Dereham’s run ends as title rivals slip up
It was a bad day to be a title challenger on Saturday as the morning top three in the Premier Division all suffered defeats.
Dereham's unbeaten league run finally came to an end at the 11th hurdle – and in emphatic fashion as they lost 4-1 at Hadleigh.
All of the goals came in the first half and the writing was on the wall for Dereham when Gary Starling diverted the ball into his own net to give Hadleigh the lead on 10 minutes.
Six minutes later, Scott Chaplin was brought down by Dereham keeper Matt Powley and Neil Calver converted the resulting penalty.
The Magpies were back in the game on 19 minutes as Scott Sutherland-Gray fired home a rebound off the post and Dereham then hit the woodwork again as they pressed for an equaliser.
But former Lowestoft striker Lee McGlone restored the two-goal cushion on 28 minutes and then added the killer fourth on the stroke of half-time.
It was an equally miserable day for Wisbech as they lost 1-0 at struggling Felixstowe & Walton.
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The decisive goal came in the 25th minute as Jamie Cole took advantage of a defensive mix-up.
Both Dereham and Wisbech will have been relieved to hear that leaders Mildenhall also slipped up, beaten 2-0 at Stanway.
Dereham have been replaced in third spot by Brantham, who inflicted a 4-1 defeat on new Diss manager Richard Daniels.
The former Gorleston director of football was taking charge of the Tangerines for the first time, but saw his new charges fall behind in the 14th minute.
Brantham added a second on 30 minutes, before Diss' Adam Burroughs hit the bar at the end of the first half.
Burroughs did net his seventh goal in 12 appearances early in the second period as he latched on to Mark Shadrack's long ball before beating the keeper.
Hopes of a Diss revival were dashed when Brantham added a third in the 57th minute and the Suffolk side struck a fourth 17 minutes from time.
Norwich United cruised to a 5-0 win at lowly CRC.
Andrew Fulcher, Steve Harley, Ian Hunter, and Tom Jeal were on target for the Platers, who also profited from an own goal.
James Pipe's penalty proved decisive as Thetford Town won 3-2 at Godmanchester.
The hosts went ahead on 15 minutes but Thetford were level two minutes later as Kieran Morphew headed an equaliser following a Ben Wake free-kick.
Another Wake free-kick on 35 minutes saw Luke Catchpole head Thetford into a half-time lead.
Twelve minutes into the second half, John Curtis was brought down in the Godmanchester area and Pipe stepped up to make it 3-1.
The home side pulled one back with a long range effort on 75 minutes, but Thetford held on to take the three points.
Gorleston survived a second half comeback by Woodbridge to eventually earn a comfortable 5-2 win.
The Greens were in total command as first half goals from Chris Sandford (2) and Gary Williams gave them a 3-0 lead at the break. But after Liam Harvey-Cooper's penalty in the first minute of the second half was saved, Woodbridge fought back and reduced the deficit to 3-2.
Gorleston finally killed the game off five minutes from time when substitute Bradley Hough netted the fourth, before Ally McKenna added another on 88 minutes.
Two goals in the first four minutes condemned Kirkley & Pakefield to a 2-0 defeat at home to Haverhill.
The four-strong Norfolk contingent in the First Division were in Knock-out Cup action – and it produced two wins and two defeats.
Great Yarmouth followed up their Senior Cup success against Fakenham with a 3-2 victory over the Ghosts.
Fakenham took the lead through Sam Garner, but first half goals from Danny Scriven, Marian Jobbagy and Joel Watts put the Bloaters in charge. James Tricks gave Fakenham hope, but the Bloaters held on.
Swaffham beat Team Bury 5-3 with goals from Rory Harper, Jack Redhead (2), Alex Vincent and Lee Woolmore.
Downham lost 3-1 at home to Newmarket.