Thurlow Nunn League preview: Wisbech host Dereham in huge game while Downham look for new boss
Dereham Town boss Matt Henman takes his Magpies to Wisbech Town this afternoon to face a team he is tipping to seriously challenge for the title.
Dereham, fifth, visit the Elgood's Fenland Stadium to take on the second-placed Fenman – who Henman watched last week at Mildenhall. Steve Appleby's side won the top-of-the-table clash 3-0 and even though both sides can climb to the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division's summit if they win their games in hand, the Magpies' manager knows his side face a tough test this afternoon.
Henman said: 'I went to watch the game on Saturday because we didn't have a fixture. Wisbech were everything I expected them to be. They're a good side, with plenty of experience, they're very organised and they're strong all over the pitch. They are a team I feel if you finish above them you've got a great chance of winning the league.
'Today will be a tough game because they're going to be real big contenders and like us they set out at the start of the season to be towards the top at the end of the season. There's no pressure on us to go there and win the game though. We need to get back to the sort of form that we showed at the start of the season to give ourselves a chance.'
The Wisbech boss admits he will continue to tinker with his side in order to keep up their title challenge.
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'I try to pick the right side for the right game' said Appleby, who last week brought in Rogan McGeorge for Deakan Napier and moved Steven Reid to the right-hand side of a narrow midfield.
'I'm really pleased for Rogan because he hasn't been a happy bunny on the bench. Adam Millson and Steven Reid have been outstanding all season so it's been a difficult one but Rogan has kept at it, kept smiling and been brilliant in the changing room. It's about looking at the big picture.'
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Elsewhere, Thetford visit Brantham Athletic, Diss travel to CRC, Kirkley & Pakefield are at FC Clacton while Norwich United are away at Godmanchester. Gorleston host Mildenhall.
In the First Division, Fakenham host Downham in a derby. The visitors' reserve-team management will temporarily be taking charge of the first team after Garth Good and assistant Pete Brassett left Downham.
A club statement said: 'The committee of Downham Town Football Club are aware of the recent comment in the press about the resignation of its first team managers. The committee would wish to clarify that this decision was taken because of a disagreement between the committee and management over player policy within the club.
'It has been mutually agreed by both sides that it is best for all parties to move on and the resignations have been accepted. The committee would like to thank Garth and his team for all the hard work that they have put into the club over recent seasons. The club has now started its search for a new first team manager and any one interested can contact the club.'
Elsewhere, Yarmouth host Brightlingsea Regent while Swaffham, third, host table-topping Newmarket.