Harleston see off neighbours Diss to keep title bid on track
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019
Harleston Town maintained their lead at the top of the table with a second 1-0 derby league win of the season against Diss.
The Magpies have two games to play and have an eight point lead over Swaffham, who have five games to play.
Harleston had the better of the first half attacking and came close to taking a lead after 90 seconds when Lawrence Cheese burst through and was denied by brave goalkeeping as Kingsley Barnes used his head to block the shot.
In the 23rd minute Scott Roberts forced Barnes to dive low to his left to turn away a 30 yard free kick at the expense of a corner. The only goal of the game came in the 40th minute as Nicky Howell headed the ball on for Cheese to shoot low under Barnes from five yards out.
The second half was evenly contested with many foul challenges and decisions frequently contested and both teams came close to scoring late in the game.
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With the Tangerines pressing hard for an equaliser James Baughurst received the ball as Charlie Webb chested a free-kick back towards him and sent in a low shot from 25 yards out in the 79th minute which forced Ian Stones to push the ball away.
Harleston then broke away and Howell sent his lofted shot over Barnes towards the unguarded goal but was denied as Sam Last raced back and made a fine goal-line header.
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Free-kicks were continuing to create chances. Diss came very close to the equaliser in the 83rd minute when Baughurst sent his shot from a central position 20 yards out against the right hand post. Within a minute Barnes dived to hold a free-kick from Scott Roberts.
Harleston Town: Stones, Shadrack, Imrie, Roe (Borrer 58), Howard, A Howell (Delaney 71), Russell, N Howell, Cheese, Roberts, Stone (Betts 61). Subs not used: Green, Pickess.
Diss Town: Barnes, Baxter, Last, Baughurst, Tipple (Lanchester 88), Pain, Hagan, Betson (Hunt 71), Webb, Lucraft, Bray (Staines 75). Subs not used, White, Kerry. Attendance: 140.
Diss Town are at home to Norwich CBS on Friday (7.45pm) while harleston don't play again until they host March on Saturday, April 20.
Diss Town U-18s completed their season in the Thurlow Nunn Youth League East with a 5-0 defeat at Plantation Park.