Dereham Town hope to vent their frustrations at Cray Wanderers

Dereham Town's Luke Hannant is back from university and available for selection over Christmas. Pict

Dereham Town's Luke Hannant is back from university and available for selection over Christmas. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Tonight's long trip to Cray Wanderers could provide Dereham Town with a good opportunity to vent their frustrations.

The Magpies travel to Kent following a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Redbridge, when Dan Morphew saw his 93rd-minute penalty saved to miss the chance of salvaging a draw.

That leaves Matt Henman's side in ninth place in the Ryman North table, with three games in hand on some teams above them, one of which is against second-from-bottom Cray tonight.

But Henman says his team will not go into the match with their confidence dented, as he feels their performance warranted the victory on Saturday.

'It was three points lost because we started the game really well and could have scored three or four goals in the first 20 minutes,' the Dereham boss said.

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'But a really bad defensive mistake allowed them to equalise and from then on it was a more even battle. Again the second goal, we were disappointed how it happened.

'Then we got the chance to score with the penalty late on, but the keeper saved it. So it was a game we should have won, could have got a draw from, but lost.'

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Henman's hopes of seeing his side bounce back tonight have been boosted by the return of full-back Luke Hannant from university for the Christmas period, with centre-back Jay Eastoe-Smith and midfielder Matt Hockley also available again.

Defender Harry Barker played 70 minutes on his return from a broken foot at Redbridge and midfielder Adam Smith also got 20 minutes from the bench as he comes back from a hamstring problem, although is unavailable for tonight and Saturday's trip to Waltham Abbey.

Louis Mason is available again though, to further boost Henman's midfield options.

'That freshens us up going into a period of lots of games over Christmas and then nine games in January, so we are going to need everybody fit and available,' the Magpies manager added.

Asked if tonight's clash with struggling Cray, who have won just three of their 22 games, offered a chance for his side to try and vent their frustrations Henman said: 'Yes I think so, but in a controlled way.

'We go with confidence but know that the same as every team in this league, you have to respect them. They drew at Ware on Sunday, and they are just outside the play-offs.

'And their results recently, they have not been getting too much of a hiding, they've been losing by the odd goal.

'They were relegated into our division so we don't know them too well and we have to respect them. It's a long trip for us so we need to get the journey out of our legs, try to take some of our chances and cut out the mistakes.'

Dereham's Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-final at Thetford Town has been confirmed as a 7.45pm kick-off on Tuesday, January 6.

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