No fairytale start for Parson Drove
Parson Drove 1, Diss Town 4
Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League Division One North
In the end there was no fairytale start for Drove as they lost their very first game at this level.
But there were positives to take from the match for management duo Gary Haime and Robbie Harris as they saw their team on the front foot for several periods of the game.
Badly placed passes, defensive naivety and a moment of madness which saw them reduced to 10 men in the second half were all things they now have a week to work on before visiting Leiston Reserves next Saturday.
After a steady opening, Drove looked to be the more likely to score, but conceded out of the blue after 19 minutes. Diss broke from a home free kick and found the home defence out of position as the excellent Ryan Gibbs squared for Spencer Cawcutt to pick his spot.
Four minutes later and it was 2-0, the referee giving a soft free kick 20 yards out and Gibbs finding it to easy to pick his spot past a badly placed defensive wall.
For a few minutes, the home side looked shell-shocked, but they soon recovered and finished the half on top, shouts for a penalty after an accidental handball in the area waved away before the chance they'd been waiting for in the 42nd minute.
A ball over the top left the visiting defence in no man's land and gave striker Ryan Lennon a free run through on goal, but just as he took his shot there was a bobble on the turf, allowing Diss keeper Adam Rix to make a good save.
Winger CJ Lewis didn't start as he wasn't 100 per cent fit, but replaced striker Smith for the second half. However, Diss won a corner almost straight from kick off and Stephen Vennell was allowed too much room to rise and head in for 3-0.
Drove regrouped and scored their goal in the 53rd minute when Lennon rose well to head home a cross from the left. And although they then dominated possession and showed some neat inter-plays, they just couldn't create the chances they needed.
And, with 20 minutes remaining, their hopes of a victory became even more scarce when substitute Jock Mockford, who'd only been on the pitch 15 minutes, launched into a horrible, late challenge that saw him deservedly red carded.
The home team kept up their charge, however, and saw youngster Josh Gear go close with a far post header before conceding a fourth six minutes from time when sub Ivan Otono won a 50/50 which keeeper Aaron Watson will be disappointed with and slotted home.
PARSON DROVE: Watson, Anderson, Gear, Brown, Callaghan, Jackson, Haime (Watson 75), Drew (Mockford 55 mins), Lennon, Smith (CJ Lewis 45), Josh Lewis. Subs (not used): Cogman-Wright, Harris.