Walsham knock out Diss
Diss Town’s FA Vase campaign came to an abrupt first round qualifying end at Walsham-Le-Willows on Friday night, with the hosts running out 3-0 winners, writes David Archibald.
Right from the start Walsham showed why they have soared to third place in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, probing the Diss defence with some sharp passing and slick movement.
And it did not take long for Walsham to take the lead when a clever move in the 13th minute down the Diss left saw striker George Bugg with space to shoot and he made no mistake with a shot that got the better of visiting goalkeeper Jake Hayhoe.
There was a hint of a foul in the build-up to the goal, but there was already an air of inevitability about Walsham breaking the deadlock.
Diss to their credit never lacked for effort and their pressing game resulted in Walsham gifting Diss a gilt-edged chance.
A slack pass across the back line went straight to Will Goulding, but he hesitated over his shot and when he did eventually pull the trigger, Walsham goalkeeper Steve Fenner made a routine save.
No changes were made at half-time by either manager, and within a minute of the restart the score could easily have been 2-1 to Walsham.
First of all Diss broke down their left and Harry Moore’s shot was acrobatically saved by Fenner, before Walsham charged forward and brought a similar save from Jake Hayhoe.
However, as the half progressed Walsham’s superiority continued to be on display.
The woodwork came to Town’s rescue in the 55th minute and 10 minutes later a simple Ryan Clark far-post header from a corner saw Walsham take a two-goal lead.
Diss boss Jason Cook changed his front-line with 20 minutes remaining, bringing on Ashley Rankin for his debut and Stacey Payne for Will Goulding and Steve Holder.
Rankin had a tidy outing and Payne as ever was a livewire, but they did not have enough time to alter the flow of the game, and in the 85th minute a loose ball in midfield presented Clark with a chance to bag his second of the evening and make the final score 3-0.
For Diss, they will now turn their attention back to First Division North matters tomorrow when travelling to newly-promoted Lakenheath (3pm).
Ben Cowling’s men have made a solid start to their first ever campaign at Step 6, winning two of their opening four matches.
That is followed on Tuesday by an encounter with neighbouring Debenham LC at Brewers Green Lane (7.45pm).
As for Walsham, who will host Deeping Rangers in the next round of the Vase, they will look to continue their impressive start to the season when FC Clacton visit their Summer Road base tomorrow (3pm).
Prior to losing to Wroxham on August 25, Walsham had won all three of their league matches.
Seaside-based Clacton, meanwhile, currently occupy 11th place having collected six points from a possible 12 so far this term.