Magpies are flying high, but Bloaters suffer another beating
Dereham moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League table – and in some style.
The Magpies thrashed fourth-placed Mildenhall 6-1 at Aldiss Park to widen the gap over Wroxham, who were on FA Cup duty on the south coast.
There were good wins for Norwich United and Wisbech Town, over Newmarket and Kirkley & Pakefield respectively, but Great Yarmouth were on the receiving end of another heavy scoreline while Gorleston won the battle of the new boys at Diss.
Dereham had a couple of early escapes, but punished Mildenhall on 11 minutes when Ollie Willis made a strong run forward before finding Adam Smith who weaved outside his man and beat Josh Pope with a low left-foot drive. Two minutes Nathan Howard headed home Gary Starling's cross to double the lead.
Joe Marsden struck the post from an acute angle before Dereham grabbed a third on 26 minutes when Nicky Howell delivered another centre from the right for Howard to head home his second.
The fourth came seven minutes before half-time after Starling played a short free-kick to Scott Roberts and keeper Pope made a hash of claiming his cross – the ball fell at the feet of Howell who gleefully knocked the ball home.
Mildenhall reduced the deficit in the 50th minute when Andrew Wood beat Shaun Marshall with a superb 25-yard drive, but Dereham went nap soon after when Sam Borrer headed home a Starling free-kick. Dereham were stretching Mildenhall with their fluent movement and passing and created several more chances. In the 85th minute Pope made a great save to deny Roberts a deserved goal, but at the death the Magpies added a sixth when Joe Marsden beat Pope with a lovely chip.
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Norwich United were 3-0 winners over visiting Newmarket Town, bouncing back from their midweek disappointment with a comprehensive victory.
Within the first minute Ross King tested visiting keeper Andy Youngs with a stinging shot which he spilled – the ball was cleared only as far as Louis Cutajar who cut inside, but shot wide.
In the 10th minute the Planters were handed their best chance yet when Cutajar was felled in the area by James Attwood and referee Malcolm McIntyre had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Hunter sent the ball to Youngs' right, but the keeper guessed right and saved the spot kick.
The Planters resumed their assault on the Jockeys' goal and Jordan Blyth ended a strong run from midfield with a shot straight at Youngs. Cutajar once again cut inside from the right, but shot high.
Five minutes before the break the Planters finally broke the deadlock when Hunter's corner from the left was headed on at the near post by Blyth and fell perfectly for Mustapha to head home at the far post.
Tom Jeal set up Mustapha shortly after the break, but the striker hit wide of the target, at the other end an excellent tackle by Steve Shipley denied Lane.
Mustapha then set up Jeal whose shot was held by Youngs.
The Planters doubled their advantage on the hour when Mustapha waltzed past Darren Coe wide on the right and crossed for Blyth whose shot was blocked but Cutajar was on hand to net from close range. The game was put out of reach when with 10 minutes to go George Wilson, a 63rd-minute substitute was brought down on the edge of the area. Cutajar stepped up to place the ball beyond Youngs.
Chris Bacon and Scott Johnson scored the goals which earned Wisbech their win over K&P, while Gorleston came from behind to win 2-1 at Diss, who went ahead through Danny Partridge. Ten minutes later Ali McKenna levelled before Christy Finch earned the win.
Great Yarmouth's poor performance was reflected in their worst result of the season as they went down 8-2 at home to Clacton.
The Bloaters were 3-0 down within 15 minutes, but the second half saw the home defence concede five more, with two consolation goals for Mitch Forbes.