Clunan the man on the spot as Dereham Town return to winning ways
- Credit: IAN BURT
Two expertly-taken penalties from Michael Clunan – after fouls on new loan signing Ryan Crisp – saw Dereham Town return to winning ways.
The former Norwich City youth player struck in the second half – after the visitors had missed a spot kick of their own.
Dereham went close as early as the opening minute when Jason Ward hit a long-range drive straight into keeper Aaron Omand's arms and then fellow defender Dan Morphew twice went close following corners.
As the early home pressure continued Crisp's 20-yarder effort was deflected for another corner.
Romford's Matt Toms was cautioned for a robust challenge on Ryan Hawkins in an advanced position on the right and from the free-kick, Jay Eastoe-Smith stabbed Aaron Kay's low centre wide of the near post.
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Romford found the back of the net in the 36th minute when Jack Berry headed home Reece Tranter's miscued shot, but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Dereham responded with Hawkins delivering a dangerous ball that sped across the face of the Romford box, with nobody on hand to finish.
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The visitors then created a good chance culminating in Nick Reynolds volleying over keeper Andy Wilton's bar from close range in the 43rd minute.
There was a scare on half-time when Matt Hockley upended Nick Reynolds in the box with the Dereham skipper lucky to receive only a caution.
Fortunately for Dereham, home keeper Wilton sprang to his right to turn aside Toms' spot-kick.
Clunan then had his opportunity to show how it should be done, six minutes after the break, after Romford skipper Jack Berry brought down Crisp.
The goal sparked Dereham into life and they made their supremacy pay in the 70th minute – Crisp was upended by James Ishmail and Clunan struck again.
Romford gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Nick Reynolds netted from close range, before keeper Omand denied Clunan a hat-trick with a great save to keep out his 18-yard drive.