New-boy Castellan on target as Dereham earn well-deserved point
- Credit: Archant
Dereham gained a well-deserved point – their first under new managers Adam Gusterson and Olly Willis – in a 1-1 draw against high-flying Aveley.
The Magpies bosses were handed a tough start to life at Aldiss Park, but a week after losing to promotion hopefuls Heybridge Swifts they will take huge confidence from gaining a draw at a side now fourth in the table.
New signing Matthew Castellan marked his debut with a goal for a Dereham side which saw the return of Rhys Logan following his early-season injury.
In the opening minutes visiting keeper David Hughes had to save from Ryan Crisp after good work from Sam Borrer. Dereham were moving and creating space well and a quick one-two between Owen Murphy and Adam Hipperson enabled Murphy to drill a shot into Hughes' arms.
As the Magpies pressed again Crisp saw a 25-yard effort deflected for a corner and then delivered a probing cross from the left that nearly found Joe Gatting. In the 35th minute Gatting flicked on keeper Elliot Pride's long clearance to Crisp, whose close-range effort was charged down. The Magpies should have gone in front minutes later when Gatting failed to convert from point blank range.
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But against the run of play, Aveley took the lead three minutes before the break, through Andrew Freeman.
The equaliser came in the 73rd minute after Gatting was fouled, 35 yards out. Danny Beaumont clipped an inviting ball into the danger area and Castellan rose well to beat Hughes with a thumping header.
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Castellan headed Beaumont's corner over the top as the Magpies nearly snatched it at the end.
Dereham: Pride, Beaumont, Murphy, Hinton (Smith 66), Eastoe-Smith, Castellan, Logan (Forshaw 82), Borrer, Gatting, Crisp, Hipperson. Subs not used: Frary, McLeish.
Aveley: Hughes, Pitty, Mvemba (Gibbs 45), Love, Witherspoon, Cross, Freeman, Berkane, Richardson, Ngandu (Martin 85), Milner (Reid 79). Subs not used: Brown, Raad.