Manager Rob Taylor hailed his players’ desire and determination as Diss pulled eight points clear of the Ridgeons League Premier Division drop zone with a vital victory over ten-man Wivenhoe.

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The Tangerines have now won their last three games to ease their relegation worries – and Taylor’s target of a mid-table finish is now a distinct possibility.

In a close game, strikers James Pipe and Stuart Jopling capitalised on defensive errors to give Diss a two-goal cushion at half-time. Markel Greenidge reduced the arrears in the second half, but the visitors then saw the lively Tola Odedoyin sent off for two bookable offences.

“We made it happen by closing them down and forcing them into making mistakes,” said Taylor. “The win has created some breathing space between us and the bottom three, and it would be nice now to finish halfway. It’s a tough league, but the boys are learning all the time and we are getting better every week.”

Diss enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, but what would have pleased Taylor most was when his side didn’t have the ball – they worked tirelessly, closing down space and dispossessing dithering Wivenhoe players.

The home side reaped the rewards for their work off the ball as they pressurised the Dragons into mistakes that cost them the game.

Goalkeeper Richie Robbins was unable to control defender Ryan Brown’s heavy back pass, and leading goalscorer Pipe took full advantage to claim his 12th goal of the season with a cool finish.

Two minutes before the break, captain Tom Cutts gave the ball away at the back and Joel Brien’s cross, flicked on by Jamie Speller, was met nicely by the unmarked Jopling at the back post.

Wivenhoe responded in the second half, and they pulled a goal back through Greenidge’s close range header in the 68th minute.

Midfield man Greenidge came close to snatching a point for the Dragons, but his looping header came back off the crossbar.

Nine minutes from time, winger Odedoyin received his second yellow card for an innocuous looking challenge on Jopling.

Wivenhoe, despite being down to ten men, piled forward in the final minutes in search of an equaliser but returned home to Essex empty-handed.

• Diss: Webster, J Cole, Garner, Taylor, Foley, Shadrack, Brien (Easlea, 71), Steward, Jopling, Pipe (King, 87), Speller. Subs not used: Watts-Sturrock, G Cole, Leggett.

Booked: Foley.

Goals: Pipe (13), Jopling (43).

• Wivenhoe: Robins, Spindler, Lampon, Brown (Dennis, 60), Cutts, Turner (Moore, 74), Amass, Greenidge, Catchpole (Licence, 60), Connell, Odedoyin.

Bookings: Odedoyin, Greenidge.

Sent off: Odedoyin.

• Referee: Alan Dale

• Attendance: 115

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