Dereham Town 2 Brentwood 1
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Dereham completed a double and kept themselves firmly in the play-off picture.
But they had to do it the hard way, coming back from a goal down to take the points, thanks to a stunning long-range effort from Luke Tuttle and a winner from Luke Wales.
With 12 minuets of time added on there were a few nerves late on, but Dereham remained to record another vital victory in their bid to reach the play-offs.
With Thurrock also winning, the Magpies remain in sixth place, a point off the final play-off position.
Home keeper Andy Wilton was forced into a full-length save as early as the fifth minute, turning away Sam Bantick's low drive from the edge of the box. With a strong wind at their backs, the visitors were pinning Dereham back in the early stages and on 17 minutes Wilton was called to action again, turning Sherwin Stanley's angled drive on to his right-hand post.
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The Magpies eased the pressure by winning two free-kicks – Luke Tuttle's 30-yarder was blocked before Lewis Wallace's centre was claimed by visiting keeper Ollie Bowles. Midfielder Lewis Sturman then found himself in the referee's notebook after an over-zealous challenge near the halfway line.
Brentwood then had a player sent off just before the half-hour mark – substitute Adam Flanagan was dismissed from the bench after showing dissent to the referee following a penalty appeal for handball.
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But from their next attack the Essex side took the lead just a minute later. Wilton saved Shad Ngandu's initial strike, but Bantick was on hand to dispatch the loose ball from close range.
Bantick almost got a second five minutes before the break, but Wilton did well to palm his long-range wind-assisted free-kick onto his crossbar.
Brentwood went close again with Stanley putting Ngandu thorough, but Wilton made a vital point-blank save. The ball fell kindly for Ngandu, but his second effort was blocked on the line by defender Lewis Wallace before landing in Wilton's arms.
Dereham levelled in time added on, when defender Christian Mblulu headed Ryan Hawkins' long ball out to Tuttle who, from 30 yards out, beat Bowles with a stunning volley to make it all square at the break.
With the wind behind them, Dereham made the perfect start to the second half, with Wales chasing down a through ball before lobbing the advancing keeper to give the Magpies a 47th-minute lead.
Dereham continued to press, Tuttle testing Bowles again from 20 yards, while at the other end Wilton did well to punch clear Louis Baucutt's hanging centre on his six-yard line.
As Dereham looked to seal victory, Sturman was upended by defender James Love 25 yards out. Aaron Kay's free-kick was deflected behind for a fruitless corner, but Dereham had done enough against the useful Essex side.