FA Cup progress is evidence of Diss Town's improvement in recent weeks
Pre-season results may have raised a few eyebrows, but when it mattered on Tuesday evening Michael King’s new-look Diss Town side delivered the goods.
King, who took charge of the Tangerines on July 1, had overseen five straight friendly defeats ahead of Tuesday evening’s Emirates FA Cup clash with Framlingham Town.
However, the boss recently insisted he had being seeing improvement week on week from his charges. And they showed him to be good to his word against the Castlemen, running out 1-0 winners at Brewers Green Lane.
“It was a big night for everyone and not just for us as a management team, but also the players. Probably only half of them had played in the FA Cup before and we had never managed in it,” said King.
“People were probably looking at our pre-season, seeing five defeats and wondering what was going on.
“But like I said before, we have been getting better each week. In our last two friendlies, against Kirkley and Walsham, we caused both of them some problems.
“We felt a performance like the one against Framlingham was coming, and thankfully it did.
“It’s relieved a bit of that pressure to get our first win in charge and hopefully now it can act as a springboard.”
The only goal of the tie came late on courtesy of Bryn Mullen, who arrived at Diss during the summer having scored 22 goals last term a couple of divisions down for Wymondham Town.
It followed on from his impressive strike during the previous week’s friendly with Walsham. And King believes the 19-year-old’s progress is mirroring the team.
“He’s been getting better and better every week – a bit like the whole squad,” added King.
“He needed that goal last week because maybe he had been lacking a little bit of belief in front of goal.
“His performances have been good all summer and in the second half on Tuesday he showed why we were so keen to sign him up.”
Diss will now head to Step 4 side Stamford on September 12 for what will be their first appearance in the preliminary round since 2007/08.
But before that King’s men will open their Thurlow Nunn League First Division North campaign tomorrow at Leiston Reserves (3pm).
Second string outfits can at times contain players from its senior side – particularly early in a season when fitness is being built up – but King is not dwelling too much on that prospect.
“The boys cannot wait to get started and we want to get three points on the board early,” he said.
“You never know what you are going to get when you come up against reserve sides, and we will not find out until about 2.15pm on Saturday.
“It is what is, we will have to face whatever is in front of us and give a good account of ourselves.”