Dereham welcomed back Peter Hogg for his second stint as coach with 3 points on Saturday at Greenfields.
Due to a combination of the winter break and the poor weather, it was the first time the team had played a competitive match for almost 6 weeks. Keen to maintain the impressive form they had shown before the break, they came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders. An early short corner was saved by the Stortford keeper, and Mark Hunter’s follow up narrowly missed the post. Stortford were pushed back in their own half for the first ten minutes, and Dereham got their due reward when Michael Timm broke free, and slotted home through the oncoming keepers legs.
This served as a catalyst to spur on Bishop Stortford who went on to dominate the remainder of the half. They managed to pull back an equaliser through a penalty stroke awarded half way through the half. Dereham were able to muster the odd foray into the Stortford half when Richard Timm drove through from defence, but it was very much a defensive effort for the remainder of the half. Stortford had numerous opportunities to add to their tally, but found man of the match Tom Vaughan in inspired form in the Dereham goal, who produced a number of saves to ensure parity at the break.
Dereham once again started the second half in much the same manor as the first, and Will Edwards drove through the centre of the midfield to win a penalty stroke 2 minutes after the restart. The stroke was coolly slotted home by Timm for his second of the match. Timm came close to completing his hat trick when he followed up a saved short corner, only to see his shot deflect off the keepers pads onto the post. Stortford pushed and pushed for an equaliser, but came up against a well organised Dereham defence, and when they finally broke through, they once more were unable to beat Vaughan in the Dereham goal.
Dereham’s third came with just over 10 minutes to go when Timm chased down what seemed like a lost cause. He was able to steal the ball from the Stortford defender and drive to the D. His shot deflect up in the air across the D, and Andy Howarth was on hand to smash home the volley much to the delight of both his team mates and the Dereham faithful. Stortford strived to get something from the game, and had two golden opportunities towards the end of the game, but once again saw their efforts saved. Although having the lions share of the chances, Stortford were left wanting, and it was Dereham who claimed the points.