Thurlow Nunn League preview: Premier Division leaders Dereham Town visit Brantham Athletic, second

Shaun Bammant, black and white, is available for Dereham Town again today. Picture: IAN BURT Shaun Bammant, black and white, is available for Dereham Town again today. Picture: IAN BURT

Saturday, February 23, 2013
8:30 AM

Top play second in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division today but Matt Henman is refusing to get drawn into suggestions it’s a title-decider.

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The Dereham Town boss takes his Magpies to second-placed Brantham Athletic knowing a victory will put clear daylight between his men and their nearest rivals. Henman’s troops are one point ahead of Brantham, having played a game less, and the Aldiss Park chief insists he’s feeling no pressure ahead of the clash in Suffolk.

He said: “You’ve only got to look at the last four weeks and there’s been four different leaders of the league. The game’s not a deciding thing. But they have got more to lose than us. They’ll be looking at it that if they lose they’ll be four points behind, with us having a game in hand, going into the back end of the season.

“I’m sure they don’t want to lose the game but if we came away with a point – or a win – it would be a fantastic result. There’s no pressure on us and I haven’t seen any difference in the way the lads have been going about things this week. They’re really relaxed as we’ve hit a nice bit of form. We can go into the game full of confidence.”

Dereham, who have won their last three matches, welcome Shaun Bammant back to their squad this afternoon. Scott Roberts (suspended), Gary Starling and Jay Eastoe-Smith (both injured) are unavailable.

At the other end of the table, relegation-threatened Diss Town could move out of the drop zone, if results go their way, by winning at home to Stanway Rovers.

Tangerines boss Richard Daniels, whose side beat basement boys FC Claton 3-2 last weekend, wrote in his online blog: “It was a win, it’s three points, it was vital, but that’s it. It’s one game, we have so many big games coming up to stay in this division. We showed bucket loads of character, kept going with the team spirit we have built up, and got what we deserved with a hard fought first home win of the season. We have to go again against Stanway.”

Elsewhere, struggling Thetford host CRC, Wisbech welcome Ely while Kirkley & Pakefield are at home to Clacton. Norwich United visit Hadleigh and Gorleston travel to Wivenhoe.

In the First Division, Fakenham Town, fifth, are hoping to entice a big crowd by offering free entry for their home clash with second-placed Cambridge University Press.

Manager Wayne Anderson said: “It’s a big game for us and we’re hoping for a big crowd. We’ve been struggling to get supporters in even though we are in a good position and it would be great to see plenty of people coming through the gate on Saturday to support their local side.”

Downham welcome Brightlingsea, Great Yarmouth host Halstead while Swaffham, sixth, visit league leaders Newmarket.

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