Drama from Dereham, Norwich United and Wroxham refuse to give an inch, Thetford get first win
- Credit: Archant
Rhys Logan drilled home a penalty in the final minute of added time at Sutton Coldfield to put Dereham in the hat for Monday’s FA Trophy third qualifying round draw.
The match was all square at 2-2 as the final seconds ticked down when a home defender needlessly punched a Logan corner to concede the spot kick – and Logan completed the formalities from 12 yards.
Magpies keeper Elliot Pride was called into action early on as he dived full length to keep out Reece Leek’s firm 25-yarder.
Dereham took time to adapt to the 3G pitch – although Logan had started brightly and teed up the opening goal on 25 minutes when he curled a free-kick from midway in the Sutton half towards the penalty spot where Toby Hilliard headed home.
The Magpies were good value for their interval lead and added a second minutes after the break. Matty Castellan released Hilliard on the right and his deep cross was headed back across goal by Luke Johnson to Jacob Lay who opened his Dereham account from close range.
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Adam Gusterson’s side were now playing with confidence, with David Hinton and Luke Johnson moving the ball well.
Pride did well to deny Jason Dodd, but he was beaten on 71 minutes when James Beresford headed home from a corner.
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Pride then had to race from his area to head clear, but Sutton grabbed an equaliser in the 84th minute when Ryan Shaw slotted home Reece Leek’s cross from the left.
Pride made a fine save from another Shaw header on time – before the late drama which saw Logan win it for Dereham.
Local clubs had good reason to celebrate after a near-perfect day in the Eastern Counties League.
There was a first win of the season for Thetford Town, who moved off the bottom of the Premier Division after a 2-1 win at fellow strugglers Woodbridge Town. Max Melanson scored the winner in the 71st minute after Woodbridge’s early penalty had been cancelled out by Harry French.
Norwich United stay top after beating visiting Mildenhall Town 2-1, while Wroxham maintained the chase with a 4-2 win at Newmarket Town. The Planters found themselves having to come from behind again, but goals from Jordan Forbes and Andy Eastaugh clinched the win.
Wroxham made it seven wins from seven, thanks to goals from Ish Fatadjo, Matty Ward and a brace from Harley Black.
Chris Henderson scored the only goal – his fourth in three appearances since joining from King’s Lynn Town – as Gorleston won at Godmanchester Rovers, while Swaffham won for only the second time this season, beating Haverhill Rovers 2-1 away. Kieren Shipp and Oliver Blackman scored for the Pedlars.
There was success just over the border as well, where Kirkley & Pakefield beat Long Melford 4-3. Cameron Russell, Kaiden Goldspink and Danny Conroy, with two, earned the points for the Royals.
In the First Division North, Great Yarmouth Town put five past hosts Wisbech St Mary without reply – Harry Atkins, Wesley Belsten, Alex Earl, Jordan Attree and Cameron Wing got the goals.
Leaders Fakenham Town were 3-0 home winners over Needham Market Reserves. Goals from Josh Hazell and two from Ashley Jarvis kept the Ghosts ahead of Ipswich Wanderers on goal difference.
Sheringham ended their search for a first win of the season when they beat visiting Haverhill Borough 1-0, their goal coming from Shane Cox.
Mulbarton beat Cornard 3-0, Ian Fancett scoring twice after an early own goal, while Norwich CBS were held to a goalless draw at home to AFC Sudbury Reserves. King’s Lynn Town Reserves were 3-2 winners at Diss Town. Haaris Khan had given Lynn a half-time lead and although Bryn Mullen levelled, Joseph Taylor and Alex Walpole made it 3-1 to the visitors. Owen French then pulled one back in time added on.
Lowestoft Town drew 1-1 at home to Rushall Olympic in the Southern League Premier Central. The Blues led through Adam Tann’s fifth-minute goal, but the visitors levelled tree minutes from time and shortly after having a man sent off.