Thurlow Nunn league preview: Cup progress is not a distraction for relegation-threatened Diss Town

Diss boss Mark Reeve. Picture: SIMON FINLAY

Diss boss Mark Reeve. Picture: SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Boss Mark Reeve believes Diss Town's Norfolk Senior Cup exploits can only help enhance their hopes of avoiding relegation.

The Thurlow Nunn Premier Division strugglers beat a much-changed higher-level King's Lynn Town team 4-1 on Tuesday to book their place in the last four. But the Brewers Green Lane outfit's attentions quickly return to trying to secure their survival this afternoon when they visit third-placed Newmarket Town.

It's going to be another tough ask for Reeve's charges but he insists a run of four matches without defeat in all competitions proves things are looking up at the home of the 1994 FA Vase winners.

The Tangerines' chief said: 'It helps with momentum. The three games we went unbeaten before so we needed a win. So it was good to get it.

'Whether that was a league or cup game was irrelevant. And the cup does give us something different. The only thing we've got in the cup is a lot of cup-tied players. So players are going to have something to play for and it's going to keep players around the club a little big longer as we're a one-off game away from Carrow Road.

'I think we are moving in the right direction. The problem we've got is the points gap is quite big and it's going to be difficult to close it. But if we can keep picking up points, not getting beaten, picking up wins, that gap will close quite quickly.

'If it closes then you never know. We can maybe just get ourselves out of trouble. We're certainly not dead and buried but it is going to be difficult.'

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Diss are 10 points from safety having played more matches than all of the sides around them. So their plight looks even more precarious with Reeve admitting he's just dealing with the situation on a game-to-game basis.

'The focus is purely on staying up and getting the points on the board,' added the former Downham Town boss, whose men secured their morale-boosting progression in midweek thanks to the excellent Jacob Brown's brace, a clever finish from Matt Dixon and Chris Ward's unfortunate own goal in the closing stages.

'I've not set the players or myself a points target. But if you go back over the years sort of 31 is where you need to be to stay in the division. It's more just a question of finishing above teams and not being in the problem positions.

'I think the bottom two will definitely go down. Third from bottom could be a chance (of getting a reprieve) but we really need to finish fourth from bottom. Can we do it? I don't know. It's going to be a tough job but we're going to give it 100pc.'

Elsewhere, Fakenham Town will try to play their first game of 2015 when they host managerless Kirkley & Pakefield, Gorleston entertain Ipswich Wanderers and Thetford Town welcome Mildenhall.

In the First Division promotion-chasing Swaffham Town host King's Lynn Town Reserves. Dereham Town's second string are at home to their Team Bury counterparts, Downham Town entertain AFC Sudbury Reserves and Great Yarmouth Town make the trip to March Town United.

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