Atkins keeps cool to seal Magpies' win
Phil Banyard RIDGEONS LEAGUE: A late Paul Atkins penalty gave Dereham a 4-3 victory in an incredible game at Stanway Rovers. Matty Henman's Magpies had taken a three-goal lead soon after half-time, but the hosts battled back to level the scores before Atkins' 88th minute decider from the spot.
A late Paul Atkins penalty gave Dereham a 4-3 victory in an incredible game at Stanway Rovers.
Matty Henman's Magpies had taken a three-goal lead soon after half-time, but the hosts battled back to level the scores before Atkins' 88th minute decider from the spot.
The victory moved Dereham to within six points of leaders Lowestoft, whose game at Norwich United was one of several which fell victim to the weather.
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Dereham took the lead in the 23rd minute when Ben Furlong surged into the box and found Atkins, whose low drive struck the post, but Nicky Howell was on hand to stab home.
The visitors were denied a penalty in the 37th minute when Atkins appeared to be fouled just as he was about to shoot from 12 yards out. But they had to wait just three more minutes to extend their lead, as Furlong's cross fell to the feet of striker Danny Beaumont and he made no mistake from close range.
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Dereham then made the perfect start to the second half as they scored direct from the restart. Beaumont's cross from the left reached Howell and he guided the ball to Atkins, who fired in from 14 yards out.
The Magpies appeared to be cruising, but as the heavy rain made playing conditions increasingly unpleasant, Stanway found a path back into the game.
Nathan Sharpe prodded the ball into the Dereham net following a corner in the 65th minute and eight minutes later, Jermaine Harewood pounced on a loose ball to make it 3-2.
Beaumont's 20-yard curler was kept out by the Stanway keeper, before the home side completed their comeback with an equaliser. Sam Newsom was left completely unmarked and he picked out his brother, Ben, who side-footed home from two yards out.
Then came the late drama, as Dereham substitute Chris Bacon was upended in the box and Atkins coolly slotted home the penalty to hand his side the points.
Kirkley's game at home to Walsham-le-Willows also survived the weather and a late Justin Fox goal handed the hosts a 1-0 victory.
Playing into the strong wind in the first half, Kirkley managed to survive until half-time with the game scoreless.
Kirkley then took control in the second period and got the decisive goal in the 78th minute, as Fox collected the ball 25 yards out and fired an unstoppable shot past the startled Walsham keeper.
Dom Dwyer hit four goals as King's Lynn Reserves romped to a 7-2 win against Whitton at The Walks.
Rory Harper struck twice for Lynn, while Martin Rudd was also on target.
In Division One, Downham stunned high-flying Yarmouth with a 2-1 win at The Wellesley.
All of the goals came within a 20-minute spell at the start of the second half. Corey Barker put Downham ahead before Dominic Smith equalised, only for Matt Garrod to hit the winner.
Diss let a 3-1 lead slip as they drew 3-3 at FC Clacton.
Adie Hayes opened the scoring for Diss with a shot from the edge of the penalty area in the 18th minute. Danny Partridge used his pace to make it 2-0 seven minutes later, before Sean Hillier pulled a goal back on 34 minutes.
Two minutes before the break, Partridge was brought down in the area and Hayes despatched the penalty to make it 3-1.
But Clacton fought back in the second half as Matty Waters scored directly from a free-kick and Hillier netted the equaliser in the 58th minute.
Thetford's first half lead vanished as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Stowmarket.
Craig Skipp gave Thetford the lead on 40 minutes, but Stowmarket equalised in the 55th minute through Symonds and Driver netted the winner for the visitors with a volley four minutes from time.
Struggling Swaffham Town produce one of the shocks of the day as they took a 3-2 win at home to third-placed Halstead.