League rivals Norwich United and Dereham set for Senior Cup showdown
Norwich United take on Dereham Town in the semi-finals of the Norfolk Senior Cup this evening at the FDC, Bowthorpe (7.30pm).
The two sides both play in Division One North of the Bostik League, with Dereham standing seventh in the table and United 21st, and are separated by 29 points.
But although one side is challenging for promotion and the other is battling against relegation the most recent meeting between the two sides - a 0-0 draw at Aldiss Park on Boxing Day - suggests a tight encounter is on the cards.
With cup bragging rights up for grabs Dereham boss Neal Simmons hopes the occasion can bring out the best in his players and secure a final date at Carrow Road.
He said: “We’re looking forward to this game as semi-finals are always big games, especially with a place at Carrow Road at stake.
“We have been in good form of late and playing some attractive attacking football and we hope the playing surface at the FDC will be conducive to our style of play.
“We have had 10 days rest since our last fixture and welcome Ashley Jarvis back into the squad. If we could win this fixture it would give us a real boost for the last 11 league games as we push for a play-off place.”
Norwich United go into tonight’s game having not played since their 3-1 victory at Ware on February 17, over two weeks ago.
Dereham will start as favourites but have picked up just two more points than their opponents in their last six games and will be well aware that the Planters knocked them out of last year’s competition at Aldiss Park with a 4-2 extra-time victory.
It should be a hard fought battle, with the winners knowing they will be strong favourites in the Carrow Road final.
They will come up against either Thurlow Nunn Division One outfit Downham Town or Anglian Combination Division One leaders Wymondham Town, who claimed a shock win over Thetford Town in the quarter-finals.
Their semi-final is also taking place at the FDC and after a earlier postponement because of the weather is due to take place next Tuesday evening (7.30pm).