Dereham’s hopes hit by last gasp winner
16:20 25 February 2013
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2013
A stunning free-kick strike on the stroke of full-time saw Dereham surrender top spot in the Premier Division to Brantham.
Just as the match between the morning top two looked to be heading for a stalemate, Brantham’s David Grimwood was fouled outside the area and skipper Matt Ryland stepped up to fire home from 25 yards.
It was harsh on Dereham, who had created the early running, with Luke Hannant, Matt Howard and Sam Borrer all going close.
The visitors continued to create chances after the break as Shaun Bammant tested the home keeper and a last ditch clearance from Brantham’s Nico Farthing prevented the Magpies taking the lead.
But they paid the price for those missed chances when Brantham struck in injury time and as Dereham restarted the game, the final whistle blew.
Dereham have dropped to third, as Walsham-le-Willows moved above them following a 3-0 win against Woodbridge.
It was an equally bad day for Gorleston, as their 12-game unbeaten run was finally ended, at lowly Wivenhoe.
The visitors had plenty of efforts on goal in the first half without seriously testing the keeper, before a controversial moment on 41 minutes. Andy Howell’s goalbound header appeared to be handled on the line by a Wivenhoe defender, but the referee waved play on and the game remained goalless at half-time.
The decisive goal arrived on 65 minutes as a cross from the right was turned in by Wivenhoe’s Marley Spindler.
Substitute Liam Harvey-Cooper went close to an equaliser before Wivenhoe’s Ben Parkin tangled with Ally McKenna and the pair were sent off. Wivenhoe then held onto their lead but remain in the bottom three, while Gorleston are now six points behind the leaders.
An incredible finish at Hadleigh United saw Norwich beaten 2-1 after conceding two penalties in injury time against the 10-man hosts.
Former Lowestoft player Lee McGlone was red carded 10 minutes from time for using an elbow and the Planters – who had taken the lead through Tom Jeal’s penalty – looked set to collect three points.
But with 94 minutes played Shane Wardley was tripped in the area and Matt Downing converted the spot kick and straight from the restart, Hadleigh attacked again and won another penalty. Downing again netted from the spot to the dismay of the visitors.
Diss moved out of the relegation zone after a second successive home win, 2-0 against Stanway Rovers.
The Tangerines hit the post twice in the first half through Stuart Garner and Adam Burroughs, but took the lead in the 56th minute when Louis Cutajar fired an unstoppable shot into the net.
The points were made safe 11 minutes from time when Jason Cole and Peter Lambert linked up to feed Burroughs, who netted his ninth goal of the season.
Kirkley & Pakefield were held to a disappointing 2-2 draw at home by bottom side FC Clacton.
The visitors led 1-0 at half-time, but Scott Woodcock levelled three minutes after the break.
Woodcock doubled his tally on 69 minutes, only for Clacton to earn a share of the spoils with an equaliser four minutes later.
Wisbech maintained their challenge at the top as Chris Bacon scored the only goal of the game at home to Ely City.
The winner came on 42 minutes as Bacon shrugged off a defender before calmly chipping the keeper.
Thetford slipped into the relegation places after losing 2-0 at home to fellow strugglers CRC.
The hosts conceded a goal in each half and were on the back foot for much of the game, with goalkeeper Mark Bowden preventing a heavier defeat.
Thetford have now taken one point from the last 14 matches.
In the First Division, Fakenham held fellow promotion challengers Cambridge University Press to a 0-0 draw at Clipbush Park.
Downham Town continued their revival with a 1-1 draw at home to Brightlingsea Regent, but Swaffham crashed to a 4-0 defeat at leaders Newmarket.
Great Yarmouth trailed 2-0 and then 3-2 at home to Halstead, but extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to seven games by earning a 3-3 draw, with goals from Mitch Forbes (2) and Joel Watts.