Ridgeons League Division One round-up

Yarmouth's fantastic win at Diss last Saturday was another game that put one in mind of the famous FA Cup Tilbury recovery of '99.


Yarmouth's fantastic win at Diss last Saturday was another game that put one in mind of the famous FA Cup Tilbury recovery of '99. This time, Yarmouth were 3-1 down with about 20 minutes to go, and not playing at all badly but just made a couple of errors.

Then Stewart Roach showed the devastating form for which he is justly famous and, having scored the first half equalising goal, went on to grab a second-half hat-trick.

The game was not all about Stewart as he would have been grateful for the supply lines from Scott Woodcock, Jake Reed and José Vide. Adam Sewell was also outstanding once again. Gareth Palmer was “a revelation”, according to joint boss Paul Tong, goalkeeper Michael Hilton made some exceptional second-half saves, and new signing Chris Squires showed some “magical touches” (Paul again). Incidentally, Paul asked me to include his thanks to Norwich United for their co-operation with this signing.

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But Paul was unstinting in his praise for Stewart's quality: “I'll say it until I die, he is the best striker I've ever been involved with.”

However, there is some concern over the goals being conceded, 11 in the last five games though this includes the five scored by Wroxham in the FA Cup. But the goals are still going in regularly at the other end, something of which the Yarmouth supporters have been deprived for far too long.

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While naturally delighted that the team did so well at his old ground where he was manager for most of last season, Paul agrees with Kevin Cruickshank that they must “keep the players feet on the ground”.

“We want them to play with a smile on their faces so we'll not be putting on any pressure for results; we want them to play without fear, to express themselves. Don't get me wrong - we can be hard taskmasters: we know what they're capable of and we've just got to be a little more consistent.”

The new away strip took a bow on Saturday and with its attractive sky blue and white striped shirts the Barmy Army's chants of “Argentina” were spot on!

The other team to win was of course Eden Rudling's Reserves, who were 2-1 victors over Norwich United Reserves at the Wellesley. From reports it was a mixture of great and less-great play. Yarmouth took a 2-0 lead through Charlie McAra and Darren Patterson by early in the second half but inattention cost a goal later on.

Eden told me that some of the play was such that assistant manager Trevor Harrison on the side lines likened it to an episode of the Chuckle Brothers, but thankfully the experienced head of Johnny Watt came to the rescue.

Apparently, Eden and Trevor have set the boys the task of making the Wellesley an impenetrable fortress this season: well, this win has set them off on the right foot.

Next week: Tuesday is reserved for any replay of the St Neots FA Vase tie. Midweek will now see no youth game. Saturday: first team at Debenham LC, Reserves home to West Lynn SSC (2.30pm), or a replay of the NJC game played today.


Fakenham Town first teamers have a break until September 27, when they entertain struggling Saffron Walden, to discover a Ridgeons League winning formula.

A 9-0 hammering at Division One promotion hopefuls Halstead on Saturday was followed by a 4-0 reverse at Gorleston on Tuesday, where a few weeks earlier the Ghosts won 5-3 in the FA Cup.

Joint managers Mark King and Stuart Woodhouse have no complaints about the effort their squad is putting in, or their spirit, and the break from action will give a precious period to train hard and talk tactics.

“We must not be too downhearted,” said Woodhouse. “Player for player we feel we have got a good side. We cannot seem to gel. We have played quite well at times but we just cannot put the ball in the net at crucial times. We cannot fault the players for their effort and there is plenty of spirit.”

At Halstead, the Ghosts trailed only 2-0 at half-time but fell victim to their hosts' blistering counter-attacking pace in the second half.

At Emerald Park on Tuesday, with the interval score 3-0 to the Greens, supporters feared another second-half blitz, but Fakenham, as in the first half, had a fair share of possession and worked hard.

Woodhouse said he was not disappointed with the performance at Gorleston. At 0-0 Danny Tanti, from a Liam Campbell free-kick, forced a blinding save from the Greens' keeper.

Goreston went ahead on 18 minutes when Ricci Butler netted from close range and made it 2-0 on 34 minutes when Luke Goreham finished well after a good move. On 43 minutes Eddie Thompson made it 3-0.

The defeat left the Ghosts second bottom of Division One with one point from five games. But they will fancy their chances against Saffron Walden, only one place better off.


It was not such a good weekend for Diss. The previous week both teams scored five times with only two goals conceded. This time there were seven goals scored, but with both teams having four scored against them manager Rob Taylor felt that defensive situation training was required in midweek.

The first team led 3-1 against Great Yarmouth Town at Brewers Green Lane midway through the second half but were eventually beaten by Stewart Roach's fourth goal of the game in the last minute. Osiris Gomes put Diss into an eighth minute lead with a fine shot but Scott Woodcock capitalised on a poor pass to cross for Roach to equalise in the 23rd minute. Ten minutes before half time Ed Cussons played the ball through for Andy Moody to blast past ex-Diss goalkeeper Michael Hilton to make it 2-1. Ben Deacon made it 3-1 with a well-timed chip to a 63rd minute Moody pass. However, Paul Tong's men pulled a goal back five minutes later when Woodcock again collected a poor Diss pass and crossed for Roach to score. Roach equalised with his hat-trick goal in the 72nd minute after the ball was again given away. Mark Camidge made a good block after the ball was given away but Roach was on hand to take advantage and score the last minute winner.

We thank Matthew Upson Promotions for sponsorship of the Yarmouth match.

The midweek action depends upon the result of this afternoon's FA Carlsberg Vase ties. Any replays take priority over the scheduled home league match with Stowmarket on Tuesday (kick off 7.45pm). So check on the results of the Debenham Leisure Centre v Stowmarket and Lincoln Moorland Railway v Diss ties to see if there is a game. If there is a replay against Lincoln Moorland Railway it will be on Tuesday (kick off 7.45pm).

Diss Reserves travelled to Brantham Athletic Reserves in The Chell Trophy 1st Round 1st leg and shared eight goals. Adam Thompson scored the first of his three goals to put the hosts ahead in the eighth minute. Sean Cook played a fine ball through for Karl Ansley to run through and equalise four minutes later. Brantham scored ninety seconds into the second half through Scott Cooke and only 40 seconds later Thompson made it 3-1. Jake McDowell was brought down for a 51st minute penalty confidently sent into the corner of the net by Joe Rumsey. Six minutes later a long kick by Ashley Smith was not cut out and James Harrison took advantage to round the goalkeeper and make it 3-3. Thompson raced through the middle to put Brantham back into the lead in the 69th minute. Harrison won the ball in the 77th minute and crossed for Craigh Beckham to have a shot blocked and the ball fell for Matty Garnham to equalise.

Diss Reserves will be at home to Whitton Reserves next Saturday (kick off 3pm) in the Ridgeons Reserve League North.

Diss Under-18s have been knocked out of two cup competitions. Last Thursday they lost 3-1 at home to Stowmarket Under-18s in The FA Youth Cup Sponsored by E.On Preliminary Round. On Tuesday Diss lost 2-0 away at Norwich United Under-18s in the Ridgeons Youth League Cup Preliminary Round.

Diss Under-18s will be at home to Framlingham Under-18s on Thursday (kick off 7.45pm) in the Ridgeons Youth League Central Division.

Diss Under-9s played their first ever competitive home match last Sunday. They drew 2-2 with Dereham Magpies. Diss Under-9s are away at Morley (kick off 2.30pm) this Sunday.

The next Diss Town F C prize bingo will be on Monday, October 20 and the next Barry H evening is on Saturday, October 11 (from 8pm with hot food available for purchase). Entry is free to club members with a charge of £2 levied to all others. The Diss Town Football Club house is available for hire for various parties - birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, engagements, school reunions, etc. Contact the club on 01379 651223 for details.


Having no first team match this week it gave injured players more time to get fit, some players time to get back from suspension and a another chance to watch our young developing Reserves. Against Gorleston, Thetford had 16-year-old keeper Luke Wheeler, 17-year-old's Christian Money, Chris Collins-Reed and Dan Cusack, four 18-year-olds in Johnny Large, Greg Mann, Alex Kiovio, and Craig Atterton and 20-year-old Matthew Blake well marshalled by the experienced Henry Armes (24) and Paul Mleczek (29), giving the reserves an average age of just 19.

After they went 2-0 down by two mistakes of their own making they fought back against a very experienced Gorleston side to level the scores through two goal Matt Blake only to be beaten by a late winner despite the result their performance was pleasing and all bodes well for the future with the youngsters gaining valuable experience with every match.

Last Thursday our Under 18's lost for the first time by the same score to Harford Tornados and they had 15-year-olds Sam Borrer, Ben Briggs, Nathan Prigg and Jack Hamilton playing. Next season they only lose four players who will be too old so again the future looks promising.

Even the first team consists of 18-year-old's keeper Ros Bilham, Aaron Piggot, and Matt Howard and everyone else 25 and under bar Dave Richards, Steve Crawshaw and Kwame Jones giving the first team an average age of 22 and the club an exciting future.

Results have been reasonable with some good results and some disappointing results, highlights include the opening 2-2 draw with Saffron Walden never an easy place to go and get a result, a 7-1 victory over Swaffham, an excellent performance against Needham Market in the FA Cup in front of a gate of 350, an important win at Downham Market with no fewer than 12 players unavailable, and a great comeback against Great Yarmouth. Thetford wanted to make Mundford Road a fortress again and as yet we have not lost at home in the league … The lows came at Hadleigh and Newmarket when our keeper Dan Corston failed to turn up and Greg Devlin got sent off.

So in all not a bad start to the season with only four of last seasons squad left in Dave Richards, Kwame Jones, Simon Mann and Craig Skipp the new players are settling in well and spirits are very high at present with training being well attended and match day attendances beginning to rise.

Thetford have added a new player to the ranks midfielder Matt Howard from Needham Market who was recommended to Manager Mick Money by Needham Market manager Danny Laws. Matt is a neat footballer who tackles very well, is good in the air and likes to get forward and score his fair share of goals. We would like to welcome Matt to the club and wish him an enjoyable season.

Unfortunately the club have lost talented young players in Greg Mann and Aaron Piggot who have gone to University the club wishes them all the best for the future and will be retaining their registrations so they can play when back in the area.

Today the first team travelled to Mildenhall for a local derby FA Vase match and the Reserves embarked on their chance to play at Carrow Road this season in the Norfolk Junior Cup with a home tie against Corpusty.

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