Monday 2nd January 2017 ko 15.00
Eastern Counties League – Division One
DISS TOWN 2 (Blakely 34 Webb 74)
DEBENHAM LEISURE CENTRE 1 (Dixon 68)
It was regular travel companion Chris Garner that suggested this one. I was scanning the fixtures without success when he pointed out that since the last Eastern Counties League club we’d visited was the Ghosts of Fakenham Town, the next really ought to be Diss Town. He was of course entirely correct, even if you do need to be aware of the music of the The Specials to understand his joke!
The market town in Norfolk takes its unusual name from the Anglo-Saxon word “Dic”, or “Dyce” meaning ditch but it’s most famous claim to fame is, would you believe, a poisoned egg! The story goes that the fair maiden, Matilda of Diss caught the eye of King John, but his approaches were rejected by both her and her father Robert Fitzwarren. Enraged by the rejection King John sent an emissary with a poisoned egg which Matilda ate, and died. Now it has to be said, that the story isn’t unique to Diss, and Matilda the fair in other stories does become Maid Marian of Robin Hood fame, but why let the facts get in the way of a good tale?
In more recent years former England, Birmingham City, and West Ham United defender Matthew Upson hails from Diss, and it was lovely to see that he’s sponsored a game at Brewers Green Lane this season. The ground immediately reminded me of Needham Market‘s Bloomfields, and for a club at Step 6 it’s notably well-appointed.
Whatever our slightly lop-sided reasoning for being there, we found a vibrant Diss club and team, but on the pitch Diss found it difficult to make that vibrancy count in terms of goals. They were, in terms of possession and chances miles ahead of Debenham but while they only led by Alex Blakeley’s strike, you wondered whether they’d be made to play for their profligacy.
Of course, that’s what the script demanded, and Debenham did find a way back, but it only took Diss 6 minutes to respond to Matt Dixon’s equaliser. Charlie Webb’s winner was entirely deserved but I did wonder on a different day and a different team whether Diss would have paid a higher price than just a little shock.
As it was it was a highly enjoyable to add to our semi-regular trips east. The only question now is which song will point us in which direction?