Crunch clash for Ryman North Dereham Town’s top-five hopes

It's neck and neck between Dereham, black and white, and Wroxham to squeeze into the Ryman North pla

It's neck and neck between Dereham, black and white, and Wroxham to squeeze into the Ryman North play-off places this season. Picture: IAN BURT - Credit: Ian Burt

Dereham Town can strengthen their promotion push this evening by picking up points from one of their main Ryman North play-off rivals.

The Magpies have won eight of their last 11 matches in all competitions and sit sixth – perfectly placed to make a late-season assault on the top five. Matt Henman's troops have games in hand on all of their rivals including third-placed Brentwood Town who they visit tonight.

A victory in Essex would help close the gap on one of the sides they're hoping to dislodge to reach the end-of-season shoot-out and Henman knows how important getting a positive result will be in the crunch clash.

The Dereham manager said: 'It is a big game. We wouldn't want them or any team in the top-five putting even more distance between us and themselves.

'Sudbury went there and won recently and our record against the top six is very good. I think it's only Harlow (second) we haven't beaten. So that gives us a lot of confidence going into the match – knowing we can beat these big sides – and also for if we get to the play-offs.


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'Sudbury are flying under Jamie Godbold (former Kirkley boss) and they're certainly in a pack of five, which will include one of either Harlow or Needham who won't go on to win the league, that I think are going for four places. There might be a few others who can still get involved. So I think we go knowing that we need a minimum of a point, but as always we'll be trying to get all three.'

Debutant Ross Bailey's late goal at the weekend helped Dereham – five points behind Sudbury in fifth having played three matches less – edge Cheshunt 1-0. It was a priceless strike with Godbold's troops and Harlow playing out a 1-1 draw and Wroxham losing. Brentwood beat Waltham Abbey 3-2.

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Dereham travel without the services of Dan Morphew (university), Michael Clunan (work), Toby Hilliard (ill), Matt Hockley (unavailable), Adam Smith and Luke Tuttle (both injured).

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