New boss Cook guides Tangerines to four points from two matches

KEEPER'S BALL: Lewis Riches races off his line to thwart a Halstead attack
KEEPER'S BALL: Lewis Riches races off his line to thwart a Halstead attack

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE

FIRST DIVISION

Diss Town 1

Halstead Town 1

A new-look Diss Town side began their 2017/18 league campaign with a spirited home draw against visiting Halstead Town on Saturday.

The early exchanges were cautious as both teams probed the other looking for a weakness.

There were some promising moves from Diss as they moved the ball swiftly from flank to flank, but it took until the 17th minute for the Halstead goal to come under serious threat.

A corner on the right taken by Nuno Nogueira found an onrushing Jack Tipple, whose header was cleared off the line.

Within a couple of minutes, however, it was Halstead who almost took the lead — Lewis Riches in the Diss goal puling off a smart save from a close range shot.

Nogueira was at the heart of everything Diss did and some exquisite control and mazy dribbling set Sam Buckmaster up in the 29th minute, but the Diss striker’s shot sailed over the bar.

There were no goals during the first half, but it did not take the visitors long to break the deadlock after the restart.

A long ball forward caught the Diss defence off-guard and Riches was unsure as to whether he should go to meet the ball or stay on his line.

Consequently, Halstead’s Karl Anrade was first to the ball and he had an easy lob over Riches into the Diss net.

The Tangerines responded exactly as the home fans wanted them too, with resolve and a speedy equaliser

A long clearance from full-back Joe Thompson was pounced on by Sam Buckmaster, who took a touch before unleashing an unstoppable shot from just inside the box.

Buckmaser almost made it 2-1 after a good pass from Phil Myles set him up one-on-one with the away side’s goalkeeper, but his shot went narrowly wide.

Halstead also had chances of their own to win the game, but the home defence stood firm.

The encounter did end on a sour note for Diss, though, when winger Stephen Vincent was given a straight red card for kicking out at his marker after he had been hauled to the ground.

n On Wednesday, new Diss manager Jason Cook got his first competitive win in charge of the club as his side ran out 4-0 victors at Norwich United Reserves.

All four goals came in the second half, the first of which Virgilio Leitao toe-poked in after 49 minutes.

Buckmaster doubled the lead just five minutes later, before Ryan Beeston headed in a third goal from close range in the 62nd minute.

The visitors’ fourth and final goal came deep into stoppage courtesy of substitute Luke Priestley, who had earlier replaced fellow goalscorer Leitao.

Diss are without a game on Saturday due to Swaffham Town’s participation in the Emirates FA Cup.

Instead, Swaffham will make the trip to Brewers Green Lane on Tuesday evening (7.45pm).