Diss Town 3 Halstead Town 1
SECOND QUALIFYING ROUND
Diss Town 3 Halstead Town 1
by Russell Claydon
at Brewers Green Lane
HALSTEAD Town manager Jimmy Holder believes their mindset against strugglers Cornard United on Saturday (3pm) must mirror playing higher-league opponents Diss Town to avoid a slip-up.
The Rosemary Lane outfit return to league action when they host Chris Symes’ side, who lost 2-1 at home to March Town United on Saturday, with Holder wary of complacency causing Saturday’s cup exit to become more than a blip.
“We have to go into it with exactly the same attitude – if we don’t play or think we are cleverer than them it doesn’t work – we do not want to take any chances at all,” he said.
“If we apply ourselves properly we should win the game but you never know, we’ve slipped over before.”
Holder’s side were made to rue a mix-up between goalkeeper Matt Walker and defender Nico Farthing gifting Diss’ Adam Burroughs the opener just eight minutes in, with the visitors unable to fully recover.
A Burroughs glancing header early in the second half doubled their advantage before Halstead got one back through Lee Hurkett’s penalty, but Jason Hunt’s drive alleviated any nerves in the home crowd.
Holder said: “The stuffing was knocked out of the whole team with the first goal and it was very difficult to get them going again.
“They play in a higher league but I would honestly say the biggest disappointment is losing to a team we should have beaten on our ability – I honestly don’t think they have as good players as we have, even though we are younger.”
Diss were one up inside 10 minutes when Burroughs nipped in to capitalise after Walker caught Farthing by surprise with a short free-kick across his penalty area
Jon Root just failed to stretch to a cross and Reis Farley-Hearn headed over in a rare sight of goal for the visitors, while at the other end Ryan Hardy and Jason Hunt, the latter firing a volley wide of the right-hand post after a eye-catching move, could have put Diss firmly in the driving seat by half-time.
Farley-Hearn was taken off ahead of the restart for fear of being sent off after a yellow for persistent fouling and Halstead had a mountain to club nine minutes into the half when Burroughs’ header from Bryant’s cross looped over Walker came moments after the striker had fizzed a volley past the post.
An improving Halstead were given hope of a comeback just after the hour-mark when Jordan Hutchings got beyond Brendan Foley chasing a long goal-kick, only to be held back, with Hurkett sending Matty Webster the wrong way from the spot.
But after a second penalty was waved away, conceding possession on the edge of their penalty area haunted them again when Sam Bryant won back the ball and found Hunt in acres of room on the right with the midfielder arrowing a fierce angled shot into the far corner from 20 yards.
Walker saved well at the feet of Burroughs, who should have done better, late on with Dan Skakal bursting forward at the other end only to fire over the angle of post and bar.
Halstead: Walker, Palmer (Drew 69), Raby, Hurkett, Cunliffe (c), Farthing, Hutchings, Sakal, Root, Farley-Hearn (Carter 46), Crush (Willis 72). Subs not used: Riches, Storie.
Free Press man of the match: Dan Sakal. Put in a box-to-box display and was tidy in possession.