Dereham Town’s play-off hopes suffered a setback last night, as the Magpies were held to a 0-0 draw away at mid-table Tilbury.

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The visitors started brightly on a testing surface, with Ryan Hawkins forcing the hosts’ keeper into action early on with an excellent strike from the edge of the penalty area.

Just minutes later in-form Magpies striker Shaun Bammant had the ball in the Tilbury net, but the 25-year-old had strayed offside.

After an exciting first 10 minutes, the game became scrappy with neither side creating many chances.

The second half saw the Magpies back four come under strong pressure, after the Dockers changed formation at half-time.

Dereham substitute Kyle Downes almost put the Magpies ahead with his first touch, but an excellent save from the home keeper kept the scores level.

Seven minutes from time the referee waved away the hosts’ penalty appeals after Sam Cutler went down in theatrical style after a tackle by Ryan Hawkins.

Late on Tilbury peppered the Dereham net, but the Magpies held out for a point.

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