Relentless Dereham make it nine wins in a row
- Credit: IAN BURT
Leaders Dereham showed no signs of wilting under the pressure as they crushed fifth-placed Walsham-le-Willows 5-0 on Saturday.
It was a ninth successive league win for Matt Henman's side, who remain four points clear of Wisbech with a game in hand.
Wisbech kept up their pursuit by beating bottom side Clacton 3-1, but third-placed Gorleston's challenge faded as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Godmanchester.
Luke Tuttle put Dereham ahead in the ninth minute on Saturday with a glancing header before adding a second from the penalty spot eight minutes later.
Three goals in six second half minutes simply served to underline Dereham's superiority. Aaron Kay added a third just past the hour mark and Shaun Bammant netted the Magpies' fourth soon afterwards.
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Tuttle then completed his hat-trick with a header and Henman was delighted with the contribution of his strikers: 'Shaun (Bammant) has been working tirelessly for us recently and he deserved his goal today and probably should have had one in the first half,' he said. 'Luke continues to get his goals, a good header at the far post, he is good at pens and his third made it safe today.
'We just have to take each game as it comes and keep matching the results of the teams around us to keep the gap as it is.'
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Wisbech went ahead in the 15th minute against Clacton when Adam Daniels' glancing header from a free-kick ended up in his own net.
Joe Jackson collected a through ball to make it two 10 minutes later, before Clacton pulled one back in the second half.
Matt Lunn made it safe for Wisbech with seven minutes remaining when the ball dropped to him in the penalty area and he calmly dispatched it into the net.
It was a day of frustration for Gorleston at Godmanchester as David Hinton and Ally McKenna both hit the post, while Christy Finch was denied at the death by the home keeper.
Kyle Baker grabbed the winner for Kirkley & Pakefield in an entertaining 4-3 victory at home to Hadleigh.
The hosts raced into a two-goal lead after 12 minutes courtesy of Scott Woodcock and Ross King, but Hadleigh reduced the arrears on 23 minutes.
Baker won – and scored – a penalty three minutes before half-time, but soon after the break Hadleigh again pulled one back.
The visitors equalised on 65 minutes through substitute and former Lowestoft player Lee McGlone.
Hadleigh then hit the bar, before play moved swiftly to the other end, where Baker cut inside and slammed his shot into the net.
Norwich United were beaten 3-1 at home by Ely City, with Jordan Blyth on target for the hosts.
Diss remain five points clear of fellow strugglers Wivenhoe – who occupy the final relegation spot – after the two sides drew 0-0 at Brewers Green Lane.
In the First Division, Fakenham Town won 2-1 at Ipswich Wanderers and that result confirmed promotion for leaders Newmarket, despite their game being abandoned after a serious injury.
Great Yarmouth drew 0-0 at home to Long Melford, while Swaffham were thumped 5-0 by Brightlingsea Regent.