THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Diss Town 2
Newmarket Town 2
Diss Town captain Jacob Brown has urged his side not to focus on their precarious league position following their draw with Newmarket own.
The Tangerines remain second bottom, nine points adrift of safety with just five matches remaining after Matt Dixon’s double was only enough for a share of the spoils with Mark Webster and Lee Clift earning the visitors a point Saturday.
Despite the pressure building on Diss as the season reaches its climax, Brown is not focusing on their probable relegation as he remains focused on the task in hand, starting with a vital match against FC Clacton—who sit one place and eight points above them—tomorrow (3pm).
“I think we could have taken the win but a few mistakes cost us in the end,” he said.
“The conditions didn’t help and we just couldn’t get the ball down as we liked.
“The next three or four games are massively important for us and we have to start picking up some victories.
“Saturday’s match with Clacton will be huge but even if we win all of our games remaining we are relying on others.
“We have to win our games and just hope others do us a favour along the way.
“We have to not to think about the table too much as a squad because it puts too much pressure on us.
“We have to focus on ourselves and play the best we can away from the pressure.
“I think we are still playing with that freedom but we just have to start getting three points .
“If we keep up the sort of performances we have given in our last two matches and keep the confidence high then that will give us hope for Saturday.”
The visitors started brightly and came close to breaking the deadlock in the ninth minute as Luke Parkinson’s dangerous corner from the right was headed across the face of goal by Webster.
However it was the home who opened the scoring just three minutes later.
Dixon beat Webster to a long Matthew Powley kick before volleying a left-footed rebound into the bottom left corner after George Lawton had saved his initial low strike.
Dixon then spurned the opportunity to double his tally five-minutes later, firing wide after collecting the ball from a sloppy pass across the box from Webster.
At the other end, Steve Holder came inches away from levelling the scores as he swept a left-footed effort narrowly past the left post following a cut back from Parkinson.
Just past the half-hour mark Brown called Lawton into action as a flowing counter attak down the left saw Jason Cole’s low cross fall top the Diss captain whose strike was well parried by the Newmarket custodian.
But just as the home side appeared to be getting a foothold in the match, Newmarket got themselves level after 34 minutes.
It was another Parkinson corner that caused the damage, and again found Webster who capitalised on the abundance of space afforded to him to power a header past the helpless Powley.
However, the half ended on a concerning note for the visitors as midfielder Scott Patterson was taken to hospital with a serious knee injury after collapsing under his own weight.
Despite the setback, Newmarket found themselves ahead two minutes after the restart following a gift of a goal from Diss custodian Powley.
What first appeared to be a routine clearance from a pass back resulted in a complete mis-kick, falling straight to the feet of Clift to simply roll the ball into the empty net and leave Powley red faced with the howler.
The home side responded strongly to falling behind and enjoyed a period of prolonged pressure with both Ben Lewis and Brown spurning good opportunities, heading over from corners.
But with momentum behind them, Diss did reap their rewards as they levelled after 59 minutes.
Dixon received possession in the centre of the field before carrying the ball forward and unleashing an unstoppable 30-yard left-footed strike into the top left corner leaving Lawton rooted to the spot.
That pressure continued as Diss found themselves in the ascendency, pushing forward in search of the winner.
Further chances came and went in the following 10 minutes as Danny Self rifled a 25-yard free-kick past the top left corner, while substitute Chris Holmes was brilliant denied by the on-rushing Lawton who smothered the ball at the striker’s feet after he had outrun Darren Coe into the area.
Dixon then came a whisker away from connecting to a driven Self free-kick across the face of Newmarket’s goal while at the other end Powley went some way to redeeming his earlier mistake with 13 minutes remaining.
A brilliant run down the left-hand side from Parkinson saw his drilled cross pick out Holder who looked certain to score only for Powley to somehow react and push the ball away as the sides settled for a share of the spoils.