Dereham Town still in hunt for play-offs after victory over Waltham Abbey

Luke Tuttle scored the crucial goal for Dereham against Waltham Abbey. Picture: Ian Burt

Luke Tuttle scored the crucial goal for Dereham against Waltham Abbey. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Dereham recorded another crucial victory in their quest to reach the play-offs with Waltham unlucky not to gain a point at Aldiss Park.

The visitors came close in the opening minute with Jason Hallett firing inches over keeper Andy Wilton's crossbar.

The Essex side remained lively, winning a fruitless free-kick before striker Hallett failed to cash in on a poor clearance from Wilton. Hallett then caught Lewis Sturman with a late challenge and became the first player to be booked.

Dereham weathered the early pressure and took the lead with a quick break.

Liam Wales made ground into the Waltham box and after avoiding keeper Jayden Purdue he was brought down by Stef Szwarski. For the third game in succession Luke Tuttle stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way from the spot, to give Dereham a 15th-minute lead.

The hosts then took control but could not add to their tally. After the break Hallett found space on the left in the Dereham box and made ground before forcing Wilton to save his low drive by his right post in the 50th minute.

The Essex side pressed again, winning a free-kick just outside the box, however Jon Docker blazed way over the top. In the 59th minute Waltham's Szwarski volleyed Docker's deep free-kick wide at the far post as the visitors continued their search for the equaliser. Waltham came close again in the 78th minute with Wilton palming Hallett's close-range header onto a post and Dereham held on to their victory.

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Dereham: A Wilton, H Barker, F Blake-Tracy, L Sturman, D Morphew, S Borrer, R Hawkins, M Clunan (M Howard 90), L Wales, L Tuttle (A Smith 76), A Kay (R Bailey 79). Unused subs: M Howard, L Mason, O Willis.

Waltham Abbey: J Purdue, M Attard (M Lopes 72), M Bedford, S Szwarski, J Kizzi, J Daveney, J Peagram (R Asamuan 75), T Bruno, J Hallett, J Docker, B Hart. Unused subs: L Bristow.

Referee: Mr D Hanna

Attendance: 196