Priestly at the double as Tangerines salvage draw
THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Diss Town 2
March Town United 2
A goal salvaged an unlikely draw for Diss Town from Saturday’s home encounter with March Town United, writes David Archibald.
Missing a quartet of senior players for a variety of reasons, the hosting Tangerines struggled for much of the game.
However, Luke Priestly’s late intervention — having already scored a fortunate goal earlier in the match — ensured they bounced back from the mid-week defeat to Swaffham Town.
The visitors took the game to Diss straight from the kick-off, with home goalkeeper Lewis Riches forced to pull off a reflex save from close range in the fifth minute to keep Town level.
Diss were unable to secure any possession and March looked dangerous every time they got near the home goal.
March’s Casey Logan saw his shot rebound off the post in the 12th minute and Riches had to pull off an outstanding save in the 20th minute as a corner kick was headed goalwards.
Despite their pressure and dominance of possession it took the visitors until the 38th minute to open the scoring.
A scramble in the Diss box saw the ball break to the ever-dangerous Logan, whose shot crept over the line despite Riches’ despairing dive.
The lead was no more than March deserved , but they immediately contrived to gift Diss an equaliser.
A back-pass to David Beeny in the March goal was chased down by Diss striker Priestly.
Beeny’s hurried clearance was straight at the onrushing frontman and the ball deflected off his back and into the visitors’ net.
It was a freak goal and was frankly the only way Diss looked like scoring.
Diss replaced striker Sam Buckmaster at half-time with Warren Smith but the change failed to spark any life into the home side.
Chances were fewer in the second half, but the pattern of the game remained unchanged as Riches kept his team in the game.
March regained the lead in the 62nd minute when a pass across the face of goal from Warren Smith was intercepted and the away side pounced.
Only further heroics from Riches kept the score respectable and the game looked like ending in an away win until the 90th minute when the referee awarded Diss a penalty for handball.
Priestly stepped up to take the spot kick — his shot was saved by Beeny in the March goal, but the Diss striker was first to react and he scooped the rebound into the net.
Fifteenth-placed Diss now have back-to-back games, starting at Braintree Town Reserves tomorrow (3pm), followed by a trip to Framlingham Town on Tuesday (7.45pm).