NON-LEAGUE NOTEBOOK : Diss take difficult route

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The Independent Online
If Diss Town, the holders of the FA Vase, are in Monday's draw for the quarter-finals, they will have reached the last eight the hard way.

It took the Norfolk team three fourth-round games to overcome Ossett Albion, and now Diss must travel to Arlesey, an in-form side from the Minerva South Midlands League, for a fifth-round tie tomorrow after playing two tough replays this week.

After a 1-1 draw in West Yorkshire on 14 January, bad weather meant that Diss had to wait until Monday before staging the first replay at their Brewers Green Lane ground. The Jewson Eastern League outfit were moments away from victory when Ossett's Hanson Jerome snatched an injury-time equaliser and, following an unproductive period of extra time, Albion won the toss to stage the second replay at their Dimple Wells home on Wednesday.

Diss survived an early Ossett onslaught and came away with a 3-0 win to earn tomorrow's trip to Bedfordshire. John McNarry headed the opener just before half-time, and two goals in the last half hour from the 35-year-old former Peterborough United striker, Jackie Gallagher, sealed a fine victory.

Another experienced performer, Peter Mendham, had to miss the trip to Yorkshire due to work commitments, but he should be available tomorrow. Mendham, who played for Norwich in their 1985 League Cup triumph against Sunderland, returned to Wembley last year with Diss to score their extra-time winner against Taunton in the Vase final.

Taunton are also playing in tomorrow's fifth round - they have a home tie against Oxford City, who are managed by the former Oxford United midfielder, Andy Thomas. Stamco, the Sussex side who beat the early-season favourites for the Vase, Tiverton, in the last round, have a tricky trip to Essex to face Canvey Island.

Marlow, who reached the third round of the FA Cup, fell at the first-round stage of the FA Umbro Trophy when four goals from their player-manager, Terry Robbins, helped Welling to a 5-1 away win in Monday's replay.

n Merthyr Tydfil, who are in the GM Vauxhall Conference relegation zone, have sacked Colin Addison, who became their manager only last summer. His replacement is Lyn Jones, the manager of Inter Cardiff, their tenants at Penydarren Park. He returns for a second spell in charge at Merthyr, having led them when they played Atalanta in the European Cup-Winners' Cup in 1987.