Football preview round-up: Dereham head to Bury, plus Thurlow Nunn and Ang Com games
PUBLISHED: 20:41 31 January 2020 | UPDATED: 20:41 31 January 2020
Dereham Town have signed former King's Lynn Town player Natty Stewart.
The striker was released from The Walks last week, along with Harry Limb, but has quickly been snapped up by Magpies boss Adam Gusterson.
Stewart will be in the Dereham squad that will be looking to make it four BetVictor North wins in a row when they travel to Bury on Saturday.
Bury topped the table at the start of the season, but a current indifferent spell of form has seen then drop to fifth.
The Magpies will be looking to overturn a 3-2 home defeat that the Suffolk side inflicted upon them in September.
Gusterson's side go into the game on the back of a fine 4-1 win over Coggeshall at Aldiss Park last weekend.
First-half goals from Adam Smith, Adam Hipperson and Toby Hilliard gave them a 3-1 interval lead while a superb performance from goalkeeper Elliot Pride kept the visitors at bay before the hardworking Robbie Linford sealed victory in front of a large crowd.
Gusterson was full of praise for his side.
"We were excellent and needed to be against a very good side," he said. "We had to show a bit of everything to win the game and I was pleased with how we were able to get in front, deal with a setback and go again in order to gain the result. The supporters were excellent and getting over 300 to the game made a real difference to the atmosphere which is something we have to continue to strive for." Gusterson is enthused by his team's progress and their potential.
"The pressure is on them (Bury)," he added. "I think at one point they were around 12 points clear of us with games in hand and now if we were to get a result we go to within a point of them so it shows the progress we are making. It is a big game and of course they are favourites, but we're in good form and believe we have the ability to cause the top sides in this league, like Bury, problems."
As well as the addition of Stewart, Gusterson has a fully fit squad - skipper David Hinton returns following injury and Charlie Dickerson is back from England Colleges duty.
The race for the top may be all but lost, but Norfolk bragging rights are most definitely up for grabs in the Premier Division.
While Stowmarket continue to plough a lonely furrow at the top, Norwich United and Wroxham are locked in a battle behind them.
They both trail second-placed Newmarket by three points, with United having a game in hand and Wroxham two. If the Norfolk pair want to end the Suffolk domination, then they need wins on Saturday - Wroxham go to FC Clacton, while the Planters host Whitton United. Newmarket have a trip to Brantham Athletic while the leaders host Godmanchester Rovers.
Kirkley & Pakefield ended a five-game winless run with a win over FC Clacton a week ago and will look to build on that when they go to Haverhill Rovers. One place below Kirkley in 14th are Swaffham, who need to erase the memory of a 7-0 thumping at Newmarket when they head to Mildenhall. Thetford host Ely while struggling Gorleston go to Stanway Rovers.
Mattishall will need to win the big match of the day to keep in touch with the leading players in the Premier League.
After a surprise home defeat to Long Stratton a week ago, Mattishall head to leaders Waveney, who have opened up a four-point gap over Norwich Ceyms, with two games in hand.
Mattishall are back in sixth spot and also have games in hand on those around them - but only a win will help their cause.
Ceyms have a trip to fifth-placed Beccles Town, who are well placed, but have played more games than their nearest rivals.
Mundford sit in third, behind Ceyms on goal difference, and travel to Wroxham Reserves.
Harleston Town have slipped to fourth, two points behind and six off top spot, so need something from their visit to Bradenham Wanderers.
Elsewhere, Acle United host Caister, UEA go to Long Stratton and Scole United entertain Blofield United.