Tangerines keep up their impressive form

TARGETMAN: Stuart Jopling holds off his marker.
TARGETMAN: Stuart Jopling holds off his marker.

RIDGEONS LEAGUE

PREMIER DIVISION

Diss Town 1 Brantham Athletic 0

DISS Town’s impressive league form continued with a hard-fought win over high-flying Brantham Athletic on Saturday.

James Pipe’s second-half strike against the third-placed Imps, his 13th of the season, gave the Tangerines their seventh win in eight matches.

Both sides started the game looking to play the ball on the ground, and the away side called goalkeeper Matty Webster into action in the opening minutes.

David Grimwood found captain Adam Bloss in space in the box, but his effort was well held.

The half passed with few clear-cut chances created, the best falling to Brantham defender Thomas Wray just before the break.

Daniel Pryke’s inswinging free-kick caused the home defence problems, with Wray heading on to the roof of the net from eight yards out.

The Imps began the second half on the front foot, and almost broke the deadlock when Wray ventured forward and evaded two challenges, but his effort flew high and wide from distance.

But the Tangerines took the lead 10 minutes after the restart.

Fantastic link-up play between Stuart Jopling and Pipe saw the former play the latter in on goal. Pipe shot from the edge of the box, and despite Brantham goalkeeper Ryan Bedingfield getting two hands to the ball, it fell into the net to put the home side ahead.

Diss almost doubled their lead midway through the half when Jopling’s knockdown found Pipe in the area, but his shot was well blocked.

However, Brantham were taking the game to the home side, and rattled the woodwork when Pryke’s corner was met by Alex Drennan, who headed against the bar.

And Drennan was again denied by the woodwork five minutes later after a goalmouth scramble. Brantham’s top scorer Ollie Mann’s strike was well saved by Webster, the rebound fired in by Bloss which deflected to Drennan, but again his header was denied by the bar.

The Imps appealed strongly for a penalty for claims for handball in the build up, which were waved away by the referee.

Mann was close to grabbing his 27th of the season when he latched on to a long ball over the top, but his volley flew well over Webster’s goal.

Diss stood firm despite the Brantham pressure and were dealt a scare when substitute Josh Mayhew found space on the edge of the Tangerines’ box in injury time, but his shot was tame and the home side held on for the victory.

Diss Town: Webster, J Cole (G Cole 90+3), Garner, Taylor, Foley, Shadrack, Brien, Steward, Jopling (Easlea 84), Pipe (King 72), Speller. Subs not used: Watts-Sturrock, Leggett

Express man of the match: Jason Cole.