Dereham Town 1 Waltham Abbey 2 – Assombalonga at the double as Magpies depart the FA Trophy
Dereham squandered a first-half lead with two Christian Assombalonga goals winning the match for the visitorsw, writes Rene Kendal.
Jake Anema failed to get his head on a Frazer Blake-Tracy corner when well placed in the 11th minute. After a delay, whilst Waltham's Elliott Pride received treatment, home skipper Sam Borrer hit a powerful 20 yarder into keeper Jayden Purdue's arms.
Anema again failed to connect after Borrer had flicked a Luke Tuttle corner into his path. In the 33rd minute Rhys Logan chased down a clearance from keeper Purdue with the ball ballooning towards the net before Emmanuel Ohukayowe conceded a corner. Tuttle exchanged passes with Lewis Wallace before crossing with the ball falling to Dan Morphew who netted from 12 yards just past the half hour.
The Essex side responded with Tom Wood shooting from distance over keeper Will Viner's bar. The Magpies nearly increased their lead before the break when Tuttle worked space for himself well in the box before rattling the Waltham post from an acute angle.
The hosts came close twice again immediately after the restart with Ryan Crisp unable to steer home Logan's centre before Purdue just managed to grasp Tuttle's volley following Wallace's delivery from the opposite flank. As the pressure continued, Wallace fired into the side netting after Logan had sped down the right.
Payton Swatman soon cleared off his own line but Assombalonga buried the rebound in the 61st minute. Eight minutes later, the goalscorer doubled his account when he received the ball 30 yards out and fired a first-time drive that flew into the top corner.
In the closing stages Borrer volleyed high and wide of the target in search of an equaliser while Waltham's Michael Pindy and Assombalonga spurned chances to score their side's third.
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Dereham: W Viner, J Anema, F Blake-Tracy, P Swatman (L Butcher, 80), M Howard, D Morphew, L Wallace (A Kay, 69), S Borrer, R Crisp, L Tuttle, R Logan. Subs: D Frary, L Sturman, C Child.
Waltham Abbey: J Purdue, E Johnson, M Hoynes, T Jones (J Daveney, 83), E Ohukayowe, S Robbins, M Pindy, T Wood, C Assombalonga, R Flack, S Baffour (S Baffour, 83). Subs: G Kelley, A Page.
Referee: A Wilson