Bragging rights at stake as Wroxham and Dereham Town get ready for latest derby
- Credit: Archant
Wroxham and Dereham Town renew their rivalry as Norfolk's Ryman League North clubs prepare to lock horns at Trafford Park.
The bragging rights were shared between the non-league oufits last season with the Magpies finishing higher in the table, albeit by one place, and Wroxham exacting revenge by winning the Norfolk Senior Cup final by three goals to two at Carrow Road. So it's probably no surprise that both managers are expecting there to be little in it tonight when the Yachtsmen stage the first clash between the duo this season.
Home boss Stewart Larter said: 'Derbies are all pretty much about what happens on the day. But I do think Dereham will be looking to put one over us after the Norfolk Senior Cup final.
'That result will be in the front of their minds. The games can become a bit of a physical battle between us and they have had more of a settled team which maybe puts things in their favour. But we've got home advantage so it's fairly even if you look at it.
'We're in a bit of a rebuilding process and we've also struggled in terms of suspensions, injuries and unavailability. I don't think I've fielded the same team from one week to the next, which has been frustrating. I haven't been able to play our best XI and you could say I don't know what it is yet. So after looking at all that I don't think we've had a bad start.'
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Larter – who is without Michael Sommerfield, Andy Howell (both injured), Jack Garrod, Jordan King and Jack Guyton (all unavailable) – has seen his 13th-placed troops collect 14 points from their 10 league matches so far this term. They have amassed two points less than their visitors, 10th – who have played one match more and arrive on the back of a six-game unbeaten run.
Dereham boss Matt Henman said: 'I think we've grinded the points out rather than played well and been unlucky not to have more. We've scored several late goals so from that point of view we look and think it could be better – but it could have been a lot worse.
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'The long and short of it is we're unbeaten in six games, we're not conceding many goals and we know we can play better. If we do that and keep working even harder then we can make sure we keep this run going.'
Lewis Butcher looks set to return to the Town fold while Jake Anema, who picked up a dead calf during Saturday's 2-2 draw at Tilbury, is rated as 50/50.
'The rivalry has always been there ever since we got promoted to the Eastern Counties (Thurlow Nunn) Premier Division,' added Henman, whose men are enjoying their third season at Step Four while Wroxham are in their fourth.
'We're both in the same boat now. We've lost a fair bit of quality and goals over the summer. On Saturday we only had four players who started at Carrow Road in the team. It's going to take a bit of time for things to bed in. One or two have started excellently and one or two need a bit more time, which they'll get.
'Our rivalry's grown and we've gone from being perennial underdogs to perhaps, over the last couple of years, being the slight favourites when we play. It remains close though having both lost players to a higher level, which is inevitable.'