Dereham Town 3 Brightingsea Regent 2: Harley’s hat-trick joy for Magpies
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
Dereham got back to winning ways as a superb hat-trick from young Harley Black earned them the points. In a thrilling second half the visitors twice hit back to level before Black's late free-kick settled the issue.
Brightlingsea had the first two strikes on goal with Josh Gould hitting a firm left-foot drive into Josh Glover's arms before Jake Gould's diagonal drive flashed past.
Dereham had their first chance when Jay Eastoe-Smith's near-post flick was blocked for a corner following Ryan Crisp's free-kick.
The visitors came close again when Aaron Condon's free-kick was allowed to travel across the home box but went wide of the far post. They continued to dominate, with home keeper Glover being forced to make a vital save to prevent Condon from opening the scoring from close range on 38 minutes.
Just before the break Crisp weaved outside his man deep in the box only to be denied by a last-ditch tackle before the hosts won a penalty. Beeson made a fine save from Jackson Ramm's low drive but fouled Crisp as the striker tried to net the loose ball. Black stepped up to net from another penalty to give Dereham an interval lead.
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Gould had a fierce close-range drive deflected for a corner as the Essex side pressed after the break. The Magpies nearly caught the visitors on the break when Crisp put Danny Beaumont through with a great cross-field ball but the striker lost possession to Matt Cripps on the edge of the box. Crisp then set Beaumont up again but another chance went begging and Dereham were made to pay when Condon equalised for Brighlingsea from 10 yards in the 60th minute.
However, the Magpies restored their lead 10 minutes later when Crisp progressed down the left and crossed to Black who displayed fine technique to volley home his second goal from 20 yards.
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The visitors remained a threat however and on 80 minutes keeper Glover upended Condon who got up to smash home the resultant penalty. Black then had the final say with a precise 20-yard curler to complete his hat-trick and give Dereham the Boxing Day points.
Dereham: J Glover, H Black, J Ramm (R Logan 72), D Morphew, J Eastoe-Smith, D Frary, L Mason (R Linford 46), A Smith, R Crisp (H Howes 84), D Beaumont, D Hinton. Sub not used: W Viner.
Brightlingsea Regent: D Beeson, R Malton (J Barnett 85), Jake Gould, Witherspoon, Josh Gould, M Cripps, H McDonald, J Turner, R Rees (R Harvey 87), P Kelly, A Condon. Sub not used: G Doyle, K Baker, T Richardson.
Ref: A Sannerude