UNLUCKY Maldon and Tiptree threw away a 3-0 lead at Dereham to draw 3-3 and leave perplexed manager Wayne Brown’s boys slipping out of the play-off places with just a point from the trip to Norfolk, writes JON LONGMAN.

Dereham, the surprise team in the Pitching In division one north promotion race, demonstrated why they have climbed to second place, three points behind leaders Canvey Island.

Brown’s selection plans were hampered by injuries sustained in the 3-0 win at Witham with Malachi Napa ruled out and captain Martyn Stokes on the subs bench with new signing Courtney Justin.

Jammers officials wondered whether Dereham had deliberately left the grass long to lessen the impact of the Jammers passing game.

That scenario was forgotten until the post mortem as a quick corner saw Sam Cornish find Frankie Terry to head home from close range in the sixth minute.

Dereham were upset by this turn of events and when appeals for a penalty were waved away, loud comments saw manager Adam Gusterson receive a straight red and assistant manager Olly Willis a yellow card.

Dereham keeper Elliot Pride denied Bryan Ifeanyi, Charlee Hughes and Scott Kemp chances to extend the Jammers lead before he felled Ifeanyi in the 26th minute to concede a penalty

Ifeanyi had attempted to take the ball around Pride before a fall left the Jammers striker to lash the spot kick into the top corner.

The feisty contest saw Cornish booked for the second successive game and Joe Turpin also received a yellow.

The Jammers appeared to put the game out of Dereham’s reach in the 52nd minute when Al-Amin Kazeem’s deadly cross was nodded home by Bradley McClenaghan.

But the Dereham fightback began five minutes later when Ted Collins was the victim of a two-footed sliding challenge, the ball flew out of his hands and David Hinton tapped into an empty net with the referee ruling that Collins had not been fouled.

Worse followed after the Jammers boss replaced Shomari Barnwell with Justin, but his Jammers debut was ruined by a rash tackle and Adam Hipperson crashed home the spot kick.

Dereham scented victory after equalising in the 67th minute when Hipperson beat Collins with a fierce drive.

But Brown sent on Stokes to stabilise the Jammers defence, allowing Hughes and Kemp to test Pride as they chased an away win.

Next up for the Jammers is a home game against Great Wakering Rovers, on Saturday (3pm).