Magpies turn to cup
THE Ridgeons League championship leaders Dereham Town were held to a 0-0 draw at fifth-placed Kirkley and Pakefield on Monday.
The Magpies extended to eight points their lead over second-placed Wroxham, who crashed 4-0 at home to a Leiston outfit who have five games in hand over Dereham and are now 10 points adrift.
At Walmer Road, Ryan Crisp almost put Kirkley ahead in the first half when he waltzed his way into the area past a couple of Dereham defenders only for his shot to cannon back off a post.
Dereham leading scorer Danny Beaumont was denied a goal on the stroke of half-time when his shot was blocked on the line by a team-mate.
Beamount hit the crossbar in the second half, while home forward Ryan Crisp forced a fine save from Shaun Marshall.
Ryan De Coteau's back-heel was cleared off the Dereham line and Scott Martin's header was tipped over the bar as the hosts pushed for a late winner, while Dereham had two penalty appeals turned down.
The Magpies turn their attentions to the Norfolk Senior Cup on Saturday when they visit Anglian Combination champions Blofield.
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Leiston's romp up the table continued with their crushing 4-0 victory at second-placed Wroxham.
Wroxham had been unbeaten in 10 games but were no match for the rampant visitors.
Danny Smy put them ahead on the stroke of half-time and second-half goals from Leon Ottley-Gooch (2) and Michael Brothers pushed Leiston closer to Dereham.
Leiston, however, have a major distraction in the FA Vase, and further success in that competition could see them face an even bigger backlog of league fixtures.
Great Yarmouth Town were celebrating after chalking up their first home league win of the season. A 3-2 victory over Walsham-le-Willows ended a run of 11 draws and defeats at The Wellesley. The visitors twice led but Yarmouth hit back through Gavin Norman (2) and Scott Woodcock.
Wisbech Town overtook opponents Mildenhall Town with a comfortable 3-0 win at Fenland Stadium.
Ashley Stevens and Callum Reed struck two goals just before half-time and Lewis Thompson added the third after the break.
In Division One, Fakenham Town beat third-placed visitors Diss Town 1-0, the winner coming from a great strike from outside the area in the 80th minute from Jason Day.
Downham crashed to an 8-2 defeat at new leaders Cambridge University Press.
Downham took a seventh-minute lead but trailed 5-1 at the interval with man of the match Ali Hakimi grabbing a hat-trick. It was the visitors who again scored first in the second half but the hosts responded with three more unanswered goals.
Previous leaders Stowmarket Town were held 1-1 at Ipswich Wanderers.
Thetford Town had not played in the league since November 20 and their rustiness showed as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat at struggling Team Bury.
In the day's only First Division Cup game, a single goal was enough to earn Gorleston progress at Swaffham Town.