Magpies get helping hand on return to winning ways

Dereham halted their recent slump with a 2-0 win at home to 10-man Diss on Saturday.

The Magpies had lost their previous three league games, conceding 12 goals and scoring just once.

A former player gave them a helping hand to get back on track as ex-Magpie Stuart Garner was sent off in the 55th minute, before two late goals handed Dereham victory.

The hosts welcomed Gary Starling and Adam Smith back from injury and carved out an early chance when Sam Borrer was denied by Diss keeper Matty Webster.

Billy Smith hit the post and then the bar shortly afterwards as Dereham pushed hard for an opener.


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Garner's second yellow card for a foul left Diss hanging on, before Dereham finally took the lead with 13 minutes remaining. Ollie Willis broke on the right and crossed for his brother, Sam, to head in from close range.

Billy Smith made the points safe five minutes later when he cut in from the left and curled a shot into the far corner.

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Leaders Wroxham were frustrated by a 0-0 draw at Woodbridge, although the result at least extended the Yachtsmen's lead to five points.

The visitors had a total of 17 shots, with five cleared off the line, but could not force a breakthrough.

Wroxham dominated the first half, but were almost caught on the break, although a fine save from Scott Howie and Paul Cousins' goal-line clearance kept it all-square.

Substitute Ryan Oakley gave Wroxham renewed impetus in the second half and efforts from Paul Cook, Andy Eastaugh (twice) , Graham Challen and Ross Durrant were scrambled off the line.

Manager David Batch said: 'Overall I am pleased with the result. On another day we would've won 4-1, but on another we could have lost it 1-0!

'A clean sheet and just three shots on target against us, two of which were from free-kicks outside the box, demonstrate the willingness of the players to literally get hurt for each other – and that is a good base to keep building on.'

After beating bottom team Great Yarmouth last weekend, Kirkley & Pakefield were unable to repeat the result against another struggling side, Newmarket, on Saturday, as the match finished goalless.

In the First Division, Thetford Town's title hopes were boosted significantly by a 2-0 win over their closest rivals, Whitton United.

Town, who lost their 100pc record in their previous game, went ahead on 70 minutes when Daniel Morphew was brought down in the box and Matthew Dixon converted the penalty.

The win was sealed in the dying minutes when Steven Davies intercepted a kick from the Whitton keeper and ran through to score.

Downham Town were 2-0 winners at home to Cornard United.

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