Millers and Magpies share spoils
By Aveley Football Club
After taking the lead in the first half, a resurgent Dereham fought back for a deserved share of the spoils.
A 240-mile round trip to Dereham ended in a point, we took the lead near the end of the first half with Andy Freeman's acute dink over the keeper, but in the second half we were under the cosh as Dereham's new signing from Kings Lynn powered in a header.
We were led out by Miller super fan Sam Cannon with Jason Raad back in after recovering from injury, we were also forced into a change with Alex Akrofi taken unwell on the day.
The hosts started well and had an early chance with Ryan Crisp's close range effort but David Hughes was on hand to keep it out. Jake Pitty was in the wars inside the first ten minutes, taken out cynically twice and then Marcus Milner was then also chopped down outside the box, but unfortunately a free-kick wasn't coming.
Dereham's left back Owen Murphy had a chance after a nice interchange between Gatting and himself, Murphy went through on goal, took aim, but was denied again by David Hughes, who made the save look comfortable.
We grew into the game around the 20th minute after Tom Richardson won a corner. Marcus Milner whipped it into the near post where it found Sam Cross, he headed it towards but it went wide at the near post.
Ryan Crisp picked up a yellow card after blocking David Hughes from kicking the ball, and about two minutes later should've been sent off. A shocking studs up tackle on Sam Mvemba's shin (forcing Sam to come off), somehow it wasn't a yellow, could've been a straight red, but in the end, we didn't even get a free-kick.
Shad Ngandu had a glorious chance at the near post after a whipped in cross from Marcus Milner, it was met by the head of Shad Ngandu but he just couldn't direct the ball goalwards.
With five minutes left to go in the half, we took the lead, Shad Ngandu slipped in Andy Freeman who ran through on goal and somehow managed to dink the ball over the keeper from an acute angle and found the back of the net. Dereham 0-1 Aveley.
Half time | Dereham Town 0-1 Aveley.
We were forced into a change at the start of the second half, Sam Mvemba came off for Harry Gibbs, which saw Sam Cross move across to left back.
It didn't effect the way we played as Andy Freeman ran through on goal, crossed it towards Tom Richardson, but the ball was half cleared to James Love who just couldn't catch the ball properly and it spun out for a goal kick.
The hosts were strong in the second half and did have their chances, Joe Gatting was through but managed to smash the ball over the bar off balance. Borrer was next to have a glorious chance but hooked it over the crossbar.
On the 70th minute the hosts got their equaliser, from a set-piece it was met by the head of Castellan, David Hughes got a hand to it, but just couldn't keep out the powerful header. Dereham Town 1-1 Aveley.
Both teams had the chances to win it. Millers were left frustrated with bizarre offside calls, with flags going up as a player collected the ball then ran past a defender, then he was offside, rather than when the ball was played. Tom Richardson was taken out as Freeman went through on goal, just before he could square it to Tom he was taken out by Castellan on the floor, no free-kick, the ball was played backwards and Shad Ngandu was flagged offside.
The hosts looked dangerous from set-pieces and they forced four corners in the last five minutes of the game, but credit for the Millers who stood strong.
Tom Richardson and Tony Martin linked up well, it ended with Tom having a shot towards goal, but it rifled into the side-netting and out for a Dereham goal kick.
A share of the spoils for the Millers, with the hosts definitely in a false position, a point gained over two dropped on the day.
Full Time | Dereham Town 1-1 Aveley.
Attendance | 224.
Millers XI | David Hughes, Jake Pitty, Sam Mvemba (Harry Gibbs 46), James Love, Connor Witherspoon, Sam Cross, Andy Freeman, Amir Berkane, Tom Richardson, Shad Ngandu (Tony Martin 84), Marcus Milner (Wyan Reid 76).
Unused Subs | Harvey Brown, Jason Raad.
Dereham XI | Eliott Pride, Daniel Beaumont, Owen Murphy, David Hinton (Adam Smith 67), Matthew Castellan, Jay Eastoe-Smith, Rhys Logan (Jamie Forshaw 82), Sam Borrer, Joe Gatting, Ryan Crisp, Adam Hipperson.
Unused Subs | Dion Frary, Tom McLeish.