Dereham Town boost promotion hopes by beating high-flying Needham Market

Ryan Hawkins was on target for Dereham Town against Needham Market. Picture: IAN BURT

Ryan Hawkins was on target for Dereham Town against Needham Market. Picture: IAN BURT - Credit: IAN BURT

Dereham boosted their promotion challenge with an excellent win over second placed Needham Market at Aldiss Park last night.

The Magpies made a confident start, with Craig Bussens shooting wide following Harry Barker's cross before Ryan Hawkins' 30-yarder flew into keeper Shaun Phillips' arms.

The home side got their reward on nine minutes when sloppy defending allowed Michael Clunan to rob Phillips and present Bussens with a simple tap-in.

Dereham went close to increasing their lead when Bussens glanced Barker's ball off target in the 35th minute. Needham produced their best moment of the half in the 42nd minute with Andy Wilton making a stunning save to turn aside Luke Ingram's superb 20 yard strike.

The visitors caught Dereham on the break in the 54th minute with Sam Newson slotting home the equaliser from close range.

After play had become open, with half chances at either end, Ryan Hawkins drilled home a superb shot on the turn in the 79th minute following good build-up play between Clunan and Louis Mason to restore Dereham's lead. Dereham sealed victory in added time when Phillips could only push Bussens low drive into the path of Sam Borrer who netted from close in.

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