Senior Cup holders aim to bounce back

Dereham begin the defence of their Norfolk Senior Cup title this afternoon, trying to shake off the after-effects of a midweek trouncing in the league.

Dereham begin the defence of their Norfolk Senior Cup title this afternoon, trying to shake off the after-effects of a midweek trouncing in the league.

The Magpies were thumped 5-0 at Ridgeons Premier champions Wroxham on Tuesday, and while manager Rob Taylor will be hoping the mental scars of that defeat heal before today's visit of King's Lynn Reserves, there are other, physical, repercussions.

Taylor, who has guided Dereham to two Cup victories in a row, lost three players in the Trafford Park defeat - ex-Linnets striker Robbie Harris, midfielder Sam Willis and centre-back Daniel Cullington.

He is also without midfielder Adie Hayes, who had an operation on his knee on Tuesday and will be out for six to eight weeks, and has drafted in four strikers -- Osiris Gomes, ex-Linnet Chris West, Andy Moody and Sam Bryant.

Wroxham are at Swaffham in another of the fourth round ties, with former manager Damian Hilton in line for a start after his two-goal show against Dereham.

"It was Damian's best game up front this season, I just hope he stays with the club," said caretaker manager Graham Challen.

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Leading scorer Lee Gillman returns after suspension while defender Danny Self is back after his niggling leg injury responded well to a one-game rest.

"Wroxham Football Club delivered a telling statement on Tuesday night that informs the footballing public that far from being in decline we are very much on the ball, still in there competing to retain our league title and regain the Senior Cup," said Challen. "Considering we had so many players unavailable for the past two fixtures we have come through with our heads held high."

In other matches, Anglian Combination Premier Division side Hempnall have a difficult home tie against Ridgeons League Division One Downham Town while Diss will be hoping to overcome Loddon at Brewers Green Lane. Gorleston entertain Long Stratton, Cromer take on St Andrew's and Mattishall are at home to Sheringham.

Norwich United beat Hindringham 5-1 last night to book their place in the quarter-finals. The Planters took the lead after 26 minutes when Andrew Fulcher headed home from Adam Smith's cross but their Anglian Combination opponents equalised five minutes later when Scott Gray converted Jason Chilvers' through ball.

The hosts were in front again three minutes after the break when Martin Goulder shot home from the edge of the area and on 54 minutes Fulcher took advantage of hesitation in the visitors' defence to score his second.

Two goals in a minute sealed the tie. Andrew Hayton finished a good passing move and Steve Shipley netted after keeper Richard Osler had tipped Ryan Haynes' shot on to the post.

In Ridgeons League action, Lowestoft face top-of-the-table Needham Market at Crown Meadow, while Kirkley & Pakefield are at Soham and Wisbech travel to Felixstowe.

"In the last two games we've kept clean sheets and got good wins at home in cup competitions," said Lowestoft joint manager Micky Chapman. "Now we're looking to continue this good form in the bread and butter of the league."

Kirkley have lost striker Justyn Chenery, who has joined his brother Karl at Leiston, and utility player Robbie Lawrence who is now at Diss Town.

Fakenham Town, who today entertain Yarmouth in Ridgeons League,Division One, are continuing to make progress after a difficult time that saw just five players signed for the two senior sides one week before to the start of the season.

Former manager Stuart Woodhouse has rejoined the club as joint first team manager along with Mark King. Chris Evans, who had the hard task of manager for the first three months, will continue as assistant manager.

This week club vice-chairman Paul Wright said: "We are delighted to have Stuart on board alongside both Mark King and Chris Evans. This now completes what the club believe to be a strong management line-up."