Diss struggle against leaders
- Credit: Archant
Diss Town 1 Norwich United 4
Diss Town faced a tough challenge at home to table-topping Norwich United on Saturday.
With a 35-point gap between the two sides, the Tangerines' manager Mark Reeve set out his team with five at the back in an attempt to stifle the free-scoring Planters' attack. Jason Cole, who had re-joined the Tangerines earlier in the week, took up a midfield position. The rejig was sadly all to no avail however as an impressive United side ran out comfortable winners.
The Tangerines defended well for the first quarter of an hour, but came under sustained periods of pressure. The Planters eventually got their breakthrough after 15 minutes when ex-Tangerine Jamie Speller sent a perfect cross into the centre of the area, which found the onrushing Ben Thompson unmarked, and he scored from close range.
Tangerines' keeper Matthew Powley was out smartly in the 22nd minute to smother a shot from Matthew Blake, after he had got behind the Diss defence. In the 26th minute the Tangerines had a let-off, when Thompson thumped a shot against the base of the post after Powley had only partially cleared a high ball.
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The Tangerines had a good opportunity to equalise in the 33rd minute when a low pass across the box found Downes at the far post, but from point-blank range the striker's contact with the ball was too close to the visitors' keeper McAnally.
Downes' momentum caused him to collide with McAnally, but the keeper managed to slap the ball down and away from the goal-line and the ball was then cleared as both players fell to the ground.
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Five minutes later the visitors were awarded a penalty. Speller's cross hit Ady Ager's outstretched arm, and the referee decided it was intentional. Matthew Daniels sent Powley the wrong way to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
The game continued in a similar vein in the second half, and it was no surprise when the visitors effectively put the game beyond the Tangerines' reach in the 62nd minute. After a spell of pressure around the Diss penalty area, Blake was found with too much time and space and was able to guide his low shot inside the Powley's right-hand post.
Four minutes later Blake hit a superb volley from the corner of the penalty area and it looped over the Diss defence and dropped inside the far post, despite keeper Powley seeming to get a touch. The visitors were now 4-0 up and coasting.
However, on 71 minutes Speller came back to help out the visitors' defence and made contact with substitute Matt Dixon in the area, and the referee awarded a penalty.
Dixon got to his feet and although McAnally dived the right way, the penalty was well-struck inside the keeper's left-hand post.
This turned out to be a just consolation goal as there was little in the way of goal-mouth action for the remainder of the match.
The Tangerines are in league action again on Saturday when they visit Felixstowe & Walton United, kick-off 3pm.
Diss Town: Matthew Powley, Chris Greenslade, Mark Shadrack, Sam Newton, Ady Ager, Darren Cox, Danny Self, Jacob Brown, Jason Cole, Kyle Downes, Matt Waters. Substitutes: Jordan Lake, Ashley Mitchell, Sam Lowe, Matt Dixon.
Referee: M Holmes.