league again on Tuesday night with them scheduled to host Thurlow Nunn First Division Great Yarmouth Town in the fourth round of the Norfolk Senior Cup.