Relegation threatened Dereham suffer painful defeat - but there’s still hope
- Credit: Archant
Dereham's relegation battle in Premier A will go down to the wire after a 4-3 home defeat at the hands of already relegated Cambridge City II.
A win at the weekend would have ensured survival but now everything hinges on their final game, with Dereham needing to beat mid-table Ipswich at Greenfields Road on Saturday (1.30pm) to stay up.
The day started well with an opening goal inside the first few minutes after an excellent finish from returning senior player Richard Stainthorpe following a powerful run by Will Edwards. Cambridge pulled a goal back before Dereham scored two more to go into half-time with a 3-1 lead.
It was looking good for Dereham but things rapidly unravelled in the second half due to issues with fitness, communication and positional discipline. Cambridge pressed hard and deservedly scored three times to claim the spoils.
Harleston Magpies were involved in a battle for fourth place in their final game and were beaten 1-0 at Bedford, who had started the day two points below them.
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A disappointing campaign thus saw them finish fifth, a full 21 points behind champions Old Loughtonians.
Norwich City's outside hopes of promotion from Premier B were finally snuffed out when they drew their final game 2-2 at home to second placed Spalding, with the goals coming from man-of-the-match Tom Cox and Louis Preston. Even if they had won City would still have needed Spalding to slip up in their final re-arranged fixture to go up.
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City's relegated second team finished a disappointing Division 1 campaign on a high when they won 3-2 at East London (Tom Hindle, Richard Silvester, Stuart Wardale) while Harleston Magpies II finished just above them after losing 4-2 at home to Wapping II.
There was final day heartbreak for Norwich Dragons as they missed out on promotion to Division 1 on goal difference after being held to a 2-2 draw at the Division 2NE's bottom side March. With Sudbury and Cambridge Nomads both winning they ended up finishing two points outside the top two in third.
Relegated City III were beaten 9-3 at home by Pelicans in their final game (Chris Perry, Matthew Brine, Nick Hooper).