Daunting task as Dereham Town host unbeaten Ryman Division One North pacesetters VCD Athletic

Dereham Town boss Matt Henman is hopeful Gary Starling will be fit to face VCD Athletic.

The defender was substituted before half time during the Magpies midweek 2-2 draw with Tilbury. But the Magpies' manager hopes Starling will have recovered from a nasty whack in the face in time for this afternoon's home Ryman Division One North clash against the league leaders.

Henman said: 'Gary will certainly have a shiner after that but hopefully the bruising will come out quickly so he will be able to feature against VCD.

'With Dan Morphew still out and with us still awaiting Michael Summerfields international clearance having Gary available would certainly help ease things in that department.'

Luke Tuttle put the Magpies ahead after 16 minutes in midweek after a long spell of Dereham pressure. However, two goals inside 15 minutes from Lee Weemes and Jack Pooley gave the visitors a half-time lead.

A 52nd minute strike from Matt Howard clinched a point for Dereham in their first game in 14 days.

Henman said: 'I think in reflection we were very happy with a point against a very tough side, who have a reputation for being difficult to beat.

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'We knew it was going to be a tough game but all in all we are more than happy with a point.

'Obviously we were always looking to try and get a winner and, especially in that last 15 minutes, I felt we pushed them back a bit and started to really create some good chances.

'However, that said, we didn't want to over commit late on as we knew they posed a strong threat on the break.'

VCD arrive in Norfolk on the back of a flying start to their 2013/14 league campaign.

They have won 11 of their 12 league matches so far, scoring a huge 40 goals in the process, and are yet to taste defeat in Ryman League action.

Dereham, 15th, by contrast have won just four of their 11 games after being promoted from the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.

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