MASON THE HERO AS TOWN BEAT LEAGUE LEADERS
AS RONTO SCORES TWO PENALTIES
Dereham returned empty handed after a disjointed performance in a poor match in rain-swept Essex. Neither side created many clear chances but the referee found two penalties to give Witham the points.
The best first-half chance came when Rhys Logan was upended on the edge of the penalty area on 30 minutes, and Ryan Crisp's whipped free kick was blocked by keeper Mason's legs.
Dereham had finished the first half the stronger and might have expected to
press for victory, but the first second-half chance fell to Witham defender and captain Ahern who headed over from a corner. Then a disputed penalty was awarded and converted by Elliott Ronto after 52 minutes.
Seven minutes later there was another scare for Dereham when keeper Elliot Pride was caught underneath a high cross but the referee adjudged that he had been fouled.
Dereham's closest effort was a Rhys Logan shot that brought a decent save by Mason at his right post on 65 minutes. Then promising new signing Floris Bergers shot wide after the ball fell loose from a challenge between Crisp and the goalkeeper. On 75 minutes the goalkeeper scrambled the ball away from the on rushing Daniel Beaumont after Logan had been set free, and four minutes later Logan's goal-bound shot was blocked, and the resultant corner by Beaumont was punched away by the goalie underneath his crossbar.
Then in the last moments another penalty was awarded and Ronto found the same spot to secure the points.