Diss hit six, Reserves lose out
Diss Town 6, Downham Town 1DISS Town secured their third and most emphatic home win of the season with a 6-1 thrashing of Downham at Brewers Green Lane.
Diss Town 6, Downham Town 1
DISS Town secured their third and most emphatic home win of the season with a 6-1 thrashing of Downham at Brewers Green Lane. They welcomed back to the fold Luke Catchpole following his transfer the previous day from Mildenhall.
Ally McAnally did well to tip a 25-yard shot from Ben Coe over the bar as the visitors opened the match well. Sam Bryant shot over when he should have scored following a pass from Peter Hooks. Max Snell was now becoming busy and he was forced to save from Craig Skipp and Hooks.
It came as no surprise when The Tangerines took a 31st minute lead. Dan Wynne headed the ball into the path of the quick run of Hooks, who moved forward and rounded the goalkeeper before shooting in for his second goal in three games.
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Downham attacked well and equalised in the 40th minute when Ben Coe shot in from 20 yards out after Diss had failed to clear the ball.
Two minutes before half-time, Stuart Garner, not for the first time this season, hit a superb left-foot shot which swerved into the corner of the net from 30 yards out after Wynne, Rafel Szalek and George Watts-Sturrock had linked up well. John Connolly missed a fine chance to equalise before half-time.
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There was no stopping Diss in the second half and Catchpole scored on his debut when he headed in from a 54th minute Watts-Sturrock cross.
Five minutes later, Garner scored a goal that was even better than his first-half strike, to take his total for the season to seven. This time it was a left-foot half-volley which flew into the net via the underside of the crossbar.
Diss were now looking likely to score in every attack and Wynne scored his first goal for the Tangerines to make it 5-1 in the 63rd minute from eight yards out.
Downham were reduced to 10 men in the 73rd minute when Marcus Fendley collected yellow cards for a foul and dissent. Craig Skipp made it 6-1 directly from a free kick wide on the left with 10 minutes left to play. It was his second goal in a tangerine shirt.
Diss team: Ally McAnally, Rafel Szalek, Stuart Garner, Max Kirkby, Mark Shadrack, Craig Skipp, Xavier Huckle, Luke Catchpole, Dan Wynne, Peter Hooks, Sam Bryant. Subs: Jordan Rocastle (Wynne, 68 minutes), Jon Abbott (Szalek, 68 minutes), Matt Webster, George Watts-Sturrock (Huckle, 17 minutes) and Jake Burton.
Match sponsor: Anglia Coldroom Maintenance Limited of Lenwade.
Whitton United Reserves 1, Diss Town Reserves 0.
After another break of four weeks, Diss Reserves returned to action and put in an improved performance. The new players are now settling in well and forming a good team. The passing play was good to watch and now they need to get that killer touch in front of goal and harm opposing teams by scoring goals.
There was an even opening to the match, with the only goal of the game in the ninth minute. Dean Cooper ran unchallenged on to a corner from the left and headed powerfully in from seven yards out. Olly Verrell saw plenty of the ball in the first half and in the 18th minute ran from near halfway before having his shot from inside the penalty area well saved by Josh Hender. Aaron Bunn saved well from Anton Prince in the 20th minute, but despite some good play from both teams on a slippery but playable surface caused by the frost coming out of the ground, neither side created any clear-cut chances before half-time.
The second half saw Bunn deal well with some long-range shots and Diss fail to trouble Hender, despite some well constructed moves.
Prince was dangerous, running at the Diss defence and Cooper used his height as a danger at set pieces.
Late in the game, a 30-yard shot from Verrell landed on the roof of the net after he had run from halfway.
Diss man of the match: Damien Phelan, who had a superb match at centre half. He read the play well, timed his tackles to perfection and displayed maturity well above his 16 years.
Diss team: Aaron Bunn, Ryan McFadden, Max Rissmann, Rob Coote, Damien Phelan, Jody Peacher, Olly Verrell, Jake McDowall, Craig Tullis, Karl Ansley, Kirk Bardsley. Subs: Chris Barker, Terry Minshull (Peacher, 80 minutes) and Wilf Arnet (Tullis, 83 minutes).
Diss Reserves will be at home to league leaders Dereham Town Reserves on Saturday, kick-off 3pm. Diss Town have two away league matches this week: at Long Melford on Saturday, kick-off 3pm, and at Stowmarket Town on Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm.
Diss U18s' next two matches are both at home: against Kirkley and Pakefield on Thursday, kick-off 7.45pm in the delayed Ridgeons Youth League Cup first round, and against Walsham-le-Willows U18s in the league on Thursday, February 11, kick-off 7.45pm.