Magpies ready for Witham response

Dereham Town will be looking to make winning a habit this afternoon when they visit high-flying Witham Town.

Witham beat the Magpies 4-1 at Aldiss Park back in August but Magpies manager Matt Henman – whose team beat local rivals Wroxham 4-0 on Boxing Day –believes his side will be much more competitive today and is looking to add to an already impressive points total.

'I was surprised with Witham's result on Boxing Day, losing 5-1 to Soham, so we expect them to be really up for Saturday and are preparing for a very tough test,' he said.

'They were one of hardest teams that we have played against this season and when we played them here we had a player sent off early on and were new to the league, so we are looking to prove a point today.

'We are a far better team now than we were then and the game gives us a chance to show everyone just how far we have come. They have got their own targets and desires and everyone expects them to be in and around the play-offs and possibly pushing for automatic promotion, so we know it will be a tough test.

'We go into the game with lots of confidence from our win on Boxing Day and from our performances against Cheshunt and Thurrock.

'We should have a fully fit squad for the game, possibly with one or two exceptions but Shaun Bammant will feature in some way, which will boost our options, so we are confident we can come away with a good result.

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Dereham will be without Gary Starling, who is continuing to feature for the Magpies reserves while he recovers from injury, but Henman is expecting the defender to be back in first team contention within the next couple of weeks.