Title-chasing Dereham Town back on top of Thurlow Nunn league
- Credit: Picture: Nick Butcher
Dereham climbed to the top of the Premier Division table for the first time this year as they picked up a 3-1 win at Woodbridge on Saturday.
The Magpies set the early pace in the league this season but a combination of cup commitments and patchy results saw them slip into the chasing pack. But Saturday's success was their third consecutive win and they now stand a point clear of morning leaders Brantham, who lost 1-0 at Godmanchester ahead of their clash with Dereham this weekend.
Luke Tuttle rose to plant a downward header inside the far post from a hanging right-wing Olly Willis cross to put Dereham ahead.
The home team failed to capitalise on their chances and were punished to devastating effect either side of half-time. In the 43rd minute Tuttle delivered a corner from the left, Mark Roper could only divert the ball back across goal and Matt Howard reacted first to hook a shot home.
Dereham took control at the start of the second half when Tuttle's clever dummy sent Craig Bussens clear down the inside left channel and he shot past Glyn Dixon.
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Woodbridge did pull one back with 14 minutes remaining. Substitute James Churchill saw his shot headed off the line by Olly Willis but the ball rebounded out to Roper who sent a thumping drive into the roof of the net from just inside the area.
The home side had a goal ruled out in the 86th minute and Dereham deservedly returned home as the new league leaders.
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Gorleston stretched their unbeaten run to 12 league games as they held fellow challengers Mildenhall 1-1 at Emerald Park.
Mildenhall took the lead on 20 minutes when Allicion Blake headed past Elliot Pride.
Gorleston levelled matters five minutes after half-time when Christy Finch curled a free-kick around the wall and into the net for his eighth goal in the last 10 games.
The Greens had two penalty appeals turned down before Mildenhall almost snatched victory in injury time, but Pride got his fingertips to Steve Holder's effort to deflect the ball wide.
Diss moved out of the bottom two as they came back from 2-0 down to beat bottom side FC Clacton 3-2.
The visitors were quickly out of the blocks as they opened up a two-goal lead in the first 10 minutes. The Tangerines responded with goals from Louis Cutajar, Stuart Garner and Peter Lambert and they could even afford a missed penalty in the second half as they ended a run of five league games without a win.
Kirkley & Pakefield lost a rollercoaster encounter with title challengers Walsham-le-Willows 3-2 at Walmer Road.
The visitors took the lead after six minutes, but Max Kirkby levelled on 26 minutes and Dom Smith put the hosts 2-1 up six minutes later.
Walsham equalised four minutes after half-time and scored the winner on 68 minutes.
Wisbech slipped further behind in the title race as they were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Norwich United.
The Planters took the lead just before half-time through Jordan Blyth, but Callum Reed made it 1-1 10 minutes after the break.
Ian Hunter restored Norwich's lead before Joe Jackson secured a point for the hosts on 69 minutes.
Thetford rued missed chances in their 1-0 defeat at home to Felixstowe & Walton.
Town had a goal disallowed in the first half and Ian Fancett hit the bar, before Felixstowe scored after 54 minutes. James Pipe then missed a penalty for the hosts as they suffered a seventh consecutive defeat.
In the First Division, Downham Town's run of seven straight defeats was finally ended with a 4-2 win at home to Braintree Reserves.
Downham's goals came from Luke Plumb, Matt Calvert, Craig Dickson and Simon Bird.
A 93rd minute strike by Callum Jones and first half goals from Rorie Burnett and Mitch Forbes secured all three points for Great Yarmouth as they won 3-2 at Halstead.
Alex Vincent scored twice for Swaffham in a 3-1 win at home to bottom side Cornard, with Lee Woolmore also on target.
Fakenham's game at Stowmarket was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.