Diss win incident-packed game
Diss Town moved to sixth place with a 3-2 win against a Halstead team which started the day in third place but this was their third defeat in a row. This match was full of incident and controversy.
Diss Town moved to sixth place with a 3-2 win against a Halstead team which started the day in third place but this was their third defeat in a row.
This match was full of incident and controversy. There was a goal which would have been remarkable in any pantomime and a total of eight cards - none of them of the Christmas variety.
Halstead were awarded a free-kick in a central position and 22 yards out inside the first minute.
By the time that the disputes had died down and the wall was moved back 90 seconds had elapsed into the game and Chris Bryan curled the ball into the corner of the net, although Matty Hill got his fingers to the ball as he dived at full stretch to his left.
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Play was regularly interrupted by fouls and there was a feeling that tempers could easily become frayed. In the 31st minute an Ed Cussons corner from the left resulted in Paul Wood punching away under challenge from Steve Best.
James Wilson returned the ball low and Best turned the ball in from three yards out and celebrated the goal with a cradle action in tribute to his newly born first child - Nathan.
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Wood felt that he was fouled and two minutes later an aerial challenge with Best ended with the visiting goalkeeper pushing Best to the floor with both fists extended.
Surprisingly a free-kick was awarded to Halstead and both players received yellow cards. By half-time the robust visitors had received four yellow cards.
Diss took the lead in the 40th minute from another Cussons corner on the left. Best headed the ball goal wards from six yards out for Andy Moody to head home from close range.
Diss were grateful that Wood was allowed to stay on the field when he gifted the Tangerines a third goal in the 51st minute. Steve Wright played a superb through ball to release Danny Partridge to run deep into the penalty area. His shot was well blocked by Wood and the ball looped up and across to Ben Soanes.
Soanes was unable to get any power into his effort from ten yards out but Wood made a complete hash as he dived and only added pace to the ball as he sent it into his net. Halstead were having more of the second half play and had two 'goals' ruled out for offside decisions that were hotly disputed at the time and after the match.
There was plenty of drama to come in the game. In the 80th minute Ray Turner burst clear and his shot was superbly saved by Hill. The referee ruled that Best had made a foul as the forward shot and awarded a penalty and sent off the home captain.
Turner put the penalty low to Hill's right but the Tangerines goalkeeper made a great save to push the ball away for a corner. It came across and Craig Newman smashed a shot against a post. From the rebound Terry Rayner hit a shot which went into the net despite being handled. Another penalty was awarded and Cussons was shown the yellow card.
San Lee made it 3-2 from the penalty. He rushed to get the ball and provoked more anger as he raced past Hill and took a huge dive. No action was taken against either player but James Wilson was cautioned for his comments. The 10 men of Diss held firm for the remaining eight minutes of normal time and seven minutes of added time.
Diss: Matty Hill, Mark Shadrack, Ed Cussons, James Wilson, Steve Best, Adie Hayes, Andy Moody, Luke Catchpole, Ben Soanes, Danny Partridge, Steve Wright.
Diss subs: Danny Jones, Osiris Gomes (for Moody 73 mins), George Wilson (for Catchpole 65 mins), Robbie Lawrence (for Wright 79 mins) and Ashley Smith.
Match Sponsor: Anglia Coldroom Maintenance Limited of Lenwade.