Dereham Town 0 Cray Wanderers 2 – Magpies’ promising season ends on low note

Dereham Town manager Matt Henman and assistant Neil Simmons. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Dereham Town manager Matt Henman and assistant Neil Simmons. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Dereham's promising league campaign ended on a losing note on Saturday.

The Magpies ended their season in seventh place – two places outside of the play-off places – after going down to a side who were picking up a club record ninth win in a row.

Before kick-off defender Daniel Morphew received the supporters' Player of the Year shield – although he was rested for the game as boss Matt Henman tinkered with his team.

With four minutes gone, Michael Clunan put Kyle Downes through, but the striker's attempted chip drifted wide.

This proved to be the only chance in a scrappy opening 20 minutes.

Dereham almost penetrated the visiting defence in the 24th minute, but keeper Luke Colquhoun swiftly dived at the feet of Frazer Blake-Tracy to intercept Downes' pass.

Both sides were guilty of poor passing as they failed to find any rhythm. With half-time approaching, Aaron Kay's inswinging corner eluded everyone and just missed the far post.

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Wanderers striker Adrian Stone then made a strong run and decided to square the ball rather than shoot when well placed. However, the visitors netted from their next attack, four minutes from half-time. Helge Orome's ball from the right reached Adrian Stone. Keeper Andy Wilton saved his header, but Orlando Smith was on hand to net the loose ball.

Dereham striker Toby Hilliard did well to create space in the box, but decided not to shoot with the goal at his mercy before Cray keeper Colquhoun made a hash of claiming a Kay free-kick with a defender clearing the danger.

Wanderers sealed the points four minutes from time when substitute Carl Rook headed home from close range.

Dereham: A Wilton, H Barker, L Wallace, M Clunan (N Page 84), M Howard, L Sturman, A Kay, R Bailey, K Downes, T Hilliard, F Blake-Tracy. Subs: R Hawkins, A Smith, K Tuttle, L Wales.

Cray Wanderers: K Colquhoun. H Orome, N Simpson, G Fakinos, N Humprey, M Fitzgerald (S Springett 72), W Whitely, O Smith, A Teniola (R Hill 88), A Stone (C Rook 79), A Solarinwa. Subs: J Pass, F Griffin.

Referee: G Sprague

Attendance: 196