Magpies of Dereham Town aim to soar during second half of the term

Ryan Crisp, front, is ineligible to face Needham this afternoon. Picture: IAN BURT

Ryan Crisp, front, is ineligible to face Needham this afternoon. Picture: IAN BURT - Credit: Ian Burt

Dereham Town will be looking to give their fans a late Christmas present when league leaders Needham Market visit, writes Ed Colman.

The Magpies have won just two of their last five matches, in all competitions, but remain just one point off the play-off places occupying ninth in the Ryman North table.

The Aldiss Park outfit do however have, at least two and in some cases three, games in hand on all of the sides above them in the table.

Magpies boss Matt Henman – whose men's last scheduled game at Waltham Abbey fell foul of the wet weather – said: 'We have learned a lot so far this season and I really think we will come on strong in the second half of the season.

'We are in an excellent position and it's up to us to take advantage of that.

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'A lot of people have said that we're not as strong a side as we were last season but we are seven points better off having played the same number of games.'

Dereham won their last fixture at Cray Wanderers by three goals to two on December 16. The goals were shared by Ryan Hawkins, Aaron Kay and Craig Bussens.

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The Magpies will be without striker Ryan Crisp, who is currently on loan from Needham and is ineligible to face his parent club. Harry Baker misses out through illness but Sam Borrer, Frazer Blake-Tracey and Daniel Morphew are back in contention.

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