Dereham Town’s Ryman North play-off hopes suffer a home hit against Harlow
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
Dereham's play-off hopes suffered another blow after a solitary first-half goal by striker Billy Jones kept Harlow's own promotion bid on track, writes Rene Kendal.
The Magpies are sixth in the table, one place outside the play-offs, but four points behind fifth-placed Brentwood, from two more games.
They went into Saturday's game without the suspended Ryan Hawkins, and with Craig Bussens recovering from surgery on his ankle. Kyle Downes partnered Liam Wales up front.
Both sides took time to settle in the stiff breeze, with lots of wayward passing in the opening 20 minutes before Downes used good strength to find Wales on the right, but Luke Tuttle was penalised for a foul on visiting keeper Andrew Walker as he looked to finish.
Second-placed Harlow had their first chance in the 25th minute – and it proved to be the decided. Jared Small squaring the ball to Billy Jones on the edge of the box and the striker beat home keeper Andy Wilton inside his left-hand post with a well-struck drive.
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Wales wasted a half chance by lobbing wide, before defender Harry Barker produced a timely block to prevent Junior Dadson from adding to the visitors' tally. Wilton then had to turn away David Cowley's free-kick which managed to get through a group of players in the box.
In the second half keeper Walker claimed Tuttle's drive with ease and then denied Aaron Kay, but Dereham couldn't break through.
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Dereham: Wilton, Willis, Wallace, Sturman (Blake-Tracy 73), Barker, Morphew, Kay, Bailey (Clunan 61), Downes, Tuttle, Wales. Sub not used: Hockley.
Harlow: Walker, Pope, Eadie, Urquart, Goodhind (Gorbell 45), Simms, Small (Stamp 75), Cowley, Jones (Appiah 90), Antone, Dadson. Subs not used: Martin, Thompson.
Ref: D Appleby