THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION
Diss Town 2
Framlingham Town 4
Framlingham Town boss Mel Aldis sung the praises of hot shot striker Danny Smith after his hat-trick helped secure an impressive win away at Diss Town on Saturday.
The Castlemen fought back from a goal behind to run out 4-2 winners at Brewers Green Lane at the weekend, with Smith's treble instrumental in the victory.
After returning to Aldis' side midway through last season following a misfiring spell at higher league Needham Market, the Fram boss believes that Smith is now getting back to his best.
"Danny finished three incredible goals," Aldis said. "A header, right foot, left foot, it was a good hat-trick.
"Not nothing to do with Needham, but he went and sat on the bench for weeks.
"He came back after about 15 games and it took a while to get his confidence back.
"Today was the first time he's played up front for a long while. He's been playing in the number 10 role.
"We just swapped it round a bit. Johnny (Kerridge) is stronger in the number 10 role and that worked well. Well done the manager!"
Promotion-chasing Diss handed Fram their first home league defeat of the season when the two sides met at Badingham Road in late December, but this time round it was the visitors Fram who cut down the fortress at Brewers Green Lane.
The Tangerines had only lost once at home in the league this season before Saturday's clash, and they made the perfect start to trying to defend that record when Charlie Webb put them in front after nine minutes.
Fram responded with an equaliser on 24 minutes, Charlie Smith's long throw was flicked on by Johnny Kerridge and Danny Smith headed in the first of his three goals.
Aldis' side took the lead midway through the second half, as Charlie Smith's free-kick was met by the head of Kerridge and sailed into the bottom corner on 65 minutes.
Fram stretched their lead 10 minutes later when Kerridge's flick-on sent Danny Smith towards goal, and he expertly lobbed Diss goalkeeper George MacRae to make it 3-1.
The Tangerines hit back immediately with Shaun Hunsdon tapping in from close range barely a minute later, before Danny Smith wrapped up the points two minutes from time with his third goal of the game.
The striker beat MacRae to a through ball and placed his shot into an empty net to seal a fine win for the visitors.
Fram climbed above their opponents and into fifth place in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division table but, with games in hand on all the teams above them, it is Ross Potter's Diss (6th) side who still possess the better chance of clinching promotion at the end of the season.
Aldis’ side next visit Wisbech St Mary (10th), while Diss travel to seventh place Braintree Town Reserves (both tomorrow, 3pm) with manager Potter keen to right the wrongs from this defeat.
“Getting promoted is what I’m here for and we’ve given ourselves a tough task now after losing a game,” he said.
“It’s a big period in the season. The games are coming thick and fast now.
“Fair play to Framlingham. I’m not taking anything away from them; I think they’ve done really well in their first season in the league.”
Diss Town: MacRae, Cole, Wenham (M Appleton 83), Manning (c), Tipple, L Appleton, Boulter (Bray 60), Norton-Hugman, Webb, Hunsdon, Amis (Bryant 60). Subs not used: Pain, Shadrack. Booked: Amis, Cole, Manning.
Framlingham Town: Rose, Hardy-Porter, Thorpe, Ma Aldis, Oliver, Mayhew (c), Poacher, C Smith (Boardley 79), D Smith, Kerridge, Willett (Noy 17 (Bevens 92)). Sub not used: Evans-Hendrick. Booked: Poacher, Thorpe.
Referee: C Brown. Attendance: 127. Express man of the match: D Smith (Framlingham).