Thursday, November 22, 2012
Dereham Town manager Matt Henman admits tonight’s Norfolk Senior Cup tie against Norwich City’s Under-21s has grown in significance following the Magpies’ shock FA Vase exit.
Henman’s men lost 2-1 at Haverhill Sports Association – a side two levels below them – in the second round of the Vase on Saturday as their dream of reaching Wembley was ended.
The Magpies now face what is expected to be an inexperienced Canaries side at Aldiss Park in the fourth round of the county cup tonight (7.45pm) and Henman said: “We would probably have looked at it a little bit lower in our priorities than the league and the Vase, but it has now risen in importance.
“We now have two competitions left to play for and we want to make sure we do our best in each of them.
“But from my point of view, after Saturday it is more about putting in a good performance. If that gives us a win then brilliant, but it’s really important to show some determination and a high work rate and regain some of the confidence which was dented at the weekend.
“We need to get the players to refocus and get back to where we were a month or so ago.”
Henman was angered by some of the refereeing decisions which went against his side on Saturday, including the red card shown to striker Scott Sutherland-Gray, but refused to use it as an excuse for the defeat.
He said: “What made the sending off even worse was that we had just taken a striker off to bring another centre-forward on, so then we were left with no real attacking options on the bench.
“Funnily enough we played better with 10 men, but it was just a really poor performance.”
The Magpies missed out on the £1,200 prize money as well as the chance of moving a step closer to Wembley and Henman added: “I just feel sorry for our supporters and the people on the committee at the club who all put in so much hard work. They were looking forward to us doing well in the competition and they have been let down really badly. Hopefully against Norwich we will get the chance to put things right.”
Gary Starling should have recovered from the illness which saw him miss the trip to Haverhill, while Luke Hannant returns following suspension. Sam Willis is also hopeful of being fit and midfielder Seamus Kelleher is set to be in the squad after impressing for the reserves. Olly Willis is recovering from a groin strain and may not be risked.
Admission prices are £6.50 and £3.50. Car parking is free but fans are urged to arrive early to avoid hold ups on Norwich Road and the entrance to Aldiss Park.