Vase ‘freebie’ for Diss

BACK IN TOWN: Striker Matt Dixon pictured on his return to Diss Town against Felixstowe and Walton United on Saturday '''''           Picture: Mark Bullimore
BACK IN TOWN: Striker Matt Dixon pictured on his return to Diss Town against Felixstowe and Walton United on Saturday ''''' Picture: Mark Bullimore

Diss Town have ‘nothing to lose’ in their FA Vase encounter at Ampthill Town tomorrow (3pm), according to boss Richard Daniels.

The Tangerines travel to Bedfordshire for a second round encounter, hoping to move a step close to emulating the Diss heroes of 1994 that lifted the trophy at Wembley Stadium.

But with Daniels and assistant Jason Maher undertaking a reshaping of the Brewers Green Lane-based outfit’s squad, a number of new signings will be missing for the trip.

“Saturday is a freebie,” said the Tangerines’ chief. “We can look at another couple of players, but we are also going there to win.

“Ampthill score goals for fun, but also concede quite a few as well and we’ll have to go into the game with the same attitude we had against Felixstowe on Saturday, which is to get the ball down and play.”

Although Diss lost 1-0 to their visitors, Daniels saw signs of improvement as seven new faces attempt to gel with the squad.

Jordan Rocastle was one of those left out as a result and the new manager hopes that will make him more hungry to earn his place back.

But competition for starting spots is hotting up, with Daniels hoping to tie up two more deals this week, including one for a player who has previously plied his trade in the Ryman League Premier Division, not thought to be ex-Diss loanee Dan Hitching from Bury Town.

The two targets in question would both be eligible for the Vase game, but five of the squad will miss out by being cup-tied.

“What has surprised me is the amount of players that want to come to Diss,” said Daniels.

Rocastle is one of those cup-tied, while Matt Dixon, Eddie Thompson, Ricci Butler and Ashley Skeggs are also in the same situation.

However, new faces Thomas Daniels, Claudio Langlois and Pete Lambert are all available.

The winners of the tie would earn a place in the last 64 and £1,200 in prize money.

Diss have a rich history in the competition, winning it in 1994 on the most glorious day in the club’s history, defeating Taunton Town 2-1 thanks to goals from Paul Gibbs and Peter Mendham.

Should they win tomorrow to reach the third round, it would be the second consecutive year Diss have achieved that, but would be just the second time since 2002.

However, they did reach the third round nine out of 11 years between 1991 and 2002.


Perhaps the most significant signing Richard Daniels has made as Diss Town manager could be the capture of Matt Dixon from Norwich United.
An ex-Tangerine, Dixon really made his name at Thetford Town over the last three seasons, firing them to promotion from the Thurlow Nunn First Division and Norfolk Senior Cup final last campaign with 48 goals in all competitions.
However, a summer move to Norwich United did not work out and Dixon made his return to Brewers Green Lane for Saturday’s 1-0 reverse against Felixstowe and Walton United as a 73rd-minute substitute.
“I faced Matt Dixon a lot when I was manager at Gorleston and he’s an enigma — he was a real whippet around the box,” said Daniels. “He took his chances well.
“When I saw he had gone to Norwich in the summer I must confess I did not think it was a good move for him.
“He realised we needed goals and the desire Jason (Maher, assistant manager) and I had to get him in.
“With a couple more real quality additions we will get the best out of him.”
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Tom Marsden is set to join the club to provide cover and competition for Matty Webster, but will go with the reserves tomorrow.

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Follow sports editor Derek Bish via @BishDerek for team news, match action and reaction from 2.30pm tomorrow.