Brentwood Town 0, Dereham Town 1 - Bailey the match-winner again as Magpies beat play-off rivals
- Credit: Archant
Dereham produced a gutsy second-half performance to record a superb win at the Arena against their third-placed Essex opponents, writes Rene Kendal.
They made a positive start with Jay Eastoe-Smith heading a Frazer Blake-Tracy corner wide and Aaron Kay firing off target from distance.
Brentwood had an opportunity in the 15th minute but Robbie Rees headed Martyn Stokes' centre over the top. Both sides continued to play good football and in the 35th minute Ryan Hawkins had an effort deflected for a corner.
From Blake-Tracy's centre Matt Howard was unlucky to see his powerful header cleared off the line. Brentwood's Marcus Milner missed a great chance, ballooning Emmanual Osri's ball off target from close range.
However, in added time Hawkins crossed from the right, with the ball striking a defender, before finding new-boy Ross Bailey who netted his second goal in as many appearances to give the Magpies an interval lead in added time.
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The home side pressed after the break but could not penetrate the well organised Dereham side with Lewis Sturman outstanding. After Sam Bantick fired a free-kick into keeper Andy Wilton's arms, Alex Aktoki blazed narrowly over the bar as Brentwood's pressure continued.
In the 78th minute Harry Barker made a fine run down the right before crossing to Bailey who was unable to net on the turn.
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Brentwood threatened again in added time with Milner dragging a diagonal drive wide. But Dereham remained firm during the nine added minutes to gain victory against one of their main rivals for a place in the end-of-season play-offs.
The Magpies, sixth, are now just two points off the top five with a couple of games in hand on fifth-placed AFC Sudbury.
Dereham: A Wilton, H Barker, F Blake-Tracy, L Sturman, M Howard, J Eastoe-Smith, A Kay, (L Mason, 83), R Bailey, C Bussens, S Borrer, R Hawkins (L Wale, 70). Sub not used: N Page. Referee: R Bloy. Attendance: 54.