Dereham Town’s hopes hit by defeat to rivals
- Credit: Archant
Dereham Town's Premier Division title hopes suffered a jolt as they crashed 4-1 at home to fellow challengers Mildenhall on Saturday.
The Magpies had entered the game with high hopes of moving above their Suffolk opponents – who had been out of action for two weeks – in the table. But instead Mildenhall racked up a comprehensive win to go four points clear of Dereham, who still have a game in hand.
The hosts, without injured regular goalkeeper Andrew Wilton, started confidently, but Mildenhall went ahead on 20 minutes when Andrew Wood deflected the ball past Wilton's replacement, Matt Powley.
Mildenhall hit the post with a long range effort before doubling the lead just before the half hour mark. Steve Holder crossed from the right and James Paterson guided the ball in.
Dereham needed a quick response at the start of the second half and they produced it when Gary Starling's free-kick found Adam Gusterson, who headed home in the 48th minute.
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The Magpies piled on the pressure and Shaun Bammant hit the bar, but Mildenhall increased their lead in the 65th minute when Alex Stead scored following a corner.
Dereham's misery was sealed in the 90th minute when Paterson slotted home his second of the game.
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Wisbech reignited their challenge with a 5-1 win at nose-diving Thetford.
Deacon Napier gave the visitors the lead on four minutes, but James Pipe levelled matters 12 minutes into the second half.
Ollie Gale's shot bobbled past the Thetford keeper to restore Wisbech's lead and Chris Bacon's close range header made it 3-1 four minutes later.
Scott Johnson added a fourth and Bacon wrapped up the scoring three minutes from time to hand Thetford their ninth defeat in their last 10 league games.
Gorleston moved up to fourth following a 1-0 victory at Woodbridge.
After a goalless first half, Woodbridge struck the bar early in the second period, before the Greens struck a decisive blow on 61 minutes. Gary Williams hoisted a free-kick into the box and Ally McKenna controlled the ball neatly before smashing a volley into the roof of the net for his 16th goal of the season.
Woodbridge hit the post late on, but Gorleston hung on to extend their unbeaten league run to nine games.
Kirkley & Pakefield were beaten 3-1 at Godmanchester, with Scott Woodcock on target for the visitors.
Norwich United travelled to FC Clacton and saw off the bottom side 2-0 courtesy of goals from Jamie George and Ian Hunter.
Leaders Walsham-le-Willows were held 1-1 at home by Stanway Rovers.
In the First Division, a second half goal accounted for Downham's 1-0 defeat at home to Cambridge University Press, who returned to the top of the table.
Fakenham moved back up to fifth with a 3-2 win at home to Braintree Town Reserves. James Tricks scored twice for the Ghosts and Liam Somerton also netted.