Patience pays off for Diss

Diss Town inflicted only the second defeat in 19 games for Ely City as the Tangerines won their third match in a row to close the gap between the two teams to five points.

Diss Town inflicted only the second defeat in 19 games for Ely City as the Tangerines won their third match in a row to close the gap between the two teams to five points.

Diss will want to carry on the momentum this week when they travel to March.

Gavin Norman had a 30-yard shot deflected for a corner in the 12th minute. It was swung in from the right wing by Ed Cussons for Kevin Leggett to leap and head just wide from six yards out.

Ian Edge had a good match in the Ely midfield and in the 19th minute he beat three defenders on a fine run before forcing Paul Snowdon into a fine save low to his right when Edge shot from 18 yards. Three minutes later Mark Paul beat the offside trap and beat Snowdon to the ball wide on the left.

Paul's shot was kicked away by Cussons and by the time Paul shot again Snowdon was back to catch the ball. Luke Catchpole, on his debut after transferring from Thetford, was playing some fine passes and in the 28th minute he fed the ball to Matty Ryland to strike a rising 20-yard left- foot shot which went a foot too high.

Ely moved quickly forward and Mark Johnston had a left-foot shot deflected wide for a corner.

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Ryland superbly played the ball into the penalty area in the 30th minute and Ben Deacon brought the ball down and had his shot smothered as Lee Pacey raced from his goal. Catchpole played the ball into the centre in the 36th minute for Deacon to head down and Norman turned and shot to bring another fine save from Pacey.

Referee Will Hardie had a first-class match and it seemed a minute before half-time he had played a fine advantage after a foul on Deacon.

However, as the ball fell for Ryland to shoot in from 20 yards the whistle sounded. Ryland took the free-kick from 25 yards out but it lacked the power to beat Pacey.

Manager Paul Tong revealed after the match that he urged 'patience' from his players at half-time and it paid off.

In the 62nd minute Norman collected a throw from Cussons on the left and cut in. His shot from 18 yards was blocked by Tony Brown, but fell to Deacon 10 yards out. He floated the ball over the advancing Pacey to put the Tangerines into the lead.

The game opened up as Ely tried to get on level terms. A long clearance from Pacey in the 76th minute was chased to the goal line by Andy Chatters and David Daniels should have done better than head the cross wide. Snowdon made an excellent save down low by his left-hand post to keep out a 20-yard shot from Edge.

Alex Jarvie, Deacon and Ryland opened the Ely defence with some quick passing in the 84th minute and Andrew Fulcher burst into the penalty area before being tripped by Brown.

Dale Vince, after his self-imposed break of two weeks in which he turned down a move to Newmarket, stepped forward to send Pacey the wrong way from the penalty kick to make it 2-0 for his 15th goal of the season.

As the game went into added time Ryland conceded a corner when he made a goal line headed clearance.

Russell Flitton sent the ball over from the corner and Simon Warren tapped in from close range to pull a goal back.

Diss were denied two further goals in added time by Pacey. Jarvie used his strength to burst through and force Pacey the palm the ball away and Jarvie sent the ball across to create a fine opening for Ryland and his shot from six yards resulted in the save of the game.

Match sponsor (The Norfolk Water Company, Harling Spring, East Harling) man of the match award went to Ben Deacon, who took his goal superbly to earn the award and after an illness setback seems to have gained strength and looks fit. His three goals in the last two games will have added to his confidence. The central defence partnership of Kevin Leggett and Steve Best was again in top form.

Diss Reserves host Felixstowe and Walton United Reserves on Saturday (ko 3pm).