Dereham lose ground on leaders

A Dereham Town team tired by their midweek cup exploits at Carrow Road slipped further behind in the race for the Premier Division title.

The Magpies lost 2-0 at Hadleigh and were unable to make any impression on leaders Leiston who reached the final stages of the FA Vase and show few signs of being affected by the resulting fixture backlog.

Dereham are five points behind Leiston, who have two games in hand. Third are Wroxham, 4-1 home winners over Histon Reserves – on the same number of points, 56, as Dereham but from two more games played. Wroxham are at Leiston tomorrow night.

Dereham manager Matt Henman said yesterday: 'Leiston, if they continue their form, will win the league. We must try to improve our league form. All we have to concentrate on is looking at the next game and trying to win that. If Leiston slip up we need to be in a position where we can take advantage.'

Henmen admitted the Norfolk Senior Cup semi-final win over Norwich City had taken its toll. 'We were very tired. We tried to freshen up by putting some fresh legs in. There was not a lot of quality in the game from either team.'

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He said a defensive error gave Hadleigh their first goal after about 20 minutes. 'We played most of the second half in their half, but were not incisive enough, we didn't have enough energy. They got their second in the 93rd minute.'

At Trafford Park, all the goals came in the second half. In the first period most of the play was midfield. Keeper Scott Howie raced out to force Carlow Lawrence to shoot wide and later made a finger-tip save.

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From a 50th-minute corner, Max York headed Histon Reserves into the lead to kick-start the Yachtsmen.

From a breakaway, Damian Hilton's persistence paid off with a good interception before he laid the ball off for Danny Bloomfield to equalise on 55 minutes.

Wroxham found it hard to break down a spirited defence.

Wroxham's pressure paid with Ben Jones winning a free-kick which was cleared only as far as Gav Lemmon who scored from a tight angle after 82 minutes.

In the next Wroxham attack Hilton broke down the left and his low cross was well converted by Thompson.

Sub Gary Gilmore, pulling the strings midfield, found Bloomfield who got the better of his marker to smash home the Yachtsmen's fourth on 88 minutes.

Norwich United recorded their third straight victory, 5-1 at home to Brantham, to move back to eighth place, Ross King taking his tally for the season to 17 with a brace and two assists as the Planters went nap for the second successive Saturday.

Justin Fox and David Corey completed the scoring after an Andrew French own goal set them on their way. Central defender Nathan Clarke seemed unfortunate to receive a straight red card, but the Planters added their fifth and comfortably saw out the final 35 minutes.

United included Ryan Foster after he signed from Dereham late on Friday, a deal which saw Lewis Butcher move to the Magpies.

The Planters took the lead in the eighth minute, Steve Shipley's cross headed into his own net by French.

Three minutes later an excellent chip by Fox allowed King to run into the box and score. The Planters extended their lead in the 17th minute. King got away down the left and cut back for Fox to curl a shot home from the edge of the area off a post.

Early second half it was 4-0 when Fox released King who lobbed the keeper from just outside the area. Brantham pegged one back through Lee Grimwood following a corner

Clarke was considered the last man as he made a tackle on the edge of his area and was sent off. Ben Nower made a couple of good saves before a shot rebounded off his bar into his arms. But the four-gaol advantage was restored nine minutes from time when King released Cory, who shot home with ease.

Great Yarmouth Town returned from high-flyers Haverhill with a well-deserved point after a 1-1 draw.

Haverhill took an 18th-minute lead when Stuart Wardley converted a penalty awarded for keeper Jake Jessup's foul on Marc Abbott.

A 30th-minute shot from Abbott went behind off a post, and Haverhill regretted missed chances as the Bloaters equalised seven minutes after the break.

Scott Woodcock laid the ball to Gavin Norman on the edge of the box and the Yarmouth skipper curled a superb shot past Matt Morrisson.

With the Yarmouth defence led by Gareth Palmer looking secure, and with Jessup's handling and anticipation of a high order, third-placed Haverhill struggled to make any further impression.

A 39th-minute John Sands header gave visitors Mildenhall the win over Kirkley & Pakefield Reserves after a pretty even match.

Visiting keeper Josh Pope saved an early one-on-one with Alex Holmes but before he scored, Sands had fired over the bar. The second half was a cagey affair with Mildenhall happy to sit on their lead and defend in numbers.

The nearest K&P got to an equaliser was was a neat chip from new signing Toby Kerslake which was tipped over the bar. It was their first league defeat of 2011.

Wisbech's game with Walsham-le-Willows was postponed.

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