Dereham Town hoping for a big response to Non League Day
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Dereham Town will be hoping for a successful afternoon both on and off the pitch on Saturday when they entertain Kempston Rovers in the preliminary round of the FA Trophy.
The tie takes place on the FA's annual Non League Day, organised to promote the attractions of grass-roots football, and with Norwich City having no game the Magpies are hoping for a bumper attendance at Aldiss Park.
Manager Neal Simmons is hoping the match will mark a return to winning ways for his side after a run of four successive defeats in the Bostik League North, the most recent coming last Saturday when they went down 1-0 at Barking.
'We look forward to taking a break from league action and welcoming Kempston Rovers to Aldiss Park,' he said.
'With the squad gradually getting back to full fitness we believe that the results will naturally improve over time. As is the case in sport when things aren't going for you, the rub of the green doesn't go for you either, but if we continue to work hard the results will follow.
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'Saturday was once again hard to take as I felt that we did more than enough to return with something from another difficult away fixture in poor conditions.'
Dereham welcome back Ollie Ebbage and Dylan Edge to their squad for a game against a side who pushed Woking all the way in the FA Cup last week before losing 3-2 and will give late fitness tests to David Hinton and Ashley Jarvis, who picked up injuries at Barking.
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A number of offers and pre-match activities have been laid on to encourage spectators through the turnstiles.
There will be a free gift for the first 100 under-16s to arrive, anyone bringing a banner, flag or poster to support the Magpies will receive a voucher for a free hot dog or burger while games will be laid on for youngsters before kick-off and free face painting will be on offer.
'I would welcome as much support as possible from the town, on a day the FA call Non League Day,' added Simmons. 'Every day for us is non league day, but if it raises awareness and gives us an opportunity to showcase our football club then we are grateful for that. I am sure those attending for the first time will enjoy the atmosphere and the football.'