Timely win for North Walsham hockey club
North Walsham 2 Dereham III 0
Following a fortnight lost to the wintry weather North Walsham welcomed back several players unavailable for the previous away defeat to Sudbury but missed captain Greene, as struggling Dereham visited Cromer on a cold, wet day.
Despite playing into the prevailing weather North Walsham had the better of the opening period and soon moved into a two goal lead. Nickerson followed up a short corner strike and shortly afterwards exerted pressure to win a 50-50 ball in the midfield to set up Cox, assisted by an excellent leave from James Lunn, for a finely dispatched second.
North Walsham lost West to a calf injury during the first half and struggled to exert the same level of control on the game after the first quarter.
The two sides enjoyed an equal share of possession in the first half but Dereham's more direct style struggled to create clear chances, with the returning Barker-Wood and Andrew Lunn working hard to break up Dereham attacks from the midfield and protect the defence.
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North Walsham's best chances came with carefully constructed passing moves but as the half progressed they increasing resorted to a long ball game that asked fewer questions of the Dereham defence.
After the half-time break the game became scrappy and although played in good spirit, five yellow cards were given and several greens as the umpires exerted their authority. Inevitably the contest became more open and both sides created chances but were unable to add to the goal tally. In the North Walsham goal Bartram produced a couple of fine saves and Younger and Spencer both blocked good shooting opportunities for Dereham.
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North Walsham were pleased to return to winning ways after the enforced break as they now face back to back games against the top two in Division 3NE of the East League.
North Walsham Ladies were beaten 3-1 at home by Ipswich III in East League Division 2NE while Walsham II were beaten 6-1 at UEA II in the Marshall Motors Norfolk League.
Premier Division leaders Panthers, who were without a fixture, saw their lead cut to eight points as UEA won 2-0 at Thetford.