Magpies saved cup blushes

Dereham Town 3, Fakenham Town 1 (aet)THE high-flying Magpies needed a penalty and two extra-time goals to save Ridgeons Challenge Cup embarrassment on Tuesday night.

Dereham Town 3, Fakenham Town 1 (aet)

THE high-flying Magpies needed a penalty and two extra-time goals to save Ridgeons Challenge Cup embarrassment on Tuesday night.

Premier Division Dereham, almost the length of two divisions ahead of their bottom of Division One derby visitors, failed to find a cutting edge to their pacey approach play and after an open first half conceded the first goal early second period, Fakenham skipper Kevin Whittred netting with a header.

Fakenham, without a league win, should have scored in the third minute when striker Ben Darby was put through but fired way off target as Higgs rushed to close him down.

The Magpies won a corner that was cleared. Keeper Daniel Stockdale then had to make a good save to keep out a header from Furlong's deep cross.

Fakenham tested the home defence with three balls from the flanks, from the third Julian Delicata headed wide.

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Dereham began to up the tempo and came close following a five-man move which ended with Ollie Willis hitting the underside of the crossbar.

Fakenham were getting behind the ball well and frustrating the home team. In the 27th minute Atkins struck a swirling 30-yard drive that flashed past an upright. Dereham twice worked the ball deep into the visitors' box but seem to want to walk the ball into the net rather than shoot.

Dereham continued to search for the elusive first goal but the half ended all square.

Fakenham stunned their hosts with a goal directly from the restart with Whittred heading home Carl Neale's flag kick.

Eastoe-Smith headed Furlong's centre on the right into the keeper's arms. In the 57th minute Buhlemann also headed into Stockdale's grasp following Smith's centre. Ollie Willis linked well with Smith before side footing narrowly wide.

The Magpies were now pressing hard with Sam Willis having a 20-yard curler saved, however Dereham keeper Higgs had to make two fine saves from Delicata and Adam Woodhouse.

Ollie Willis had the ball in the net but his effort was ruled out for offside. Dereham eventually found the equaliser in the 75th minute from the penalty spot after Woodhouse had handled Smith's goal-bound drive. Paul Atkins netted the spot kick.

Dereham continued to push but were denied on four separate occasions by excellent saves from Ghosts' keeper Stockdale.

The game moved into extra time where Dereham won the tie with two goals in five minutes.

Nicky Howell guided home Sam Willis' cross from the left from close range and three minutes later Joel Brien sealed the match for the Magpies when he steered Ollie Willis' precise pass home.

On Saturday, Dereham visit Harwich & Parkeston and on Tuesday they entertain league leaders Lowestoft Town.