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Manager Jon Abbott confident Thurlow Nunn League First Division North side Diss Town are moving in the right direction

The result may not have been what he wanted, but manager Jon Abbott believes Diss Town’s performance in last weekend’s derby at Harleston Town was further evidence of the progression that has been made over recent months.

When Abbott arrived at Brewers Green Lane from lower-league Scole United in early January, he inherited a team languishing just two points above the potential relegation zone.

Diss had won only one of their previous nine Thurlow Nunn League First Division North outings at that point, but Abbott’s influence has helped to turn the tide, with the gap to the bottom two now a healthy 12 points.

Football action from Harleston Town vs Diss Town FC - Diss Manager Jon Abbott..Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (8314297)
Football action from Harleston Town vs Diss Town FC - Diss Manager Jon Abbott..Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (8314297)

They were unable to extend it further against their league-leading neighbours, who edged a close encounter 1-0 thanks to Lawrence Cheese’s first-half strike.

However, the visiting Tangerines more than held their own, particularly in the second half when they hit the post and caused a number of nervy moments for the hosts.

“We played really well, especially in that second half when I thought we were the better side,” said Abbott.

“We can take a lot from the performance although it does not hide the fact we are disappointed with the result.

“It does not feel like we are a million miles away from being among the top sides in the league. If we play that way against 90 per cent of the teams in this league, we will win more games than we lose.

“We do not have a divine right to win games like this, but that is what we want to start doing and it feels like we are moving towards that.

“The boys have worked hard and if you had said we’d be as clear from relegation as we are when I came in, we would have taken that.”

Tonight Abbott’s 14th-placed men will play host to Norwich CBS as they continue their tough end to the campaign (7.45pm). Of Diss’ final six games, five are against teams in the top seven.

But rather than be fazed, Abbott is relishing the challenge of facing the division’s strongest outfits.

“If we match that performance (against Harleston) when we play CBS and then Lakenheath the week after, they will have to play very well to beat us,” he added.

“It is exciting playing the top teams. We have played some of the teams around us since we came in and picked up our points.

“Now we can go into these games with no fear and look to express ourselves. It will help to tell me a little bit more about the players we have.”

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