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Jon Abbott putting focus on Thurlow Nunn League First Division North for Diss Town ahead of first home double-header in charge



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Jon Abbott insists the league is the priority for Diss Town ahead of his first home double-header in charge of the Tangerines, writes Alex Moss.

MATCH WINNER: Virgilio Leitao netted the winner for Diss in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Ipswich Wanderers in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North
MATCH WINNER: Virgilio Leitao netted the winner for Diss in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Ipswich Wanderers in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North

The f0rmer Scole United boss enjoyed a winning start to life in the hot seat at Brewers Green Lane, as an early goal from Virgilio Leitao helped Diss to a 1-0 win at Ipswich Wanderers last weekend.

And ahead of hosting Haverhill Borough in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North tomorrow (3pm), and then higher league Dereham Town in the Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday (7.45pm), Abbott is focusing more on Saturday’s clash with Borough.

“I’m really looking forward to both of the games,” the Diss boss said.

“Saturday for us is the priority, with the position we’re in at the moment.

“We want to move up the table as quickly as we can and Haverhill are in a similar position to us, having brought in a new manager recently as well.

“Saturday is the big game for us, but I’m also looking forward to Tuesday as well.

“It’s a quarter-final of a cup and it’s a free hit for us with Dereham being two leagues above us.

“The pressure is off us in that one, but it’s a chance to get through to a semi-final as well.”

After losing goalkeeper Jake Hayhoe to Mildenhall Town, Abbott filled the goalkeeper void with the signing of Kingsley Barnes from Great Yarmouth Town.

Saturday’s game with Wanderers was decided by a goal after just six minutes. Hayden Pain cleared the ball from inside his own half, which bounced well for Ryan Beeston to move and collect inside the home penalty area on the left.

Beeston’s shot from an acute angle was parried by Wanderers goalkeeper Tom Curtis and bounced towards the far post, where Leitao rushed in to head home from two yards out.

“It was a good win,” Abbott said. “Whenever you join a new club as a manager you are keen to get a win early on and get off to a good start.

“It was a really good performance and to be fair to the group of boys, I came in last week and they’ve all been brilliant.

“It’s a good place at the moment after winning our last two games. Everyone is happy and enjoying it.”

Abbott was sad to see Hayhoe depart Brewers Green Lane with the goalkeeper having been one of the stand out performers for the Tangerines so far this season.

But in former Thetford Town shot-stopper Barnes, the Diss chief believes he has brought in the best possible replacement in-between the sticks.

“It was unfortunate to lose Jake, who has went to Mildenhall where Ricky Cornish is,” Abbott said. “Obviously they were both at Diss together this season.

“It’s hard to then go and out and find someone of that quality to replace him, but when Yarmouth decided to bring in a new goalkeeper, it meant Kingsley became available.

“I don’t think I could have got a better replacement. Kingsley is an excellent goalkeeper.”

Last weekend’s win helped Diss move up one place from 16th to 15th in the table and open up a five-point gap on the bottom two.

A win tomorrow would see them move level on points with Borough, who are one place above them in 14th.



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