Dereham head to leaders; Long Stratton pile on pressure; England at Great Yarmouth Town
- Credit: Archant
Adam Gusterson is confident Dereham Town can cause an upset when they get a taste of the other side of Bostik North football on Saturday.
A week ago the Magpies beat AFC Sudbury 3-0 to ensure their place in the division for another season.
The fixture list now takes Dereham to runaway league leaders Bowers & Pitsea, who need just one point to secure the title.
The Essex side have built a huge 15-point gap over Maldon & Tiptree – to emphasise their dominance, in their 33 games they have scored 84 goals and conceded just 20.
However, Magpies joint manager Gusterson isn't about to let the facts stand in the way of the good story that he and Olly Willis have written at Aldiss Park.
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'We look forward to what is sure to be a big test against Bowers, who have won their last 12 in a row and need a point to be crowned champions,' he said.
'We have to be respectful of the quality they possess, but I have never been one to go into a fixture without a belief and plan of how we can get a result and Saturday will be no different.
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'We are in excellent form ourselves and there is absolutely no chance of us wanting to take our foot of the pedal as we try and finish as high as possible in the league.
'The players also know that this is going to be a positive place to play their football next season and I'm sure will want to show through their performances that they want to stay here and be a part of what we are all trying to build at the club.'
Dereham are still without the injured Owen Murphy, but Charlie Dickerson will be in the squad following some impressive performances for DESA and the U18s side.
Eastern Counties League
With Histon having wrapped up the Premier Division title after their midweek win at Wroxham, attention turns to the best of the rest.
Kirkley & Pakefield will be targeting fifth place, currently occupied by Walsham-le-Willows. The Royals host Haverhill Rovers. Gorleston are at Newmarket Town and Wroxham are at home to Hadleigh United.
In the First Division North, Harleston will move a step closer to the title if they can beat visiting Diss Town.
Harleston, with there games left, are seven points ahead of Mulbarton Wanderers, who have a game in hand. Wanderers are away to second-from-bottom Felixstowe and Walton United Reserves.
Long Stratton produced the 'big' result a week ago when they won at morning leaders Caister – thus enabling Sheringham to go top after a home win over Waveney.
Stratton certainly ended thoughts it would be a two-horse race: they are a point behind Caister, who themselves are two behind the leaders, who have a game in hand.
Every point will be a prisoner from now on – and all of the top there are away from home.
Sheringham have a trip to St Andrews, who are second from bottom and without a win since the end of November. Caister head to Blofield United, who are 11th, while Long Stratton are away to Mattishall.
Elsewhere, Acle United are at home to Hellesdon, Bradenham Wanderers go to Beccles Town, Norwich Ceyms face Wroxham Reserves, Waveney are at bottom side Norwich United U21 and Scole United host Wymondham Town.
Great Yarmouth Town welcome the England international Deaf side to the Wellesley on Sunday, kick-off 2pm.
The Bloaters will field a mixed XI against a squad which includes players from Steps 2-5 clubs. England are trying to get to the European Championships but while they are recognised as the National Deaf side by the FA, they have to fund entry to the competition themselves so the event at Yarmouth is intended to help them raise the money they need to go.
Gates will be open at 11.30am and entrance is £5 and accompanied under-14s free.