In-form Dereham Town are feeling up for the Norfolk Senior Cup

Dereham Town have been on the ball of late.

Dereham Town have been on the ball of late. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Dereham Town extended their unbeaten run to nine games with Payton Swatman's second-half goal enough to beat Soham Town Rangers.

After struggling to get going in the first half, in which Soham missed a great chance, a better display at Aldiss Park after the break on Saturday was rewarded with Swatman's 56th minute deflected 30-yard drive. The visitors had ex-Norwich player Luke Chadwick in their side and most of their best moves were prompted by him from the middle of the park.

Dereham were also strong in that department with Adam Smith and Sam Borrer continually driving the in-form Magpies forward.

Manager Matt Henman was happy with his side's overall performance as they remained on the fringes of the Ryman League North play-off picture.

He said: 'We were not at our best in the first half. I thought we were a bit sloppy.

'In the second half we passed the ball much better and controlled the game. After we scored we managed the game well, limiting their attempts on goal and saw the game out comfortably.'

Dereham were unable to build on their win in midweek when Tuesday's home clash against Haringey Borough fell foul of the wet weather.

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This Saturday the Magpies travel to Essex to face Waltham Abbey who are currently bottom of the league with only 14 points from 27 games. Henman has the luxury of a fit squad to pick from with Lewis Butcher returning. However, two of his talented younger players, Matt Cook and Robbie Linford, are missing as they have been selected to participate in the England School trials.

On Wednesday Dereham play Spixworth, who currently sit in fourth place in the Anglian Combination Premier Division, at the county's FDC ground (Bowthorpe, 7.45pm kick-off) in the Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-final.

Although they will obviously start as favourites given their higher-level status, this is a game that Henman will not be taking lightly.

'We want to try and win this competition again, and will be selecting our strongest side,' added the man who saw his side lose last year's final 3-2, after extra time, against same-league rivals Wroxham at Carrow Road.

'We will show them respect as they have some good experienced players, but we will play the game at a tempo that suits us not them.'

On the player front two of Dereham's squad, Jay Eastoe-Smith and Lewis Wallace, have signed dual registration forms with Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division title favourites Norwich United. In other news, Henman has secured the signing of Polish goalkeeper Bartlomiej Danowski as cover for Will Viner, who has been in excellent form since replacing Andy Wilton following his move to St Neots.

Dereham Town Reserves, who haven't played since December 28, are back in Thurlow Nunn League First Division action on Saturday when they host Leiston Reserves.