Tangerines start with a win and defeat
Diss Town got the new Thurlow Nunn League First Division North season under way with a 3-2 home victory over Leiston Reserves on Saturday.
After an unbeaten pre-season this was the first real test for Jason Cooke’s new-look team, and one they ultimately passed in style.
However, the early exchanges did not go to plan as Diss started in hesitant style and the visitors took an early lead.
The Tangerines conceded a cheap free-kick mid-way in their own half, the resultant cross was sent wide but Ryan Beeston at left-back was unable to stop the ball being fired back into the Diss area to give a 10th-minute tap-in to Matt Rutterford.
In previous seasons Diss would have folded after such an early set-back against a team playing some good football, but on this evidence this year’s side are made of sterner stuff.
Diss kept to their game plan, played the ball on the ground, and always looked like levelling the scores.
Virgillio Leitao and Steve Holder both had decent attempts on goal before the latter got the Tangerines back on level terms.
Beeston took a free-kick on the Diss right that caused panic in the Lesiton defence, and after a melee in the six-yard box, Holder lashed the ball home in the 28th minute to ensure the scoreline was locked at one goal apiece at half-time.
The second half was barely a minute old when Paul Betson had a golden chance to put Diss in the lead.
A cross from the Diss right eluded everyone and left the winger unmarked on the blind side.
It seemed easier for Betson to score at the near post but his attempt went back across goal and agonisingly wide.
At the other end the home fans held their breath as a deep cross was headed inches wide of the post.
Nevertheless, it was Diss that were in control and looked more likely to score.
Franco Mallardo and Steven Vincent were dominating midfield, playing crafty balls that time and again turned the visitors defence, and Leiston simply could not cope with the energy of Holder.
A goal was coming and in the 70th minute Charlie Lambe duly delivered it.
A low cross fired across the face of the Leiston goal was turned in by the attacker to put the hosts in front for the first time.
Now with their noses in front, Diss did not sit back but kept taking the game to the visitors with further chances for Leitao, Holder, and Mallardo.
And with five minutes remaining Holder secured the points for the Tangerines.
A corner on the left was swung into the near post, with the experienced frontman darting from back to front to glance a header beyond the reach of Charlie Bickwith in the Leiston goal.
A well-struck free-kick from the away side’s Will Oxbrow in the 90th minute reduced the arrears, but Diss held out during stoppage time to secure all three points.
However, Diss were unable to build on that win on Tuesday evening, going down 1-0 at Mulbarton Wanderers to a last-minute penalty.
Diss goalkeeper Jake Hayhoe conceded the penalty for a foul on Eliot Altay and the Mulbarton man duly dusted himself down to fire in from 12 yards out and seal the win for the newly-promoted hosts.
* Diss will be back on home soil tomorrow when King’s Lynn Town Reserves will be the visitors to Brewers Green Lane (3pm).
* Diss Town Under-10s are looking for new players ahead of the 2018/19 season.
Training, which starts on August 22, takes place between 6pm-7.30pm at Bressingham Playing Fields every Wednesday.
Children must be entering school year five in September to be able to play for the team, with their first training session free of charge. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org