Super sub extends in-form Ryman League Division One North Dereham Town’s winning run
- Credit: Nick Butcher
It was a marvellous midweek for Dereham Town as their two senior sides tasted success, writes Rene Kendal.
The in-form Magpies' first team won 3-2 against Maldon & Tiptree in a close game at Aldiss Park to build on another great win, 2-1, at high-flying Thurrock on Saturday.
And not to be outdone, the club's reserve team brought an end to an eight-match losing streak on the same Tuesday night in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division, with a 2-1 win at Debenham LC.
That was a great response given the fact their poor run had continued on Saturday when they lost 2-0 at home to Diss Town.
Matt Henman's Ryman League Division One North side went behind in midweek when the visitors opened the scoring in the 12th minute after Darren Mills beat Will Viner from 30 yards.
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Dereham replied in the 26th minute with Ryan Crisp slotting home the loose ball after his initial header had struck the post.
Crisp notched his second to put the Magpies in front in the 56th minute after fine play from Frazer Blake-Tracy and Will Sainsbury-Logan.
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Tiptree soon restored parity through substitute Tarryn Allarkhia but Dereham substitute Lewis Butcher headed home the winner from Crisp's corner in the 89th minute to earn his side's fourth league win in a row.
The Magpies are now only four points adrift of the play-off places with six games left to play.
Hopes of a late, and perhaps unexpected push, for the top five had been raised on Saturday when Dereham won at second-placed Thurrock.
After Luke Tuttle had a shot blocked, Crisp found Blake-Tracy who lobbed keeper Madden from 12 yards to give the Norfolk club the lead just before the break.
The Magpies soon increased their lead. Tom Walters and Crisp were involved in the build-up before Tuttle released Rhys Logan on the right hand side of the box. He was upended and Tuttle made no mistake from the spot to double his side's advantage.
Fleet threw everything forward after reducing the deficit but Dereham remained resilient, with Matt Howard once again outstanding at the heart of their defence, to claim the points and stretch their unbeaten run – which now stands at a fantastic eight matches in all competitions.
Next up for Henman's red-hot troops is a home match against Phoenix Sports on Saturday.
That game is quickly followed up by an Easter trip to Cambridgeshire to take on Soham Town Rangers. Like Saturday, that match also kicks-off at 3pm.
Fakenham Town's Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division struggles continued at the weekend when they were thumped 5-1 at home by FC Clacton.
They remain six points adrift of safety with just six games to play and host Thetford Town – the side directly above them – in a crunch game on Monday afternoon.