No pressure for Magpies
Dereham boss Matt Henman believes his side are 'victims of their success' following last season's exploits.
The Magpies finished as runners-up in the Ridgeons League Premier Division and won the Norfolk Senior Cup last term, but Henman says that has raised expectations to an unrealistic level, despite his side once again challenging at the top of the table.
'We did really well last season but it just seems now everyone expects us to go on and win the league,' said Henman. 'We are victims of our success in that respect.
'I'm not saying we can't win the league, but we have had to tighten our belts to ensure the long term stability of the club.
'Having said that, we've got a group of very good young players and we'll have a crack at it, but we're certainly not putting any pressure on them.'
The Magpies were knocked off top spot on Saturday following their 2-1 defeat at home to Wisbech, but Henman remains satisfied with his side's start to the season: 'The benchmark for any side is maintaining an average of over two points per game and if you get that figure you are doing well.
'Everyone else seems to be talking about us challenging for the title, but we just need to carry on picking up points and see where we are later in the season. We feel other clubs are putting more pressure on themselves than us by spending more money.'
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Gorleston 3 Dereham 0
Dereham slipped to a second league defeat of the week in Tuesday night's Norfolk derby at Emerald Park.
Gorleston exacted a measure of revenge for their reverse in the corresponding fixture earlier this month against a strong-looking Magpies' line up that included Adam Smith and recent King's Lynn Town recruit Daniel Buhlemann.
Dereham edged the opening half with Billy Smith testing Elliot Pride and then Scott Roberts firing over in the 41st minute as the Magpies' spell of pressure continued. Gorleston nudged in front in the final seconds of the half when Lee Howell's speculative long range effort slipped through Shaun Marshall's grasp.
Sam Borrer headed inches over the top early in the second half but Gorleston doubled their advantage in the 50th minute when Liam Harvey-Cooper sidefooted home from the edge of the box. Andy Fulcher turned well but saw his left footer just clear the bar before Pride superbly saved Gary Starling's curled effort.
Pride's save proved crucial when Harvey-Cooper bagged his second shortly afterwards with a clinical counter.
Dereham gamely battled to the end with Joe Marsden inches from Starling's cross.