Dominant Debenham win derby
Starts do not get much worse than the one Debenham LC made during Tuesday night’s 2-1 derby victory at Diss Town.
Just 29 seconds were on the clock when the Hornets’ Ross Welton gifted the hosts the lead with the sort of mistake that would give any goalkeeper sleepless nights.
But, rather than feel sorry for themselves and allow Diss to run amok, the visitors rallied, displaying the sort of character and producing the type of dominant performance that left manager Leon Moore with a big grin on his face at the final whistle.
In truth it could – and perhaps should – have been a much bigger margin of victory for Moore’s men, who in Diss’ Jake Hayhoe, came up against a goalkeeper on top of his game.
The likes of captain Brendon Heath and Shaun Thorrold were particularly impressive in possession, while the defence stood firm, meaning there was no need for Welton to atone for his early error.
Ultimately, though, it was Lamell Howell that won Debenham the match with a brace, sending his side above their hosts and up to seventh in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North standings in the process.
He showed good predatory instincts with the equaliser before the break, while Debenham are unlikely to score many better goals this term than the one that claimed all three points after the restart.
And as far as Moore is concerned, his team have set the standard going forward.
“There is nothing you can do about errors like that (by Welton). You have just got to dust yourself off as a unit and go again,” he said.
“And from about the third or fourth minute we did that – we dominated the whole game.
“To come away from home and put in a performance like that is very pleasing.
“We have had a very mixed start, but it has also been one of the toughest starts.
“This shows exactly what we are capable of, and now it is a case of grabbing the bull by the horns and trying to replicate performances like that in the weeks to come.
“It is not only the win that has pleased me, the manner in which we did it was fantastic.
“Their goalkeeper has probably saved six clear-cut chances. Jake deserves plenty of credit for his performance and that just shows how much we have dominated the game.”
While Moore was a happy manager come the final whistle, he would not have been so chipper inside 30 seconds.
Welton’s first touch from a back pass bounced up awkwardly and Diss’ alert striker Ashley Rankin sensed blood.
He made up ground quickly and by the time that the Debenham gloveman had set himself to clear the danger, Rankin was on him and managed to divert the ball into an empty net.
The goal understandably rocked the away side for a moment or two, but they soon regained their composure and went on the front foot.
Heath dragged a shot wide from distance in their maiden major attack, before Howell made his first telling impact on proceedings in the 16th minute.
From out wide on the left Thorrold drilled in a low cross and after opening up his body to make room for the shot, Debenham’s lively number 11 expertly guided the ball into the bottom corner.
The remainder of the half became the ‘Hayhoe Show’ as the Diss custodian made a string of smart stops to keep the scoreline level.
First he denied Bradley Austin after he had been released by Heath’s slide-rule pass, before Craig Jennings was also thwarted.
Jennings then fired over when well placed as the half drew to a close, while in stoppage time Austin will feel he should have done better with a half-volley from 18 yards out.
Stephen Vincent flashed the ball across the face of goal at the start of the second half as Diss threatened to show a marked improvement. But normal service was soon resumed when Hayhoe was forced to show good reflexes to tip over Heath’s shot in the 51st minute.
However, even a ‘keeper in Hayhoe’s form could do very little to prevent Howell from scoring what turned out to be the winner seven minutes later.
Thorrold’s lofted cross-field pass from right to left for his team-mate was inch perfect, as was Howell’s first touch inside the box.
Nevertheless, the angle still appeared to be against the Debenham man, only for him to make a mockery of that viewpoint with a lashed left-footed half-volley that flew into the roof of a helpless Hayhoe’s net.
“What can I say? I was gobsmacked by that second goal. It was on his weak foot as well,” Moore said of Howell’s seventh goal of the season.
“To win a game with a strike like that, he deserves all the plaudits he gets.”
At this point the home faithful would have expected a reaction from their side in pursuit of a point, yet it never materialised, and in fact it was Debenham that looked the more likely team to add to their tally prior to the final whistle being sounded.
Diss: Hayhoe, Last, Beeston, Cornish, Flurrie, Pain, Vincent, Moore, Leitao, Rankin, Betson
Debenham: Welton, Hutchings, Crowe, Heath, Langfield, Naylor, Austin, Barker, Jennings, Thorrold, Howell
Express Man of the Match – Jake Hayhoe: Kept the score down for Diss
More by this authorLiam Apicella