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Final delay not all bad news

PUBLISHED: 10:37 07 April 2011

Dereham Town 3, Debenham LC 0

Magpies’ manager Matt Henman felt it was important his side scored before the break, and Danny Beaumont obliged with a header.

“We started the game quite brightly and it was important or us to score before half-time because we were on top. We’ve not scored a lot of goals of late.”

On the hour mark Beaumont added a second from the penalty spot, and Craig Bussons sealed the win with a header, although Henman felt his side could have added to their tally.

“We were not at out best, we have still got injury concerns and niggling injuries, but it was important we got the win.”

Dereham Town got a late Norfolk Senior Cup stand-down on Wednesday afternoon last week when Norwich City FC postponed two prestigious county cup finals scheduled for Monday and Tuesday to protect the Carrow Road playing surface ahead of the club’s vital Championship finale.

The Norfolk Junior Cup final between UEA and Reffley Royals was due to take place little more than 48 hours after the weekend’s home league game against Scunthorpe.

Dereham and King’s Lynn Town’s Norfolk Senior Cup final clash – the annual highlight of the local footballing calendar – was set to be played the following night after another game earlier in the day to raise funds for the Football Aid charity.

City chief executive David McNally labelled the announcement a ‘tough decision’ with Paul Lambert’s promotion-chasing squad gearing up for potentially four key home matches in the promotion race.

“We apologise to the Norfolk FA and to the clubs, players and supporters involved in these games for any inconvenience caused by this tough decision we have had to make,” said McNally. “But the pitch has suffered significantly from the harsh winter and general wear and tear and is in a critical condition.

“As a club we are committed to doing everything we can to support our first team and serve our supporters – and this decision is about doing both of those things. We want to ensure we do everything possible within our power to support the first team in the vital games remaining this season.”

Norfolk FA chief executive Shaun Turner remains confident both finals will still be played at Carrow Road after the Canaries’ league campaign finishes.

“We’re obviously very disappointed that the Senior and Junior cup finals have had to be rescheduled at short notice,” he said. “However, we understand the club’s position in wanting to protect their pitch.

“I’m pleased to confirm the cup finals will still take place at Carrow Road, at dates to be confirmed.

“In addition we have had very positive discussions with the club today about holding our county cup finals at Carrow Road in future seasons and some ideas we have about our work with them in the future.”

Dereham’s manager admitted the late postponement could be a blessing in disguise.

“I’ve got mixed emotions about the news,” said Henman, whose side knocked out Norwich City in the semi-finals to book a Carrow Road return.

“It means Gary Starling – who scored the winning goal in the semi-final – will now be available. He would have missed the game on Tuesday as he is away. Also Adam Smith and Jay Eastoe-Smith, who would have been suspended, will be able to play. So we will probably be stronger because of it.”

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