On Saturday we welcome Rochester United to St Paul’s for the first ever competitive fixture at the new ground, and the first chance for Gary Abbott’s Fish to lay down a marker for the Southern Counties East Premier League season.
Matt Hume’s Rochester side come into the game off the back of a disappointing opening week for The Reds. Having been held to a goalless draw away to Newhaven in the FA Cup on Saturday, they were turned over 1-4 at home after extra time on Wednesday night in the replay. Rochester had taken the lead after 11 minutes through midfielder Vince Collis, but were pegged back on 78 by the Southern Combination Premier side, with the game tied at 1-1 on 90 minutes. Newhaven took the lead from the spot on 95, before notching up two goals in the closing stages to complete their recovery. Rochester are sure to be disappointed to have ended their participation in the FA Cup so early, which is something the Fish will need to make the most of.
Rochester have been in free-scoring form through pre-season, notching 11 goals across 3 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats. The danger men Abbo’s side will have to keep an eye on are Wednesday’s goalscorer Collis, formerly of Whitstable Town and Lordswood, and the ex-Canterbury City forward Dan Gonzalez-Bello.
Last season the visitors finished 2 points ahead of the Fish in 15th, with the two sides playing out a 1-1 draw at Champion Hill and a win away for Fisher by 2 goals to 1 at Rochester. Here’s hoping we keep up our good form this Saturday.
Fans are reminded that it’s Fish for a Fiver for any Football League season ticket holders, with our usual matchday discounts in place for Fisher Members and accompanied Under 16s are free. Membership and Season Tickets will be available from the Clubhouse on the day.