Senior moments for Thetford as Dereham smash in seven
- Credit: Tony Thrussell
Thetford endured a night to forget as they were eliminated from the Norfolk Senior Cup by a clinical Dereham team, who booked their place in the quarter-finals after a 7-0 win.
The two teams met in the final of the same competition in April. On that occasion Dereham, who currently sit one division and 23 places higher in the non-league pyramid, edged the game with an extra-time winner. Here, the gap in quality was readily apparent.
Dereham dominated throughout, and were three goals up by half-time. For the first 15 minutes, the ball barely left the Thetford half, as Dereham took control. Adam Hipperson slid a pass into Murphy on the left-hand side of the penalty area. Matt Morton's challenge brought Owen Murphy down and Hipperson finished from the penalty spot.
Dereham were clinical in the final third, seizing on any Thetford error, and doubled their lead in the 35th minute. Thetford lost possession close to their own penalty area and Rhys Logan broke in from the right before firing a low drive into the bottom left-hand corner of the Thetford goal.
The third goal for Dereham started from a Thetford error in their own half, forced by pressure from the Dereham midfield and forwards, who throughout the game did not give Thetford a second to settle on the ball. Toby Hilliard fed Hipperson who neatly lofted a finish over Jamie Humphrey, in Thetford's goal.
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The second half continued in the same vein, with Dereham in control and they scored four more times. Soon after the restart Andrew Cusack inadvertently fired into his own net, before Hipperson completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot. Late goals from Hilliard and Jamie Forshaw piled on the misery for Thetford, who created little of note all night.
Dereham manager Adam Gusterson was delighted with his team, who have now won four games in a row, scoring 20 times.
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'I was pleased with our professionalism and attitude towards the game," he said. "When you come up against teams who are of a lower level the attitude of the players is often what can be the difference between a comfortable night and a difficult one. I thought our boys were fantastic in that regard by producing a thorough performance and making sure they did everything properly throughout the game."
Thetford have enjoyed a fine run since Matt Morton took over as player-manager, with six wins out of eight in the league lifting them from 20th to 12th in the table. A 3-1 defeat to Brantham Athletic preceded this result, but Morton is not concerned that two successive defeats will negatively affect his players.
"The players are positive, and know where we went wrong against Brantham and Dereham, and are eager to put that right," Morton said. "If you look at what the players have already come back from this season, there is no reason to think that two defeats will cause them to let their heads drop."
The Brecklanders now have a 10-day break before their next game, at home to Newmarket Town on Saturday December 7.
"It's been a great run but it's been intense for the players and we are carrying a few knocks now too," Morton said. "This break will give us the chance to rest, think about the last two games, and hopefully get back to winning ways."
Thetford: Humphrey, Bond (Hunt), Morton, L Bailey, Cusack, Sandell (Conroy), R Bailey, Smith (C), Melanson, Hemmings (Hutt), Call
Dereham: Pride, Frary, Imrie, Murphy, Snapkaukas, Castellan, Logan (Willis), Hinton (C) (Forshaw), Hilliard, McQuaid, Hipperson (Linford)
Referee: David Hutton
In another Senior Cup tie, Wroxham beat Gorleston 4-1.