Dereham pegged back twice in mid-table battle

Adam Smith was on target for Dereham Town. Picture: Ian Burt

Adam Smith was on target for Dereham Town. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Two poor goals cost Dereham the points at Aldiss Park.

The Magpies twice led, but both times Aveley hit back to claim a point.

Dereham got off to an ideal start when Adam Smith picked up Joe Gatting's pass and netted with a low drive in just the second minute.

And from their next move Rhys Logan fired inches wide from just outside the box.

Aveley began to settle and Jeremiah Maja was denied at close range by an excellent save from Josh Glover, and minutes later the home keeper excelled again to keep out Adalberto Pinto's low 18-yard drive.

The Magpies were passing constructively, with young Sam Dodden linking play well.

But in the 24th minute home skipper Smith made a clumsy challenge on Adalberto in the box and Billy Coyne dispatched the spot kick to make it all square.

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There was little between the two mid-table sides – Dion Frary hit a 20-yard snap-shot that had visiting keeper Lamar Johnson scampering across his goal to save before persistence from Dodden nearly created a chance for Danny Beaumont as the half finished all square.

Harley Black hit a fierce drive wide after a fluid build up, and Dereham soon regained the lead when Jay Eastoe-Smith's header struck the right-hand post and crept over the line following a goalmouth scramble in the 52nd minute.

But Aveley were level nine minutes later – Black should have put the ball into touch but lost possession to Jeremiah Maja who progressed down the left before squaring to Mason Bloomfield who netted from close range.

The Millers came close again when Ross Gleed stooped to head substitute Kris Newby's centre just wide.

Dereham forced successive corners but visiting keeper Johnson remained firm.

In added time Aveley won a free-kick 25 yards out but George Woodward's left footer sailed over the top and the points were shared.

Dereham: Glover, Black, Humphrey, Hinton, Frary, Easton-Smith, Logan, Smith (Linford 70), Gatting, Dodden, Beaumont (Crisp 67). Substitutes not used: Grant, Bean.

Ref: N Walker

Att: 101

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