Dereham Town boss eyes charge for play-offs ahead of Waltham Abbey trip

Loan striker Ryan Crisp is expected to be fit for Dereham.

Loan striker Ryan Crisp is expected to be fit for Dereham. - Credit: Archant

Dereham Town boss Matt Henman has challenged his side to strengthen their play-off credentials when they travel to Waltham Abbey this afternoon, kick-off 3pm.

The Magpies' thrilling 3-2 win at Cray Wanderers on Tuesday thrust Henman's men back into the promotion picture to sit just a point off fifth-placed Thurrock, with a game in hand.

Victory repaired the damage sustained by their 2-1 defeat to Redbridge last weekend and Henman is looking for his side to strike a blow over one of their play-off rivals at Capershotts today.

'Waltham have been similar to us this season and they aren't far behind us in the league,' he said. 'It's a chance for us to put some distance between us and them and of course get closer to the play-offs. Tuesday's win just kept us in there. It continued our 1.5 points per away game ratio and if we can maintain that for the rest of the season then we'll be pretty happy.'

Dereham ran out of steam towards the end of last season as they narrowly missed out on the play-offs but Henman believes that experience could be vital in the run-in.

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'We have learned a lot and I really think we will come on strong in the second half of the season. We are in an excellent position and it's up to us to take advantage of that.

'A lot of people have said that we're not as strong a side as we were last season but we are seven points better off having played the same number of games.'

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Henman expects Ryan Crisp to shrug off the ankle injury that forced him off against Cray and hinted he could look to secure the Needham Market loanee on a permanent deal. 'He has made an impact for us and I'm happy with how he's doing,' he said.

'We may look to extend the loan or see if there is something permanent that can be done. We will wait and see.'

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