Magpies' promise takes early flight

Rene Kendall RIDGEONS LEAGUE: Dereham made a poor start to their league programme with two defeats. For the second year running they lost their opening Ridgeons fixture against Leiston.

Rene Kendall

Dereham made a poor start to their league programme with two defeats.

For the second year running they lost their opening Ridgeons fixture against Leiston. Following last season's 3-1 defeat in Suffolk, this time they lost 3-0 at Aldiss Park on Saturday.

After an excellent pre-season build-up things did not go to plan with the Magpies soundly beaten by a better team on the day. Dereham's packed midfield failed to support lone striker Andy Wood with little use of the flanks.

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Leiston's front two of McGlone and Bramble caused problems throughout with their intelligent running, and after a spell of pressure in the 22nd minute Tes Bramble raced down the right before picking out Mark Lowe who made no mistake from 10 yards.

A speculative 30-yarder from Jason Hunt was all Dereham could muster before Stuart Broadley increased Leiston's lead from the spot after Dean Miller had upended him in the 39th minute.

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The second period continued in much the same fashion. Craig Terrington, who had been missed on the left, came on and nearly unlocked the visiting defence when a defender came within inches of poking his dangerous low cross into his own net. However, this was the closest Dereham came to netting and Leiston sealed victory on time with a second penalty from Daniel Cunningham.

The third goal gave a more fairer reflection of play with the Magpies being out-played and out-fought throughout.

On Tuesday night Wisbech visited Aldiss Park with a mix of experienced and younger players.

Billy Smith gave the Fenman a 17th minute lead following a mistake in the home defence. Dereham had a couple of chances but Wisbech should have scored twice within a minute shortly before half-time and Dereham were rather fortunate to go in only one down at the break.

The Fenmen increased their lead in the 57th minute when more poor defending from Cook's throw from the right enabled Nick Impey to turn and fire home.

Gary Setchell converted a 67th minute penalty to virtually seal the game. But a fine forward burst into the box by Ben Furlong ended with Dereham being awarded what looked a soft penalty. Striker Simon Mowbray netted the rebound after keeper Horton had saved Andy Wood's spot kick.

In the 82nd minute Scott Cubberley restored Wisbech's three-goal cushion and this proved to be the last goal of the evening.

Dereham were awful in the second period, which was disappointing for their fans. However, nothing is won or lost in the opening week of the season and hopefully the Magpies will have played a lot better today at Debenham for a more cheerful report next week.

Manager Matty Henman was obviously disappointed with his team's start. He said," We defended completely out of contrast with our pre-season performances. I was baffled as to how poorly we played. We missed Adam Gusterson, who will have an operation on his knee next week.

"Gus has agreed to be involved with the reserves until he is able to resume playing again. Paul Cousins broke a rib and cracked two in our opening game but still played against Wisbech, which shows his desire to play. Hopefully, we will get back on track in our next two games."

On Tuesday night Norwich United visit Aldiss Park ko 7.45pm before Dereham travel to face Whitton United next Saturday 3pm.

On September 12, The Emma Hall Band will be performing at the club with tickets on sale at £6 non-members, £3 members.

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