Magpies are flying after big win in Essex

Dereham Town have a five-point lead after their win in Essex. Picture: Archant

Dereham Town have a five-point lead after their win in Essex. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Dereham moved five points clear at the top of the table after a magnificent performance in Essex.

The goals all came inside the opening half an hour, although that wasn't the end of the drama as Dereham keeper Elliot Pride saved a second-half penalty before on-loan Toby Hilliard went from match winner to sinner when he was sent off near the end.

Dereham got off to a perfect start after Rhys Logan went on a typically probing run before squaring to Jamie Forshaw who slammed the ball into the roof of the net from 16 yards after just six minutes.

Heybridge replied with Ben Griffiths' fierce 20-yarder drifting just wide and they drew level in the 15th minute as Harrison Chatting threaded through to Luke Callander who ran on and beat Pride with a cool finish.

The visitors went back in front on 30 minutes when, after a fine passing move on the right, Forshaw's shot was saved by home keeper Danny Sambridge only for the loose ball to bounce in front of Hilliard who showed great skill to net with a rising half volley.

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The Swifts built down the left and Griffiths was denied by a great save from Pride. Dereham came close in the 41st minute when David Hinton fed Hilliard on the right and his low diagonal drive was well saved by Sambridge.

Heybridge were awarded a penalty when Sam Bantick was brought down, but Pride saved his left to deny Bantick from 12 yards.

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The Magpies nearly increased their advantage in the 64th minute when Logan's low drive forced Sambridge to produce an excellent save.

Hilliard was sent off in time added on for taking too long to leave the field when being substituted.

Heybridge: Sambridge, Ramon, Conway (Sappleton 73), Dark (Krasniqi 78), Henshaw, Cawley, Chatting (Gardner 64), Griffiths, Callander, Bantick, Luque. Subs not used: Andrews, Goddard.

Dereham: Pride, Castellan. Anema (Murphy 63), Hinton, Ebbage, Linford, Logan, Burgers, Hilliard, Forshaw (Jarvis 80), Beaumont. Subs not used: Crisp, Bean.

Ref: D Knox. Att: 188

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