Magpies ready for ideal’ test
Phil BanyardDereham Town manager Matt Henman is targeting this Saturday's match against league leaders Leiston as the ideal chance to kickstart the Magpies' season.Phil Banyard
Dereham Town manager Matt Henman is targeting this Saturday's match against league leaders Leiston as the ideal chance to kickstart the Magpies' season.
Having picked up back to back wins against Wisbech and Ely, Dereham's revival ground to a halt on Saturday as they lost 2-1 at Hadleigh after letting an early lead slip in the last 20 minutes.
Henman said: "We were absolutely cruising but we didn't kill them off and they made us pay. It is very frustrating."
But the visit of Leiston - who Dereham have already beaten in the FA Cup this season - provides the Magpies with the perfect platform to bounce back.
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Henman added: "We played well against them earlier in the season, although I expect this to be a tougher game.
"I think it is a good game for us, because we have let ourselves down against teams we would, on paper, expect to beat comfortably, but in the bigger games we have got some good results."
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After a strong pre-season, Henman's side were tipped as potential contenders for the Ridgeons Premier Division title, but, despite Dereham currently lying 12th in the table, the manager insists there is no unrest at Aldiss Park.
"We need to look at the short term and concentrate on putting three or four wins together rather than looking at where we are going to finish in the league," he said. "We've got a talented bunch of players and we're capable of doing that.
"There's certainly no panic and no pressure from within the club on me or the team. The spirit within the club is excellent and I'm sure that we will be able to look back at the end of the season and say that it's been a good season."
Dereham dominated the first half against Hadleigh and went into a fifth-minute lead with Nicky Howell side-footing Robbie Harris' cross in from the left.
The Magpies then had a strong penalty claim rejected.
Keeper Aaron Benstead produced a fantastic save to deny Howell a second goal before Hadleigh equalised with their first real chance of the game in the 72nd minute through Darrius Laws.
The home side clinched victory in the 85th minute when Chris Williams scored from the edge of the box.