Gusterson hoping Magpies can keep flying out of trouble
Dereham Town are enjoying new manager bounce, but know the picture can change very quickly – CHRIS LAKEY looks at the weekend’s local football programme
In-form Dereham will look to make it three league wins on the trot – and extend their unbeaten run to six – when they entertain Barking.
Tuesday night’s 5-2 win over Mildenhall – when Dereham came from two goals down – lifted the Magpies above their Suffolk rivals and out of the bottom two and they know a win this afternoon would avenge a 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture in October.
Barking have drawn their last three games, scoring only twice in the process – not an issue that appears to be troubling Dereham at the moment, with nine goals in their last two league games.
But the league table is a very tight affair with Barking occupying 13th spot, on just seven more points than Dereham – something of which joint manager Adam Gusterson is very aware.
“Tuesday night was a massively important win for us,” he said. “The manner in which we came back from a dreadful start was really impressive and our second-half performance was completely dominant.
“We’re playing with confidence and causing teams problems by taking the game to them which is something we must look to try and continue.
“The picture can change so quickly in this league – two games ago we were bottom and now we sit outside the relegation places. It can now move one of two ways for us; we can get sucked back in or we can look at those above us and see if we can rein some more teams in.
“Whilst we have moved out of the relegation zone our focus and attitude must remain as it has been over this last month and if it does I have every confidence we have the ability to continue to pull ourselves away from danger.”
Jamie Forshaw face a fitness test ahead of the game. Adam Plumstead and Sam Borrer are both unavailable.
Wroxham face a huge test of their credentials when they travel to Walsham-le-Willows.
The Yachtsmen have moved up to third in the table, but the games played column reveals the difficulty in working out just who is best placed.
Wroxham have played six games more than Histon, who topped the table ahead of Godmanchester’s scheduled home game against Thetford last night. Behind Wroxham, Stowmarket have played two fewer, Woodbridge four and Walsham two - but the clubs are covered by just three points.
Kirkley & Pakefield were in cup action a week ago, but are one of the teams in the mix – the Royals travel to Whitton United this afternoon looking to make it three league wins in a row.
Great Yarmouth Town face a crunch game in their battle to avoid the drop from the top flight.
The Bloaters travel to an in-form Hadleigh United side who recently moved out of the bottom two at the expense of their rivals after winning three successive games, the latest a 7-2 drubbing of bottom side Framlingham Town.
Great Yarmouth had been on a superb run themselves before suffering successive defeats but got their campaign back on track last Saturday by drawing 1-1 with Brantham Athletic at The Wellesley. Joint manager Adam Mason, who named no fewer than five new players in his side on Saturday, including a couple of new loan recruits from League Two Stevenage, was happy enough to come away with a point.
“Having taken the lead, if we had taken two other great chances I think we would’ve taken all three points,” he said.
“As it was Brantham are strong and one goal was never going to be enough. We were pleased with the performance given that we had five new signings in the side and we always looked dangerous going forward.”
It’s a Saturday off for Gorleston following a busy four days that saw them beat Long Melford 2-1 in the league on Saturday and then lose 3-0 at Newmarket in the quarter-finals of the League Cup on Tuesday.
In the First Division North, leaders Harleston have a trip to struggling Felixstowe & Walton United Reserves, while Mulbarton Wanderers, a point behind in second, are at Diss Town.
Third-placed Swaffham Town go to Debenham LC while fourth plays fifth when Norwich CBS host March Town United.
Caister could move six points clear of their nearest rivals when they travel to Wroxham Reserves. Second-placed Long Stratton have a Mummery Cup tie at home to First Division high-flyers Mundford.
Sheringham are six points back but with three games in hand – they have a trip to bottom side Norwich United Under-21s.