Magpies call for town support

Dereham Town's chairman Simon Barnes is urging local people to get behind the team as the club aims for double cup glory and its best ever league finish.

Dereham Town's chairman Simon Barnes is urging local people to get behind the team as the club aims for double cup glory and its best ever league finish.

The Magpies are flying high after Saturday's FA Vase fourth round victory at Larkhall and looking forward to the fifth round clash at Needham Market on February 7.

The club has already got the furthest it has ever done in the competition - with guaranteed prize money already of �1500.

Just three days after the FA Vase fixture, the Magpies entertain Wroxham in the Norfolk Senior Cup semi-finals, with the prize of another trip to Carrow Road.

On top of the excitement at the cup double, Dereham are doing well in the Ridgeons League Premier Division and hoping for a best-ever finish.

Club officials are eager for the town to share in the success of the team, and as a gesture to get more fans through the turnstiles, accompanied under-14s were allowed in to Tuesday night's home league match against Histon Reserves free.

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Barnes - who is back as chairman at Aldiss Park after David Ovenden stood down - said: 'After a tremendous result at Bath on Saturday, where the boys represented the town magnificently and were a credit to not only themselves, the football club but the town as a whole, it would be nice if we could see the people of Dereham come out and show their support of the team.

'We're playing some excellent football at the moment, probably the best seen at Aldiss Park. And I think once they have been and seen the standard, they will return.

'As a gesture from the club, we admitted all children under the age of 14 free, when accompanied by an adult, for the Histon Reserves game.'

Dereham will be running coaches for fans to the FA Vase fifth round match at Needham Market and details will be announced shortly.

Dereham dramatically joined Lowestoft Town in the last 16 of the FA Vase for the first time

After all the frustration of the previous weekend, when they travelled overnight only to have the game called off on Saturday morning, Dereham made full amends by winning a full-blooded, passionate tie 4-2 on a Plain Ham mudbath.

The passion might indeed have proven costly as Paul Atkins was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for over-enthusiastic celebration of penalty which put the Magpies in front for the first time on the hour mark.

Ironically the original postponement should mean that Atkins will be clear to play in the next round, with his suspension expected to start in three weeks' time.

That Dereham will be travelling to Suffolk rather than having another long overnight trek was an added bonus - Needham Market having caused an upset on Saturday by beating holders Fylde 2-1 in the north west.

'Once I knew the draw I would have preferred Needham Market rather than Fylde, for no other reason than that we know more about them,' said manager Matty Henman.

'I'd be lying if I said we won't have thoughts of Wembley - it's the dream isn't it? And you can't help it being in the back of your mind.'