Local round-up: Dereham boss won’t rest until the job is done
- Credit: Archant
Dereham Town joint boss Adam Gusterson has urged his squad to finish the job and pull away further from the Bostik North relegation zone.
The Magpies entertain AFC Sudbury 13 points clear of the drop, but Gusterson insists neither he nor his players will rest until they are mathematically safe.
'We've worked hard to get out of the position we were in and there is a real desire to ensure we complete the job in terms of staying up and finishing in as positive a position in the league as possible,' he said. 'The players have really stood up and performed when it has mattered and they know we still have an important end to the season to negotiate.'
Dereham, fresh from a thrilling 3-2 win against Bury, will be looking to avenge an 8-2 defeat at AFC Sudbury when the sides met at the Kings Marsh Stadium.
'We know Sudbury are a good footballing side who have some excellent young players and it is another fixture for us to look forward to,' he added.
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'I think they will present a different type of challenge for us as they have a very specific way of playing.
'For us there is a little bit of edge to the game as we lost 8-2 there not so long ago and those involved that day will want to put that right.
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'The support has been outstanding in recent weeks and I have to thank everybody who has been attending our games. It really helps create a positive environment which in turn helps the players on the pitch. We want to make Aldiss Park a really difficult place for teams to visit and our supporters are key to that.'
Owen Murphy was injured playing for England Colleges and will miss the game, but all of Gusterson's other players are available.
Eastern Counties League
In the Premier Division, Great Yarmouth continue their against relegation at champions-elect Histon.
The Bloaters will be buoyed by a 2-1 home win over Haverhill Rovers which lifted them to fourth from bottom of the Thurlow Nunn Premier table – although Saturday's test will be much more difficult given their hosts have lost just twice this season in 31 games and have a 12-point lead at the top of the table.
Yarmouth were without Payton Swatman, Chris Holmes and Lee Roots against Haverhill Rovers, and again the club's youth set-up provided the cover with Connor Smith getting his first start for the first team and Ethan Hodge taking a seat on the bench.
Delighted joint-manager Martyn Sinclair said: 'Having three players call off late on Friday evening wasn't ideal preparation but the entire squad played their parts in securing a vital win. Despite looking nervous we defended well and showed real character.
'It's been a while since we've heard a roar like that at the Wellesley when young Ray Urry smashed a volley into the top corner from 35 yards.'
Neighbours Gorleston welcome Hadleigh United to Emerald Park, hoping to bounce back after a run of four defeats, although three of those four matches were against the top two sides.
Hadleigh are three places and seven points behind Gorleston and won one of their last five games. Gorleston won 4-1 at Hadleigh back in October.
Norwich United will be looking to make it four wins in a row when they head to Newmarket whilst Thetford Town entertain Woodbridge Town.
In the First Division, leaders Harleston entertain Haverhill Borough whilst Swaffham Town host Diss Town. Fakenham Town take on Leiston Res at Clipbush Park and Norwich CBS head to Debenham LC.
It could be a defining week in the Premier Division as leaders Caister take on third-placed Long Stratton at Allendale Road.
Stratton, who were held to a 1-1 draw with Acle last weekend, could close the gap on spot to a single point if they can take victory on the road.
Meanwhile, second-placed Sheringham, who are just a point behind Caister with a game in hand, entertain fourth-placed Waveney.
In the First Division leaders Mundford travel to third-placed Aylsham whilst the UEA, who are two points off the top, go to Thetford Rovers.