Dereham Town 1 Waltham Abbey 0 – Tuttle’s sublime injury-time curler steals the points for Magpies
- Credit: Matthew Usher
A brilliant late strike from Luke Tuttle settled a game that neither side deserved to win at Aldiss Park, writes Rene Kendal.
Dereham's Lewis Butcher fired into Waltham keeper Anthony Page's arms after Ryan Crisp had won a corner on the left in the opening exchanges. After an uneventful start, Rhys Logan delivered a searching cross from the right but none of his team-mates was on hand to finish in the 17th minute. Ryan Crisp then struck a fierce 35-yard effort, forcing Page to make a save.
Dereham's Jake Anema combined well with Logan down the right setting up Tuttle but he delayed shooting and the chance was wasted. As the Magpies continued to look the most likely, Anema's close-range effort looked to be handled on the line but the referee waved play on.
The Essex side had their first chance in the 41st minute after Michael Pindy was gifted the ball. He progressed before hitting a low drive that forced home keeper Will Viner into a fine low save.
Dereham manager Matt Henman made a double change at the break introducing Seb Bialasik and Dion Frary for Crisp and Logan. Bialasik immediately had a half chance but failed to get a shot in. Waltham replied with an attempt from Tom Wood drifting wide.
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Play continued to be largely uninspiring with little creativity from either side. In the 70th minute, Wood held the ball up well and set up Adeyinka Cole who struck a low drive that Viner saved.
Dereham's Lewis Butcher thundered a drive that was too hot for visiting keeper Page to hold after receiving Frazer Blake-Tracy's pass with a defender clearing the loose ball. The lively Butcher then was denied by a timely block by defender Matt Attard at the near post.
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In the final minutes, Payton Swatman cut inside and hit a 20-yard right-footer that Page was happy to palm over. From the corner Anema headed into Page's arms. However, the hosts were not to be denied as Tuttle's sublime curler chipped Page from the edge of the box to steal the points for the Magpies.