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Opening draw for Town

PUBLISHED: 11:20 13 August 2009 | UPDATED: 15:21 07 July 2010

Haverhill Rovers 1, Dereham Town 1

THESE teams fought out an opening-day draw on a baking hot afternoon at the Cambridgeshire's side's Hamlet Croft ground, writes René Kendal.

Haverhill Rovers 1, Dereham Town 1

THESE teams fought out an opening-day draw on a baking hot afternoon at the Cambridgeshire's side's Hamlet Croft ground, writes René Kendal.

Magpies' manager Matt Henman said: “We started looking for a win but at the end of the day we were reasonably happy with the point.

“I think it is going to be a difficult place to go. They (Rovers) have improved from the team they had last season. It is a difficult pitch for us to play football on. We had chances to take the lead which we didn't take.”

Rovers scored on the stroke of half-time but Henman said: “We showed character second half.”

The Magpies nearly took the lead in the 14th minute but were denied by home skipper Marcus Hunt who produced a fine block to keep out Paul Atkins' close-range effort after Danny Beaumont had rolled the ball around the advancing keeper.

Atkins had another chance minutes later but was unable to guide Buhlemann's centre goalwards.

The Magpies continued to look the more lively with Beaumont missing the bottom left corner by inches from 30 yards before Nicky Howell sent a dipping drive narrowly over the crossbar.

Haverhill took a surprise lead shortly before the break when Stuart Wardley beat John Higgs with a looping header from Louis Harper's cross from the left after the midfielder was allowed far too much time to get the ball in.

Rovers made the better start to the second half before keeper Walton was forced to make a great save from Beaumont following good work from Adam Smith.

Dereham had been lacking balance and introduced Craig Terrington and Robbie Harris, and they soon drew level in the 61st minute with Danny Beaumont stabbing home Howell's short

cross from the right to settle the visitors' nerves.

Play became scrappy in the second half as both teams began to tire in the heat and the match finished all square, largely due to two fine late saves at either end by keepers Higgs and Dave Walton.

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