THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION
Diss Town 2
Stowmarket Town 1
Stowmarket Town’s unbeaten start in 2016 came to an end as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat at local rivals Diss Town.
The Old Gold and Blacks headed to Brewers Green Lane with a four match unbeaten run, but goals from Daniel Self and Ben Fowkes ensured the hosts came out on top in the derby.
And despite the returning Remell Davis coming off the bench to score with two minutes to go, Stow left empty-handed and remain 14th in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division.
Stowmarket manager Rick Andrews made three changes to the side which started in the 0-0 draw against AFC Sudbury Reserves last week.
Josh Folkes and Ben Licence returned to the starting line-up in place of James Graham (suspended) and Ashley Holmes (holiday), while new signing Ace Howell made his debut in place of the injured Wayne Proctor.
The two local rivals were facing off for the fourth time this season, and it certainly had the feel of a derby in the early stages with both sides trading a number of fouls.
It took until midway through the first-half for one side to stamp their authority on the contest, as Diss created several chances to break the deadlock.
Jack Hood rushed into the Stow box from defence and saw his shot go straight into the hands of visiting goalkeeper Dan Joyce on 17 minutes, before Joe Manning unleashed a shot from the edge of the box which went wide three minutes later.
Will Seccombe made a vital interception to clear a dangerous ball across the Stowmarket goal in the 22nd minute, but he came unstuck when Jamie George burst into the left side of the box. But again a last-ditch clearance from the Stow defence kept the match goalless.
As the first-half entered added time Diss found a breakthrough. Dean Pleasance’s clearance was blocked by Self, who raced towards goal unopposed and finished past Joyce to make it 1-0.
The visitors protested that the Diss captain had blocked the ball with his hand, but the referee turned down their appeals and the hosts went into the break with a slender advantage.
In the second-half neither side was able to create any clear chances at goal, and with Stow sensing they could get something out of the game they looked to the bench and brought on strikers Davis and Ryan Rampley to try and change the game.
However, it was a substitute for the hosts which changed the game. Fowkes came on in the 78th minute and less than 30 seconds later was celebrating putting Diss 2-0 in front.
The Lowestoft Town teenager, who joined the Tangerines this week on a dual-registration, was running through on goal when he took his first touch and then beat Joyce to double his side’s lead.
Davis marked his first appearance in four months for the Old Gold and Blacks with a goal in the 88th minute, but Stow did not manage to find another goal as Diss took the bragging rights in the last derby of the season.
Diss Town: Izod, Hood, Barrett, Manning, Gilding, Gibbons, Self (c) (Olpin 80), Armes, Downes (Norman 86), George (Fowkes 78), Page. Sub not used: Powley.
Stowmarket Town: Joyce, B Holmes (Ranson 86), Pleasance, Folkes, Seccombe, Cuddy, Licence (Davis 63), Moore, Howell (Rampley 74), Dixon (c), Hawkins.
Referee Harry Scott.
Shots on target: Diss 7 Stowmarket 4
Shots off target: Diss 5 Stowmarket 3
Corners: Diss 8 Stowmarket 5
Offsides: Diss 3 Stowmarket 1
Fouls: Diss 11 Stowmarket 9