Diss Town win Thurlow Nunn League First Division North derby at Framlingham Town by odd goal in five
Manager Jon Abbott was full of praise for the character that his Diss Town players showed during Tuesday evening’s 3-2 derby win at Framlingham Town.
Beaten comfortably 4-1 by Norwich CBS on Saturday and twice pegged back by their lowly neighbours, the Tangerines could quite conceivably have dropped more points on a bitterly cold evening in east Suffolk.
But they dug out the result – albeit with the aid of a soft 79th-minute penalty – to move back into the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North’s top six.
“Over the course of the game I think we deserved to win,” said Abbott. “We have let them back into it twice with a couple of sloppy goals but overall it shows the character of the lads, especially from the performance we put in on Saturday.
“We were comfortably beaten by CBS and they deserved it, so when you come here for a local derby – a game that means a lot to both teams – it is never going to be easy.
“I have been involved in games when, after the opposition has pegged you back to 2-2, they go on to win it because the momentum is with them, so fair play to our group, it is a good three points.”
When the visitors last got the better of the Castlemen back in December 2016, Matt Aldis was wearing a green and white-striped shirt.
Nowadays he is part of the Diss midfield and it took him just one minute and 26 seconds to haunt his former club with the opening goal.
Charlie Hitch’s deep cross from the right picked out the unmarked number four at the back post, and he managed to divert the ball in with his midriff.
Having taken an early advantage, Diss dominated for a period with Alex McIntosh down the left flank in particular causing Framlingham problems.
It was his shot in the 14th minute that drew a smart save from home goalkeeper Harry Lay-Fulcher as the pressure built.
However, slowly but surely Framlingham started to make some inroads and after Mason Ransome had shot off target, they restored parity on the half hour mark.
It appeared that the chance had gone when nobody was on hand to apply the finishing touch as the ball bounced dangerously across the face of the Diss goal, but Max Willett timed his run to perfection to lash his effort into the roof of the net.
Alex Ling shot into the side netting as Framlingham got their tails up, yet it was Diss who would take the lead with them into the break.
Captain Charlie Webb was the scorer, rising highest inside the box to power home Angus Mackie’s corner with a bullet header. It continued a good run of form in front of goal for Webb, who has found the net five times in his last four appearances.
At the start of the second half Framlingham’s Ling blazed wildly over, but by and large clear goalscoring opportunities were at a premium after the restart.
That is why there was an element of surprise when the hosts equalised in the 72nd minute, which appeared to take a final touch of Diss’ Hitch on its way into the net following a goalmouth scramble.
Abbott reacted to the second equaliser by bringing leading goalscorer Ryan Fuller off the bench – a move that in turn saw Webb switch to the left flank.
It proved to be a positive decision with Webb cutting inside and causing problems, particularly in the 75th minute when his curling effort drifted just wide. And somewhat predictably, Webb was also heavily involved in the match-winning moment 11 minutes from time.
Mackie’s free-kick from deep was over-hit and flew out of play, but under pressure from Oli Smith, Webb hit the deck. The referee decided enough contact had been made to point to the spot and Fuller duly stepped up to convert, despite Lay-Fulcher guessing correctly.
With no game this weekend, Diss return to action on Tuesday at home against league leaders Mulbarton Wanderers in the First Division Knockout Cup (7.45pm).
Abbott said: “I would be surprised if they do not finish in the top four this season, but it is a cup game and we want to do well in the cup this season.
“We want to build something here. This club has not got beyond the first round of cups for the last three seasons, but we have now done that in the Senior Cup and the League Cup, so let’s have a run in this as well. Winning breeds momentum and momentum leads to more consistency.”
Framlingham: Lay-Fulcher, Smith (McCausland 85), Horn, Bell, Johnson, Mayhew (Mallett 68), Ling, Coe, Ransome (Wren 46), Lawrence, Willett
Diss: Macrae, Hitch, Matthews (Fuller 74), Aldis, Shade, Taylor, Lane (Whitby 60), Mackie, Webb (McDowall 90+2), Cook, McIntosh
Express Man of the Match – Alex McIntosh: Lively down the left wing throughout and was then solid when switched to full-back
* Third-from-bottom Framlingham will host Leiston Reserves (14th) on Saturday (3pm).
More by this authorLiam Apicella