Dereham Town are happy to be underdogs

Dereham Town are looking forward to facing Norwich City in the semi-finals of the Norfolk Senior Cup at Carrow Road this evening – and have no problems with being the underdogs.

'I think the lads will enjoy it,' said Magpies' boss Matt Henman. 'Last year we were firm favourites and were beaten by Mattishall, so I think it will benefit us to be the underdogs.'

'It will be a great occasion, I am sure,' he added.

'The lads are looking forward to it. It's a great opportunity for everyone to be involved in something really special. Everybody is dying to play.

'There's a good relationship between the clubs. We play Norwich City in pre-season friendlies but this is the real thing. At the end of the day, we want to win and they want to win. It's a great opportunity to get to the final.

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'We need to enjoy the occasion. We're hoping for a lot of support at Carrow Road. I think there's a lot of interest in it.'

Henman was pleased with Saturday's 0-0 draw with in-form Stanway in the Ridgeons Premier, keeping a clean sheet despite going down to ten men after half an hour and Shaun Marshall saving two penalties.

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'It was a fantastic performance and superb commitment,' he said, adding that it had given them confidence for tonight's big game.

'We had ten men in the second half – it was a really gutsy performance and a great away point. We were looking for a good reaction after last week's loss (5-1 at home to Brantham) and it felt like a win for us.

'Ian Morgan got a red card for a tackle, a really, really harsh decision. We dug in and created a couple of chances.

'In the second half there were two very harsh penalties but Shaun Marshall saved them both.'

He pointed out that Stanway, although in the bottom half of the table, had recently started getting good results – including winning 3-2 at Wroxham the previous weekend after a new manager had come on board and made it a much-changed squad.

The second Norfolk Senior Cup semi-final takes place next Tuesday, with in-form King's Lynn Town entertaining Thetford Town of the Ridgeons League First Division at The Walks (7.45pm).

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