Revenge is sweet for Dereham Town at Mildenhall
Mildenhall 1, Dereham 3
Dereham gained revenge for their 4-1 defeat to Mildenhall in January and moved three points clear the top of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division on Saturday.
Playing conditions were difficult for both sides on a sodden pitch due to heavy rain.
Neither keeper was tested in the opening 15 minutes with Mildenhall's James Paterson seeing his 25 yard left footer fly well wide of Andy Wilton's goal.
The Magpies created their first clear chance and netted the opening goal in the 23rd minute. Luke Tuttle bisected the home defence with a perfectly weighted short pass that put Adam Smith through and the midfielder slid the ball past advancing keeper Josh Pope in fine style.
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From the visitors' next attack Tuttle volleyed Shaun Bammant's cross just wide as Dereham began to up the pace.
However Mildenhall equalised against the run of play when skipper Dave Werthmann headed home a corner from the left in the 36th minute.
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Matt Howard then produced a superb block to send Dave Cooper's drive behind for a corner.
Dereham gained a free-kick just before the break on the edge of the box. Tuttle displayed great skill to curl the ball around the wall and into the corner of the net to give the Magpies an interval lead.
Dereham won an early corner after the restart which Mildenhall cleared. There were no clear chances until Tuttle tested Pope with a 25 yarder which the keeper claimed with ease.
Dereham skipper Ollie Willis was injured in a clash with home keeper Pope but was able to continue after treatment.
The Magpies had a good penalty shout turned down when Bammant was upended in the box. The frustrated Dereham striker was then booked for a foul on Pope.
Andy Wilton produced a fine save to deny Andrew Wood before Ryan Hawkins flashed a header wide at the other end following Aaron Kay's flag kick in the 78th minute.
Dereham had to withstand a spell of home pressure before Cooper saved well from Craig Bussens.
The league leaders sealed the game late on when Hawkins scored from close range after Bussens and Bammant had combined well to set him up.
This was another fine all round team performance with Howard again outstanding in the centre-back berth. Rene Kendal