Second-half blitz helps Dereham Town beat Suffolk rivals AFC Sudbury in Ryman North
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
Dereham recorded a fine victory against Jamie Godbold's high-flying side which kept alive their play-off hopes.
Ryan Hawkins returned to the Dereham side after completing a two-match ban, with Michael Clunan also recalled to Matt Henman's starting line-up. In the opening minute Liam Wales turned well outside the Sudbury box and hit a crisp drive inches over keeper Marcus Garnham's crossbar.
Although there was a stiff breeze sweeping across Aldiss Park both teams were passing the ball well. However, play was halted in the 16th minute when Sudbury's Ollie Berquez crudely clattered Hawkins near the half-way line without punishment from the referee.
The visitors, assisted by the wind, began to push Dereham back into their own half but only had a long range free-kick from Sam Clarke that sailed over the top to show for their efforts. Luke Tuttle became the latest home player to be upended by a robust challenge with the lenient referee content to keep his cards in his pocket. With 30 minutes on the clock Sudbury were denied by a fine save from Andy Wilton who pushed striker Luke Callander's 20 yarder onto his bar and behind for a corner.
In the 35th minute the Magpies wasted a good chance when Clunan's free-kick found Dan Morphew in space 12 yards out but the defender could not get a firm connection.
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The game burst into life straight after the break. Sudbury made the breakthrough when Callander netted from close range in the 46th minute. However, the Suffolk side's lead was short-lived as Dereham made an instant response with Clunan curling home a 30-yard free-kick after Hawkins had been fouled for the equaliser. As the Magpies pressed again Hawkins surged into the visitors' box before being upended by defender Ben Robinson with the referee pointing to the spot. The reliable Tuttle did the rest.
The Magpies increased their advantage in the 63rd minute when hard-working Wales chased down a through ball and cashed in from a blunder Garnham who struck the ball at the striker, with the rebound ricocheting into his unguarded net.
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