With the stakes set and a busy Fisher Community Day at St Paul’s everything was set up for the Fish to start climbing up the table on Saturday, but a disastrous opening 45 minutes against relegation rivals Deal Town put paid to that, even taking into account a spirited fightback in the second period. The visitors were 3-0 after 36 minutes, with Fisher left reeling and Gary Abbott once against questioning what had gone so wrong.
“I’m not making excuses,I know that myself and Isa are doing everything we can to help these players. We set things out for for the boys, we go through what we want them to do, how to play, where we are defensively, in midfield and attacking, but once a player cross over that white line they must take responsibility.
In the first half today we didn’t want it all over the park. You could see so clearly that Deal wanted it; they know that we play good football and they worked so hard by pressing us all over the park to stop us playing and they did a good job. The big thing that swung it for them was that they had the confidence to put their chances away; the first goal comes from a shot from 22 yards which should have been closed down but there is no sign of us reacting quickly enough. The second goal 5 mins later, Scott was given the ball from Jabbie which then should have been passed back to the goalkeeper from edge of box but instead he tried to go around there player and lost the ball and that’s that. The third goal again we should have got the ball away but they score again.”
Joe Reeves put the first two away for The Hoops on 4 and 8 minutes, with Grant Bagley adding the third in the 36th minute to send the sides in 0-3 at the break. Something had to change for Fisher, and Gary didn’t hold back – three changes at the break and what sounded like a tense 15 minutes in the home dressing room.
“Yes, I did have a pop at the at half time. I knew that I had to do something about that performance so I made all three subs, taking Wason, Jabbie and Mackangou off replacing them with Guylepsy Menga, Toyo Adeshina and Mickel Thompson and going to a 3-5-2, and I’ve got to say we looked like a different team after the break. We scored after 15 mins then playing some great football scored again after 35 mins. After that I think we’ve had 4 or 5 good chances cleared. Getting into the 6 yard box their goalkeeper has been so alert and made 3 or 4 decent saves; there is an argument we should have been awarded a penalty in there too, then one more chance, but it wasn’t to be.”
Fisher got back into the game with Toyo Adeshina on the 58th minutes with a looping header sneaking past Deal keeper James Tomkin. The home side couldn’t find another breakthrough until the last minute of the game, with Joel Mensah setting up a frantic end with his goal on 89. Despite the best intentions of a good crowd of 158 roaring the Fish on the equaliser didn’t come, with Deal Town heading back to the Kent coast with all three points and stepping away from the Fish at the foot of the table.
Gary was swift to shift attention to training this week and the issues he wants to target – “We lost it in the first half , I can’t say any more. We now need to nuckle down and will train hard on Tuesday and Thursday and prepare for the Whistable away game. We’ve got to work harder on sharing information, winning first and second balls, playing one and two touch, pass and move, getting shots off, crossing when we get in those great wide areas, the goalkeeper being loud and making angles for a back pass, forwards keeping the ball better. We saw in the cup games that we can tighten things up, we just need to carry that on against the much tougher opposition in our own division. Stick with us, if the whole club pulls together we can get out of this.”
Fisher 2 – 3 Deal Town
Fisher goals – Toyo Adeshina ’58, Joel Mensah ’89
Deal Town goals – Joe Reeves ‘4 & ‘8, Grant Bagley ’35
Fisher Starting XI – Davy, Roche, Izukanne, Hussein (c), Wason, Jabbie, Forte, Mensa, Mackangou, Williams, McLeod-Bentley
Fisher subs – Adeshina (on for Jabbie), Menga (on for Mackangou), Adesina, Thompson (on for Wason), McKenzie
Attendance – 158
Match photo (c) Paul Cockerton