THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Cornard United 1
Diss Town 0
Despite fielding three new players and seemingly being in control of the second half, Diss Town slipped to defeat on the road at Cornard United on Saturday.
Kevin Riches came in to a central back three, Stacey Payne was introduced at left wing-back and Shanell Clarke in attack alongside leading scorer Virgilio Leitao, but the travelling Tangerines still slipped to a fifth straight defeat.
Visiting goalkeeper Jake Hayhoe was called into action in the third minute when he dived low to his left to turn away a 20-yard shot from Ryan McGibbon.
Diss put themselves under pressure by conceding a number of free-kicks in dangerous areas, none of which caused major concern.
A rare Diss free-kick in the 15th minute resulted in Charlie Lambe and new signing Clarke getting in each other’s way before Nuno Nogueira shot over from 15 yards out.
The Tangerines’ best move of the first half came down the left wing in the 24th minute — Payne, Stephen Vincent and Leitao all linking up before Clarke played the ball across for Nogueira to shoot wide from a central position 20 yards out.
Clarke was having a promising debut and his shot on the turn from just outside the penalty area was only a couple of feet high in the 34th minute, while soon after Vincent was denied by home goalkeeper Matt Groves.
Diss came out brightly in the second half and Groves reacted quickly in the 57th minute to race out and block at the feet of Leitao after Nogueira had gone on a fine run and played the ball through.
By now, Cornard players were arguing among themselves and with the officials.
During one spell of home chaos they played for three minutes with 10 men as a player stormed off, having been shown a yellow card, with his replacement not ready to come on.
Diss, with better composure, ought to have taken advantage, but their attempts to score were often hurried.
Leitao had more time than he realised to beat Groves in the 73rd minute as he moved on to a quickly-taken free-kick, with the home team demanding a re-take.
And then with only a few seconds of the 90 minutes remaining, Diss were hit by a sucker punch.
McGibbon flicked on a through ball, which hit Hayhoe, who had advanced outside his penalty area.
The ball fell to Billy Coe 25 yards out and he sent the ball into the unguarded goal.
Five minutes of added time were played and, with the very last kick of it Groves made the save of the game.
Vincent sent a curling 20 yard left foot shot towards the top corner, and Groves arched high to his right to tip the ball over, with insufficient time remaining to take the corner.
Seventeenth-placed Diss host bottom-of-the-table Team Bury tomorrow (3pm), before heading to Needham Market Reserves on Tuesday (7.45pm).