Young Magpies impress

As Leiston clinched the Ridgeons League championship, Dereham Town slipped a point behind Wroxham in the Norfolk race for second spot.

On Saturday, the Magpies travel to Leiston, a fixture that not many weeks ago might have been a six-pointer in the title chase, writes John Cushion.

At the weekend, Wroxham won 2-1 at home to Hadleigh United while a Magpies squad relying heavily on youth lost 3-2 at home to Woodbridge.

Dereham ended their match with six under-18 players on the pitch, and they gave manager Matt Henman consolation in their 3-2 defeat.

'It was a disappointing result but there were lots of positives which came out of the game,' he said.

With key senior players not available, the match gave a chance for the club's crop of young players to impress.

'There were some very good individual performances,' said Henman, pointing out that both the Magpies' goals came from under-17 player Lewis Butcher.

Most Read

Despite an encouraging debut from keeper Matt Powley, who made some good saves, Dereham showed their inexperience by conceding two soft goals from set pieces in the first half, Butcher pulling it back to 2-1 before Woodbridge made it 3-1 just after the break thanks to another soft goal.

Then came a 20-yard strike from Butcher. 'We pushed and deserved an equaliser,' said Henman, impressed by what he described as 'some fantastic individual performances'.

On Tuesday, Dereham entertain Felixstowe (7.45).