Photo gallery: Ryman Division One North: Dereham Town 2, Wroxham 0
- Credit: Ian Burt
Long-range strikes from Ryan Hawkins and Matt Hockley helped Dereham put the brakes on their Ryman League rivals' remarkable renaissance.
Wroxham, granted a relegation reprieve last season, went into tonight's derby ahead of their Norfolk opponents in the table having won six league games on the bounce. But it was Matt Henman's men who claimed bragging rights with stunning goals in each half from Hawkins and Hockley to continue their own fine run of form in Division One North.
Although the men from the Broads displayed their obvious improvement early on, their hopes of victory were sunk in reality from the moment the Magpies grabbed a 38th-minute lead. Following Hawkins' 25-yarder, Stewart Larter's troops – managed by assistant Cedric Anselin for the night – never really threatened a comeback as the Aldiss Park outfit picked up a victory they eventually deserved.
With both teams full of confidence and so much pride at stake, the game started at a breakneck pace. It was the visitors who settled quickest with pacy widemen Jamie Forshaw and Remy Gordon showing their class. A quick breakaway, sparked by the latter, helped Christy Finch get the first shot on target but his scuffed effort was well held by Andy Wilton.
The speed of Hawkins down the Magpies' right was equally impressive and his team-mates in black and white looked to utilise it on numerous occasions as they tried to get a foothold in proceedings.
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But it was the Yachtsmen who continued to remain in control with Nathan Stone volleying across goal and Gordon lashing over after being picked out delightfully by Forshaw.
Gradually Henman's charges started to force the issue with classy midfielder Sam Borrer and left-sided schemer Craig Bussens coming to the fore.
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Drifting over to the opposite flank, Bussens teed up Hockley who got it all wrong from the edge of the box. Hawkins pulled a drive wide and worked Elliot Pride twice before he finally broke the deadlock.
Michael Clunan's corner was headed away from danger but Hawkins' drive caused even more serious trouble as it flew into the bottom corner, via a touch from within the crowded penalty box.
If that goal had come during Town's best spell, then the home faithful witnessed an even better offering after the interval.
Gifted playmarker Borrer teed up Hawkins and Toby Hilliard – who saw his miss-hit attempt hooked off his own line by Andrew Howell – as the Magpies searched for a second.
They found it just after the hour mark when this time former professional Hockley made no mistake.
The versatile ex-Torquay player, operating at centre-back, strode forward and unleashed a belter from almost 30 yards that gave Pride absolutely no chance.
The expected onslaught from in-form Wroxham never really arrived with only Jack Garrod troubling Wilton. And in the end it was more than fairly comfortable for Dereham to see out the game and collect their seventh triumph in eight matches.
Dereham: Wilton, Willis (Kay, 73), Howard, Hockley, Eastoe-Smith, Hawkins, Sturman, Borrer, Clunan, Bussens, Hilliard (Bailey, 90+3). Subs not used: Greenslade, Mason, Ward
Wroxham: Pride, Taylor (King, 84), Howell, Halliday, Price, Forshaw (Garrod, 60), White, Hinton, Gordon, Stone, Finch. Subs not used: Self, Rust