Ryman North: Dereham pay the price for slow start at Aveley
- Credit: Ian Burt
Dereham paid the price for a poor first-half performance as they went down to play-off rivals Aveley at Mill Field.
The home side took the lead when Tyler Devlin capitalised on a defensive error to net in the ninth minute.
Aveley had two further half-chances before Ryan Hawkins instinctively fired at keeper James Marrable from close range following Craig Bussens' centre.
As Dereham started to adapt to the sticky pitch, Hawkins diverted another Bussens centre over the top. However, Aveley increased their advantage in the 30th minute when Devlin played a neat short pass to Jack Stevenson in the box enabling him to beat keeper Andy Wilton with a weakly struck shot.
The home side then benefited from some more poor defending with Theo Ola netting from close range in the 35th minute. Dereham then reduced the deficit with Hawkins firing home a fine 20-yard drive in the 38th minute to give them hope for a second-half comeback.
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Shortly after the break Dan Morphew had a goal-bound header blocked before Hawkins blazed a long-range effort just wide.
Dereham continued to press with Louis Mason shooting wide from close range.
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Play was halted after Andy Wilton received treatment following a poor challenge from Devlin. The visiting keeper was unable to continue with Aaron Kay taking over between the posts and Chris Skipper entering proceedings.
Dereham dominated the half but could not find the goals necessary to avoid defeat.