Local football round-up: Sturman steps down as chairman of Dereham Town

PUBLISHED: 15:30 25 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:30 25 October 2019

Neil Sturman - here celebrating Dereham's Norfolk Senior Cup final triumph last season - has stood down as chairman of Dereham Town Picture: Alan Palmer Photography

Neil Sturman - here celebrating Dereham's Norfolk Senior Cup final triumph last season - has stood down as chairman of Dereham Town Picture: Alan Palmer Photography

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Neil Sturman has stepped down as chairman of Dereham Town.

A statement on the club's website said: "It is with regret that Neil Sturman has unfortunately had to resign as chairman of Dereham Town due to personal reasons.

"Ashley Bunn will stand in as interim chairman until a general meeting can be arranged. Further details will be made available in due course."

The Magpies face the unusual prospect of travelling to face Grays Athletic tomorrow - with a 2pm kick off.

The change of match day is because the BetVictor North Division third-placed side groundshare with Aveley, who have a home FA Trophy game today.

Magpies boss Adam Gusterson will be looking to add to the point that his side gained from their 1-1 home draw against Hullbridge Sports last Saturday.

"It's a big test for us against a side that will be expecting to be in the promotion shake-up come the end of the season but we've been playing well and go into the game with confidence," said Gusterson.

"We showed real character against Hullbridge last week and stood up for ourselves in a game which would have been easy to have got bullied out of.

"That showed a different side to us as we know we can play but to be able to mix it physically is something we have not always been able to do in this league."

Dereham will be playing on a synthetic 4G surface tomorrow, but Gusterson says the change of date will cause him some selection problems.

"Obviously when given just over a weeks' notice of a fixture change there is going to be availability issues and we have been affected by that," he said. "I am surprised that we have been made to play on a Sunday with no say in the matter but we won't be using that as an excuse and will go there with the belief that we can get a result."

Grays missed out on the chance to go top last weekend when they lost 3-1 to Great Wakering Rovers, their third defeat in their last four games, but manager Jim Cooper says there is no need to panic.

"We have been disappointing of late and lost our way, but I'm confident it's only a blip," he said.

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Norwich United and Wroxham both face away challenges as they bid to make up ground on the leaders - but could do with a little help from across the border in Suffolk.

The Norfolk pair are at Newmarket and Whitton United respectively, where they need to win to keep pace with the Stowmarket juggernaut, which has seen the leaders open up a 12-point lead.

Stowmarket dropped points last week, drawing 1-1 at home to Swaffham and head to Kirkley & Pakefield, with the Royals coming off the back of a stunning 5-1 away win over Ely City a week ago.

Woodbridge leapfrogged the Planters last week after Cedric Anselin's side suffered a 3-2 home defeat to Long Melford, while Wroxham drew 0-0 with Newmarket.

Swaffham are at home to FC Clacton, while Thetford will be looking to continue their climb away from the lower reaches when they go to Hadleigh United, while second from bottom Gorleston host Long Melford.

Anglian Combination

The top two face very different challenges in their race for Premier Division supremacy.

Leaders Norwich Ceyms and Harleston Town are separated by a goal difference of just one.

While Harleston are at home to bottom side St Andrews - who have lost all eight of their league games this season - Ceyms have a trip to Acle United.

Acle are ninth, but recent form shows they on something of a roll, with two wins and a draw in their last three games including a debut league success for new manager Eddie Thompson a week ago when they came from two goals down to beat visiting Blofield 3-2.

Waveney and Mundford are third and fourth, separated by goal difference, and face away trips, Waveney go to Bradenham while their rivals are at Hellesdon. Mattishall sit three points behind and go to Blofield, who are second bottom. Long Stratton have a trip to Scole, UEA host Caister and Wroxham Reserves welcome Beccles.

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