Tangerines see good work undone by controversial penalty
- Credit: PA
Diss Town travelled to Clacton to take on Holland FC, with the teams separated by just one point as the season moves into the final stages.
A close match was expected, and that's just the way it turned out, with a draw a fair outcome as both teams struggled to cope with the hard, bumpy pitch.
Diss were forced into a change when Luke Appleton rolled his ankle in the warm-up and was replaced by Mark Shadrack.
The Tangerines tried to use the wings in the first half but were too often thwarted by the offside flag. One exception came in the eighth minute when Sam Bryant played the ball across from the left and Harry Whayman had a shot from 14 yards out parried by Alex Ball.
Diss had a fine chance to take the lead just before half-time when a perfectly weighted pass from Whayman sent Angus Mackie clear, having beaten the offside trap, but his shot lacked the power needed to beat Ball.
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Ashley Baxter was well placed, beside the Diss left post, to kick a goalbound header from Chris Ribchester away on 50 minutes.
Four minutes later Holland gifted Diss the opening goal. A defender, more than 30 yards away from his own goal in the right back position, turned to play the ball back towards his goalkeeper and did not see Shaun Hunsdon, returning after his two-game suspension and replacing the suspended Charlie Webb, lurking on the edge of the penalty area. Hunsdon intercepted the pass, turned and guided the ball past goalkeeper Ball for his 25th goal of the season.
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George MacRae made a brilliant point-blank save on the hour mark to deny Ray Turner.
Whayman came close to increasing the lead 10 minutes later when he cut inside from the right to send his shot inches wide after a superb pass from Mackie. MacRae used his feet to fine effect to block a shot from Eaton just a minute before Holland equalised from a 75th-minute penalty. Diss felt Joe Manning was pushed on to the ball when his arm struck the bouncing ball just inside the area – Turner sent MacRae the wrong way from 12 yards.
Diss: MacRae, Baxter (Priestley 78), Pain, Manning, Tipple, Shadrack, Mackie, Norton-Hugman, Hunsdon, Bryant (Bray 38), Whayman. Sub not used: Luke Appleton. Att: 30.
Diss complete their away fixtures at AFC Sudbury Reserves on Saturday (3pm).