Boss Derbyshire carries the can for Diss Town’s poor early form ahead of their FA Cup test

The Tangerines of Diss Town have started the season poorly. Picture: John Hutton.

The Tangerines of Diss Town have started the season poorly. Picture: John Hutton. - Credit: Archant

Diss Town will be looking to end their winless start to the season this afternoon when they welcome in-form Holbeach United in the FA Cup extra preliminary round.

The Tangerines have lost both of their Thurlow Nunn Premier Division games while United have a 100pc record from three United Counties League (UCL) Premier Division outings.

And disappointed boss Mike Derbyshire hopes the magic of the cup can lift his players for what looks to be a daunting task at Brewers Green Lane.

The Diss chief, in a blog on his club's website, said: 'Where to begin? With an apology I think. Because in my opinion, when things aren't going right on the pitch at a football club, the blame lies squarely with the manager.

'I assembled this current squad. I have picked the starting XIs for the opening games and I have directed that we play in a specific style or adhere to particular tactics. So if we find ourselves on the wrong end of two fairly heavy defeats, it is rightly me that has to carry the can.

'So far, I have only really seen one half of football in which we could justifiably claim to have been competitive. But 45 reasonable minutes out of 180 is very unlikely to get you any points. We can – and we must – do better.

'We take a break from the league this weekend and welcome Holbeach United in the FA Cup. Everyone in football knows the 'romance' of the FA Cup and the pride associated with playing in even the earliest rounds of the oldest football competition in the world. So I expect to see, at the very least, some real drive and conviction in our play and a drive to work hard for 90-plus minutes and to try and get a positive result against a team that will will no doubt prove extremely tough opposition.'

Most Read

The winners of the tie, which will go to a replay if scores are level after 90 minutes, will progress to the preliminary round as well as pocketing £1,500 prize money.

Diss are not the only Thurlow Nunn top-flight team looking to keep their FA Cup dream alive.

Gorleston visit Mildenhall Town, Kirkley & Pakefield entertain Ely City, Norwich United host Deeping Rangers while Premier Division new-boys Fakenham Town make the trip to Newmarket Town.

First Division Great Yarmouth Town welcome higher-level Huntingdon Town while the latter's UCL Prem rivals Wisbech Town – who were only two games away from the home of football after reaching the FA Vase quarter-finals last term– visit Sleaford Town.

Yarmouth secretary Len Beresford said: 'There is of course prize money to be won at the end of each round but the losers get nothing.

'We are looking forward to a healthy run in the FA Cup and FA Vase this season to help bolster funds and publicity and hopefully draw a few more people to The Wellesley on matchdays.

'You never know, game number nine in the FA Cup could be Great Yarmouth Town v Manchester City – well we can all dream.'

In league action, First Division Downham Town will look to bounce back from two defeats in a row when they travel to Debenham LC.

King's Lynn Town Reserves, one of the sides to beat Downham this term, host Long Melford while Dereham Town Reserves search for their first points of the season away at Stowmarket Town.