Dereham Town 2 Cray Wanderers 2 – Dramatic equaliser denies brave Magpies a memorable triumph
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
Ten-man Dereham gained a point against the league leaders after a dramatic finish at Aldiss Park, writes Rene Kendal.
In a dramatic end, Luke Tuttle's late penalty looked to have won the game before Onome Sodje's added-time equaliser denied the hosts what would have been an outstanding victory. The visitors went in front in the 11th minute when Dan Morphew looked to be impeded as he tried to head clear Karl Dent's free-kick. The defender could only head towards goal allowing Sodje to net with a close-range overhead kick.
As the Magpies started to brighten Tuttle's curler tested keeper Nick Blue from outside the box. Morphew, the third home player to be booked in the first half, headed a Tuttle corner off target.
With 38 minutes on the clock Cray kept possession well in the home half with Leigh Bremner ending the move by firing wide. Dereham replied with Dion Frary's well-struck long range drive nearly catching out keeper Blue. Cray came close to increasing their lead in the 43rd minute. Skipper Lea Dawson's firm header from Ucye Ibemere's corner looked to be heading under the crossbar until Will Viner made a superb acrobatic save.
Dereham should have drawn level with striker Jack Frohawk failing to head home from point-blank range from Rhys Logan's superb ball. Things got worse for the Magpies in the 59th minute when midfielder Aaron Kay was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
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Lewis Butcher fired wide from outside the box before home keeper Viner made another excellent save to keep out Sodje. Sam Borrer struck another effort from distance off target before Dereham found the equaliser through Morphew's stooping 72nd-minute header.
Crisp was upended in the 90th minute and Tuttle thought he'd won it from the spot until Sodje's glanced home Jack Duckworth's centre to rescue a draw.
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Dereham: Viner, Swatman, Blake-Tracy, Kay, Frary, Morphew, Logan (Wallace, 85), Borrer, Frohawk (Crisp, 64), Tuttle, Butcher (Cooper, 71).
Cray: Blue, Duckworth, Basey, Tozer, Osifuwa, Dawson, Roberts, Dent (Moore, 72), Sodje, Bremner, Ibemere (Powell, 92).
Subs not used: Frieter, Carpenter, Faulkner.
Ref: D Geary