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Fleet in battle for play-off finish after third successive defeat
Thurrock FC 1-3 Dereham Town FC
from Ship Lane
THURROCK’S dreams of a quick return to the Ryman Premier League were dealt a heavy blow after they lost at home to play-off rivals Dereham Town.
Fleet came into the match off the back of two straight defeats and were looking to return to winning ways against the Magpies, who began the day two places below the hosts.
Thurrock had the first opportunity of the game after only five minutes when 31-goal David Knight broke through and stung the palms of vising goalkeeper David Wilton. Five minutes later Knight came even closer when he headed against the post after good work from Ross Wall.
Dereham couldn’t get out of their half and were again fortunate as Knight hit the crossbar with a long-range effort after 20 minutes.
Dereham, who hadn’t tested Andy Walker in the first half, came out a different side in the second half. With ten minutes played Thurrock fell behind. Craig Bussens robbed Fleet fullback Connor Martin and played the ball across the six-yard box for the onrushing Danny Beaumont to tap in for his 16th goal of the campaign.
Luke Tuttle came close to extending the Magpies lead before the second goal came, and it was again down to a defensive mistake. A reverse pass by Nicky Howell freed Olly Willis in the area but he was bundled over by Spence and the referee had no doubt in pointing to the spot. Ryan Hawkins tucked away the penalty.
Kyle Downs tucked away a third Dereham goal with five minutes remaining and Thurrock had time to grab an injury-time consolation when Robert Clark smashes in from 20 yards.
The Gazette approached Fleet boss Mark Stimson after the match but he refused to comment.
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