Dereham Town looking to put a rare poor run behind them
- Credit: Ian Burt
High-flying Dereham Town will be aiming to put a disappointing run of form behind them when they welcome Bowers & Pitsea to Aldiss Park.
The Magpies remain second in the Bostik League North table but are now seven points behind leaders AFC Hornchurch, having played three more games, after taking just one point from their previous three fixtures.
The draw came at Aveley last week, when a last-minute goal saw them pegged back to 2-2, while before that they were beaten 1-0 at home by Grays Athletic and 5-1 away by Maldon and Tiptree.
Despite a disappointing sequence since an excellent 2-1 victory at Heybridge Swifts, manager Neal Simmons remains delighted with his side's showing so far this season and is confident they will be bounce back against a team they have already faced twice in the FA Trophy.
'If someone had told me during the summer that we would be second in the table at the halfway point I am pretty sure I would have taken it,' he said.
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'The lads have done superbly so far and in a league as competitive as this you are always going to get little spells when things don't go for you.
'The less said about the Maldon game the better, but against Grays we just got undone by a good goal from a side who will be up there challenging at the end of the season, while it was a similar story at Aveley, even though we should have been out of sight long before they equalised. Most teams in our league have an individual who can do something special to turn a game and they had a player on loan from Southend who did just that. But we are still well placed and we'll go into Saturday in good spirits. We know plenty about Bowers from the FA Trophy and we'll be looking to beat them this time.'
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A number of promotion rivals are now in position to overhaul Dereham, but Simmons insists he would rather have points on the board than games in hand.
'No one here is getting ahead of themselves but we are still in a good position going into an important spell over Christmas when we play four times,' added Simmons. 'For us to go up automatically we probably need to go on another couple of good runs - but with the squad I have got here we are certainly capable of doing that.'