Tuttle on the spot during Dereham Town’s “bravest” display of the season
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Dereham Town manager Matt Henman was full of praise for his side on Tuesday night, branding their 2-1 win at Ware their 'bravest' display of the season, writes Ed Colman.
Kieran Bishop had given the home side the lead but an own goal and Luke Tuttle's penalty earned three crucial points for the Magpies. 'It's maybe our best league result of the season and certainly our bravest performance of the season,' Henman told the Dereham Times.
'With a lot young players on the pitch and after going behind early on we could have crumbled quite easily, but we didn't and I thought we showed an unbelievable amount of character to not only get an equaliser but also to take the lead and then defend it with the strength we did.
'I said before the game that we would need to show a lot of character to come here and win and the lads all put in an excellent performance and it would be wrong to single players out on a night like tonight after such an outstanding team effort.'
Henman's side started brightly with Toby Hilliard and Craig Bussens looking lively early on and Hilliard went closest to opening the scoring after just seven minutes.
Despite a bright start the Magpies fell behind after 18 minutes, when Kieran Bishop finished off Lee White's cross from inside the penalty area after some slack Dereham defending.
Dereham responded well and after several chances to pull level Ajet Shehu turned the ball into his own net from an Aaron Kay free kick nine minutes, as the Magpies started to dominate proceedings.
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Bussens, Kay and Hilliard all had chances to put Dereham ahead however Ware keeper Rhys Madden produced a series of good saves to ensure his side stayed level.
Finally in first half stoppage time, Dereham were able to make their pressure tell, after Ryan Hawkins was brought down in the penalty area, Luke Tuttle stepped up to convert the resulting penalty to fire his side into a deserved lead.
Dereham defended solidly during the second half, and despite creating chances of their own the scoreline remained unchanged as they recorded a deserved victory, making it back-to-back league away wins for the Aldiss Park side.
Given his side's display, Henman admitted he has a number of selection headaches ahead of Saturday's home match against Cheshunt.
He said: 'There are going to be some difficult decisions for me to make ahead of Cheshunt on Saturday. The players that played tonight (Tuesday) have been outstanding and on top of that we will have a few players back available to us who were unavailable tonight so there is lots of competition for places.'