Dereham Ladies 1st 5 – 0 Spalding

After having their last 2 matches cancelled before Christmas due to the freezing weather, Dereham welcomed Spalding to Greenfield’s Road to kick start the 2nd half of the season.

It was Spalding who started the game positively, as they won several short corners forcing the returning Jess Nightingale Webb, into some early saves. Moments later when Spalding managed to beat Jess in the Dereham goal, Tammy Dye came to the rescue with 2 superb, crucial goal line clearances to keep the score at 0-0.

This sparked Dereham into life and on the offensive. They worked the ball well through the midfield from right to left with Hayley Toleman finding the unmarked Pip Howes in the box and her well struck reverse stick shot beat the Spalding goalkeeper at the near post to give Dereham the lead against the run of play.

8 minutes later and this time not against the run of play, 1 became 2 and Pip Howes doubling her tally for the day. Sub Charlotte Taylor having just came on, won the ball on the Dereham right deep in the Spalding half and drove at pace and with great stick skills to evade 2 defenders to pass to Pip Howes who once again finished calmly just inside the post to make it 2-0.

Dereham now continued to dominate the play and got a 3rd on the 22 minute mark. The ball came down the right with Grace Cresswell who found Charlotte Taylor again in space who drove into the D and found Edie topping who won a short corner for the home side. The ball was played off the top by Nat Grapes, who found Hayley Toleman who calmly deflected the ball in to put Dereham into a 3-0 lead!

Before the half was finished Dereham continued to press and created chances through Edie Topping, Georgie Edwards and Fran Grapes but these were all foiled by good goalkeeping and stubborn defending. Spalding finished the half how they started it and was on the front foot and putting pressure on the Dereham defence, but the hosts held firm and maintained their 3-0 lead at the break.

Dereham started the 2nd half defending again as Spalding retained possession well but couldn’t break the Dereham defence of Eve, Tammy and Grace down. Spalding then broke down the Dereham right only for Ali Waters to make a well timed tackle and begin a fine flowing Dereham attack. She drove forward down the line well and played a neat 1-2 with Lucy Soame. Waters drove forward again cutting inside where she exchanged another 1-2 with Fran Grapes picking the ball up just in the D and unleashed a thunderous strike which struck the inside of the left post 3/4 quarters of the way up and went away to safety.

This set the tone for the 2nd half with Dereham pressing high and creating several chances only to be denied by some strong defending and good goal keeping to keep the score at 3-0 to the hosts.

With 15 minutes to go Dereham made their pressure count and made it 4. Good play in the centre from Pip Howes and Nat Grapes saw Pip find Sarah Dove in the D, Sarah turned strong and found her 1st effort blocked, but the ball came back to her and she made no mistake at the 2nd time of asking and fired a shot from the top of the D nicely into the bottom corner.

The home side then created chance after chance and won several short corners but failed to convert these chances but with 3 minutes to go the pressure finally tolled.

Having just came back on, Nat Grapes won a foul which she took quickly catching the opposition out and drove strongly at the heart of the Spalding defence. Instead of taking the shot on herself she unselfishly played a neat pass under her arm to Hayley Toleman who turned away from the on rushing Spalding keeper and doubling her tally for the day and making the score 5-0.

It finished 5-0 which was a good way to start the 2nd half of the season. A special mention to joint players of the match Charlotte Taylor and Ali Waters who really took the game to the opposition with strong runs from midfield. Next week will be a tough test as they face Spalding again away from home back to back.