Dereham Town 4, Tilbury 1 – Wales stars as Magpies beat nine men to soar into Ryman North top five

The play-off picture is becoming much clearer for Dereham Town, black and white. Picture: STEVE ADAM

The play-off picture is becoming much clearer for Dereham Town, black and white. Picture: STEVE ADAMS

A fine hat-trick by Liam Wales helped elevate Dereham to fourth place in the Ryman North table and push them above local rivals Wroxham as Tilbury ended the night with nine players, writes Rene Kendal.

Andy Wilton got down well to block Tony Martin's low drive after the striker had linked well with Neil Richmond early on.

But Dereham then went ahead as Michael Clunan found Ross Bailey whose cross from the left entered the net via the far post in the 19th minute. Tilbury resorted parity in the 24th minute with a superb strike from Martin who looped the ball over Wilton from all of 30 yards.

Play continued to remain fluid and Wales rattled the Tilbury crossbar with the ball falling to safety. In the 30th minute Tilbury were reduced to 10 men as their keeper Jack Giddens was dismissed for a barge on Ryan Hawkins, with Jake Pooley taking over in goal. The stand-in keeper was forced to claw away a deep Michael Clunan free-kick before a defender was on hand to block a fierce left foot drive again from Clunan.

Dereham continued to dominate and Frazer Blake-Tracy had a 30-yard curler tipped behind for a corner by keeper Pooley.

After the break Aaron Kay replaced Matt Hockley for the Magpies and Dereham came close when Jay Eastoe-Smith volleyed Clunan's centre inches off target. In the 55th minute Tilbury defender Daniel Smith produced a goal line clearance to head Ryan Hawkins' effort over the bar as Dereham were thwarted again.

The Magpies' pressure finally paid off as Clunan combined well with Hawkins who found Wales, enabling him to beat keeper Pooley with a well directed low drive in the 64th minute. Things got worse for Tilbury as they were reduced to nine men as Bradley Webb was dismissed for a foul on Hawkins in the 66th minute.

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Dereham extended their lead in the 74th minute as Wales beat stand-in keeper Pooley with a powerful 22 yard strike for his second goal of the night.

The home side used their numerical advantage to keep possession in the closing minutes before, in the 90th minute, Ollie Willis was upended in the box after a strong run. From the spot kick Wales thumped the ball into the roof of the net to complete his hat trick and seal a comfortable win.

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