Marshall the spot-kick hero
Dereham Town battled to a 0-0 draw at Stanway on Saturday after being reduced to 10 men after half-an-hour, and their keeper Shaun Marshall saving two controversial penalties.
However, Leiston, Dereham's rivals for the Ridgeons League title and a place higher up the football pyramid structure, ended the day two points ahead of the Magpies at the top with two games in hand.
On Tuesday night, Leiston entertained Felixstowe and won 2-0 which means they lead Dereham by five points with a game in hand.
Magpies' boss Matt Henman was pleased with the weekend performance and clean sheet ahead of the Norfolk Senior Cup semi-final against Norwich City at Carrow Road.
'It was a fantastic performance and superb commitment,' he said, adding that it had given them confidence for the big game.
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'We had 10 men in the second half – it was a really gutsy performance and a great away point. We were looking for a good reaction after last week's loss and it felt like a win for us.
'Ian Morgan got a red card for a tackle, a really, really harsh decision. We dug in and created a couple of chances.
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'In the second half there were two very harsh penalties, Shaun Marshall saved them.'
He pointed out that Stanway, although in the bottom half of the table, had recently started getting good results – including beating Wroxham the previous weekend – after a new manager came on board, and it was a much-changed squad.
On Saturday, Dereham visit Hadleigh United.
On Tuesday, Magpies' eyes will be on the Leiston-Wroxham clash. Dereham have yet to meet these title rivals twice.