Return of experienced players will help Dereham – Henman

Ryan Crisp was on target for Dereham against Haringey Borough.

Ryan Crisp was on target for Dereham against Haringey Borough. - Credit: Ian Burt

Signs of Dereham Town's improvement are just around the corner, according to boss Matt Henman.

The Magpies have won just one of their four opening Ryman League Division One North fixtures so far this season going into today's FA Cup first round qualifying clash with Holbeach United. Two defeats across the Bank Holiday weekend continued Dereham's slow start, but Henman is expecting a swift upturn to arrive much sooner rather than later.

He said: 'We've had a lot of good periods in most of our games. The main issue is trying to get a more experienced team out because we've had injuries and unavailability.

'I can see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel because we've got players coming back and today will be the strongest squad we've put out so far this season. It will give us different ways of playing and changing the game. Our young players have done brilliantly but they've had too much responsibility given to them to win games.

'They have really good periods and then a little lack of game management or inexperience costs us. It happened on Saturday and it was the same on Monday.'

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While Craig Bussens (unavailable), Joe Gatting (cricket) and Danny Beaumont (cup tied) are still unavailable, Ryan Crisp, Vadim Constandachi, Jake Anema, Michael Sommerfield and Adam Smith all return for the visit of the Tigers.

Dereham's United Counties League Premier Division opponents play one level below them in the non-league pyramid but are unbeaten this season and have also beaten Yaxley – who took the Magpies to a replay in the last round.

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'The UCL is a really strong league,' added Henman, whose side will pocket £3,000 if they win today's tie in 90 minutes – or via a subsequent replay if it's needed.

'Yaxley proved that. We will treat it as if we're playing a team at our level. For all intents and purposes they would cope very well at our level so I don't take anything for granted about levels.'

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