Knockout blow for Diss
Diss Town 1, Thetford Town 3
Diss Town were knocked out of the Norfolk Senior Cup after a stormy match which turned in controversial fashion midway through the second half.
Diss, who return to league action on Saturday by hosting Long Melford, finished the game on Tuesday night with nine men. The first half an hour was played at a frantic pace with few chances created.
A 25th-minute George Watts-Sturrock corner was headed on by Sam Bryant for Danny Wynne to have a shot blocked by team-mate Jordan Rocastle.
Thetford took the lead when a shot from Matt Blake was blocked and fell inside the penalty area to the left for Bruno Tavares to shoot in.
Diss equalised when a Luke Catchpole shot took a wicked deflection off a defender to wrong- foot goalkeeper Mark Bowden as it spun low just inside the post.
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The home crowd were incensed as Matt Dixon went over as Mark Camidge came out and a penalty was awarded. Dixon took a weak penalty and shot wide.
However, the home celebrations were dashed as a retake was awarded for mass encroachment by an army of players from both sides. Dixon made it 2-1 from the retaken kick. Jon Abbott was sent off for his verbal observations.
As the yellow cards mounted — five to each team — it was inevitable that a player would collect two and it was Catchpole who was controversially sent off.
Cary Clayton played the ball in from the right for Dixon to bring under control and slide his shot past Camidge and into the net.
Diss had reached the quarter-final with a convincing 5-0 win over Norwich St John's on Saturday.
It had been a much-delayed tie, postponed four times before Christmas.
Diss manager Rob Taylor felt that his team 'had to weather a 20 minute spell in the first half before dominating the second half. We restricted them to just one chance in the second half despite playing against the wind.'
Taylor had Luke Catchpole available again after serving a one match suspension. Jordan Rocastle returned after an injury lay-off following a knee problem to score a hat-trick and become leading scorer for the season on 11 goals. Taylor was also able to introduce Jonny king who joined Diss from Great Yarmouth Town for his second spell at Brewers Green Lane.
Diss took the lead in the sixth minute when Sam Bryant crossed from the left and a defender sliced the ball against his own bar. The ball was sent back from the right by George Watts-Sturrock into a crowded penalty area for Jordan Rocastle to shoot past Duane Smith. Diss continued to attack and Dan Wynne forced Smith into a fine save to keep out his header to a 12th minute Watts-Sturrock free kick. Jon Abbott was brought down just outside the penalty area a minute into first half added time. Watts-Sturrock scored his fourth goal of the season when he drove the free kick low past Smith. Sam Bryant sent in another dangerous cross from the left in the 63rd minute. The ball was knocked away and Rocastle sent one of his spectacular overhead kicks into the net to make it 3-0. They made it 4-0 in the 77th minute. Rocastle collected the ball and beat two defenders on his run before shooting low into the corner of the net to complete his hat-trick. In added time Abbott headed a cross down for Andy Moody to shoot in for his first goal of the season. Final score: Norwich St. John's 0, Diss Town 5.
Diss team: Mark Camidge, Jonny King, Stuart Garner, Mark Shadrack, Stefan Gilding, Jon Abbott, George Watts-Sturrock, Luke Catchpole, Dan Wynne, Jordan Rocastle, Sam Bryant.
Diss subs: Tom Bryant (for Catchpole), Damien Phelan, Andy Moody (for Wynne), Danny Partridge (for Garner) and Steve Wright.