Dereham keep play-off hopes alive

Dereham Town's Luke Tuttle. Picture: Ian Burt

Dereham Town's Luke Tuttle. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Dereham maintained their impressive away record with another three points in a 2-0 win over Barkingside, writes Rene Kendal.

The Magpies made a dream start when Adam Smith's near post corner deflected off a defender to Lewis Sturman who rifled home from 10 yards in the second minute.

Dereham had the better of the opening exchanges with Aaron Kay and Adam Smith prominent in midfield. Passing football was difficult on a bobbly surface before Liam Wales fired into home keeper Chris Clark's arms in the 21st minute following Kay's cross field ball. This proved to be Kay's last contribution as he picked up a knock with Michael Clunan entering proceedings.

Dereham increased their advantage in the 29th minute when Luke Tuttle was tripped in the box and picked himself up to convert the resultant penalty.

The Magpies continued to dominate the half with Barkingside offering little to trouble keeper Andy Wilton or his defence.

After the restart home midfielder Tom Davie had a low drive blocked by Sturman with defensive partner Dan Morphew clearing his second attempt.

The Essex side threatened again with substitute Calvin Pokli forcing keeper Andy Wilton to save his 18-yard drive from a central position before Tom Davies' 20-yard free kick drifted narrowly wide. Dereham came close twice to sealing the game with Wales' chip sailing just wide after the striker had outpaced Jonathan Adebays before keeper Clark made a fine reaction save from Clunan's close range flick.

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Matt Henman's side are now just three points off fifth-placed Wroxham as the race for a play-off spot looks set to go down to the wire.

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