Dereham Town 3 Thamesmead 0 – Magpies warm to their task as visitors freeze at Aldiss Park
Dereham warmed up the supporters who braved the elements at a bitterly cold Aldiss Park.
First-half goals from Rhys Logan and Frazer Blake-Tracy, and a late penalty from Luke Tuttle, ensured the Magpies took all three points.
Dereham made a positive start, winning two corners and a free-kick that drifted over keeper Andy Walker's bar.
Blake-Tracy weaved his way down the left and set up Lewis Butcher, who blazed over the top from 18 yards in the 14th minute.
In tricky playing conditions, Thamesmead's Lee Prescott and Dereham's Dion Frary were both booked for late challenges.
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The opening goal came on 20 minutes. Tuttle spread play wide to Payton Swatman, the full-back cut inside and his scuffed shot fell to Logan just inside the box and he drilled home a low right-foot drive.
Dereham continued to threaten – Butcher fired over when well placed and Sam Borrer was wide with a speculative long-distance effort. But the pressure paid off after they won a corner on the right. Blake-Tracy's inswinging flag-kick outfoxed keeper Walker and his defence, with the ball going directly into the net with 35 minutes on the clock.
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The Kent side were having little joy against the well-organised home side, with Dan Morphew and Frary in excellent form in front of their defence.
Dereham came within inches of extending their lead immediately after the break when Logan's diagonal drive flew past the far post and they came close again, with Frary unable to get on the end of Logan's cross after he had started the move from the centre of the park.
The visitors began to press in the later stages, but with 10 minutes remaining Dereham put the result beyond doubt – Tuttle was brought down by keeper Walker and got up to beat the keeper from the penalty spot.
Dereham Town: Viner, Swatman, Blake-Tracy, Morphew, Logan (Fuller 87), Frary, Tuttle (Kay 81), Borrer, Butcher (Bialasik 67). Substitutes not used: Crisp, Linford.
Goals: Rhys Logan 21, Fraser Blake-Tracy 35, Luke Tuttle 83pen
Thamesmead: Walker, Prescott, Spillane (Jeffrey 52), Dark, Barry, Porter, Thompson (Butler 53), Kargbo, Vines, Duncan (Hallam 69), Fairweather-Johnson. Substitutes not used: Aziaya.
Referee: M Holmes