Magpies must keep winning
'We have just got to keep winning.' That was the message from Dereham manager Matt Henman yesterday after his Magpies completed a second impressive win within five days.
They followed up the midweek victory over Wroxham with a 3-1 home win over top-five Haverhill. That left them five points behind leaders Leiston, who have two games in hand but suffered FA Vase quarter-finals defeat.
Henman wondered if that might affect Leiston's form. 'It could knock their confidence, we experienced it when we got knocked out and were poor for a couple of games. It may affect them.'
He pointed out that there was still a third of the league season to play, during which Dereham play Leiston twice.
All the goals at Aldiss Park came in the second half. 'We worked hard in the firt half and defended well, and second half we opened up,' said Henman.
Shamus Kelleher netted from 25 yards then followed up his blocked shot to make it 2-0 before Adam Smith put the game beyond doubt ahead of Haverhill's consolation goal.
Third-placed Wroxham went down 1-0 at home to a young CRC side.
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Centre backs Josh Carus and Graham Challen dealt with a couple of headed clearances before CRC made the breakthrough with a clipped ball into Wroxham's area where a mix-up between defender and keeper left Yacine Gnahore with a simple tap-in to make it 1-0 after 12 minutes.
Wroxham batled to get back into the game but they were frustrated by a good-passing CRC. Ben Thompson had a chance to put the Yachtsmen level but couldn't put away his snap shot.
Wroxham came out for the second period playing some quick, one-touch football. CRC had a great chance on 55 minutes to increase the lead with Wroxham playing a high line. Omar Folkes had a one-on-one only to be denied by Nathan Pauling's save.
A Shaun Howes ball into the box was half-cleared for Danny Self to hit a great shot from 20 yards that crashed against the bar. CRC withstood a late onslaught to take the points back to Cambridge.
Goals from Andrew Claydon and Ross King gave Norwich United their fifth consecutive victory, 2-1 against Histon Reserves at the Glass World Stadium, the first time the Planters have recorded five straight wins since the autumn of 2003.
The Planters took an 11th minute lead. King played a one-two with Andy Key before driving to the goal-line and crossing for Claydon to net from close range.
For all their possession, the Planters failed to create many chances and had to settle for a solitary goal lead at the break.
King doubled the lead when he headed home Lee Hunter's free-kick from the right at the far post in the 55th minute.
Histon reduced the arrears on the hour mark through Andrew Tidswell.
Manager Paul Chick had mixed feelings after the game. 'We played well before the break but second half our standards dropped. But we displayed great resilience to take the points.'
John Sands put Yarmouth Town to the sword with four goals as in-form Mildenhall, now fourth, dispatched Yarmouth 4-2 at the Wellesley.
The visitors took the early lead in the sixth minute as Yarmouth's defence was undone for Sands' first, but the Bloaters replied almost immediately with Luke Fell profiting from Gavin Norman's cutback with only seven minutes on the clock.
Within 20 minutes the Bloaters were behind again with another through-ball causing havoc in the home defence. Once Yarmouth keeper Jake Jessup was rounded, another cut-back set up a simple finish.
Mildenhall's third came soon after, a cross from full-back James Paterson converted by a wonderful overhead kick.
Sands' fourth came from header from a corner shortly after the break. In the 79th minute Jake Reed worked well to deliver a snap-shot which the Mildenhall 'keeper saved, but the ball fell to George Barnden to make it 4-2.
Wisbech drew 2-2 at home to Walsham-le-Willows, a fair result from a good game according to club secretary Colin Gant.
The seventh-placed Fenmen fell behind to a penalty but equalised through Andy Furnell and took the lead through Ashley Stevens before being pulled back.
FC Clacton completed a double over the Kirkley & Pakefield Royals with a 3-0 victory at the Rush Green Bowl.
Two goals from Luke Coleman and a late strike from Martin Calver were enough for the Seasiders to record only their second win in their last seven matches.
It took Clacton only three minutes to break through the Kirkley back line with Coleman's glancing header.
Kirkley then had the better of the first half, Kyle Baker's powerful strike flying just over.
In the second half Baker's free-kick and a Scott Manning shot were saved and in a period of sustained Kirkley pressure.
Free-kick specialist Zak Clarke tested the keeper before the Royals were hit with the killer goals in the last five minutes despite Toby Kerslake rattling the Clacton bar with the score 2-1.
In the First Division, Gorleston boosted their promotion chances with a 1-0 home win over Godmanchester, Ali KcKenna coming on as a substitute to ruin the visitors' defensive tactics.
Manager Richard Daniels said his team had to expect sides to put 10 men behnd the ball. 'But when you have players like McKenna on the bench, you have a chance.
'We brought him on with 25 minutes to go. Bradley Hough had a good 65 minutes but it was not happening for him. Within five minutes McKenna scored. Godmanchester had to come out, we created more chances but we'll take 1-0,' said Daniels.
'That's now only two goals conceded in 10 games, one a penalty, so we are not doing badly at the back either.'
Daniels was pleased with the experience that McKenna and Richard Woodrow had brought to a squad which was already confident through success.
Diss stay in third place after a 3-0 home win over Halstead.
'We dominated the game, our keeper didn't have a save to make,' said manager Robert Taylor. Jordan Rocastle with a brace and Daniel Partridge were on target for the Tangerines.
Taylor said they were flying high despite struggling with injuries and suspensions. 'And with a young squad it's hard to get consistency.'
Thetford's fine run of form continued with a 5-2 win at Ipswich Wanderers, Matt Blake completing a hat-trick.
'Our confidence is sky-high' said manager Mark Scott. 'We don't fear anybody, the lads are very relaxed and play their game without worrying about the opposition.'
Blake put Thetford 2-0 up by half-time. Wanderers converted a penalty just after the break but Blake went straight up the other end to complete his hat-trick before Matt Dixon got the goal his fine game deserved to make it 4-1.
Back came Wanderers to make it 4-2 before Bruno Tavaris cracked home a superb free-kick.
Scott added: 'We don't want to get carried away as our position – fifth is a little false because teams around us have games in hand. But the pressure is on them, they have got to win their games, we have done our bit.'
Swaffham had a fine 4-3 victory over a Stowmarket, sitting sixth despite Jack Redhead picking up a knee injury during the warm-up, Lewis Hemeter stepping in as an admirable replacement.
Swaffham broke the deadlock in the 12th minute, Scott Voutt beating the keeper with a brave diving header from a Joe Jackson corner.
Craig Burton made it two in the 15th minute, tapping in following great work by Aaron Clifford and Joe Jackson. The visitors pulled one back in the 40th minute.
In the 44th minute, Aaron Clifford headed in from another Jackson corner, the cross assisted by David Spalding. Stowmarket scrambled the ball over the line from a corner on the stroke of half-time and equalised in the 56th minute.
But Spalding delivered the goods with another header from a Jackson corner and the Pedlars defended well to retain their lead, Dean Mayes pulling off a fine late save.
Injury-hit Fakenham again looked to their youngsters to step up, and the side battled its way to a 0-0 home draw with March.
Lack of a cutting edge up front cost the Ghosts second half when they created some good chances.
Jason Pease brought the best out of the March keeper with a free-kick, James Bamford flashed a shot just wide, Toby Harris and Ben Coe had good attempts and in the final minute a free-kick from the edge of the area was wasted by the Ghosts falling into the offside trap.