Fisher FC 1 – Forest Hill Park 3
After Tuesday’s extra time cup win, Fisher returned to St Paul’s for Non-League Day and the visit of near neighbours Forest Hill Park. Dean Harrison made two changes to the starting lineup, Trey Small coming in to replace the injured Jamie Brown, and Leonard Goring taking the number 9 jersey from Jack Bullock.
Fisher started brightly and spurned a number of chances in the first quarter of an hour. On just three minutes, a lovely curved pass with the outside of his left foot by Richie Hamill played in Cameron Stevenson, who cut inside his man but could only find the keeper’s arms with his shot. Three minutes later, Goring ran onto a through ball, beat the keeper to it and then crossed across the face of goal from an acute angle, but Trey Small’s shot was blocked for a corner. Dan Flemming’s header from the corner was then cleared off the line.
On 8 minutes, Goring laid the ball off to the lively Stevenson, whose shot was turned around the far post by the keeper. Goring himself was next to threaten, driving into the box and sending a shot flashing just past the same post. On 15 minutes, Fisher really should have taken the lead when a cutback by Stevenson was fired over by Goring from six yards out.
Just three minutes later, disaster struck when the referee awarded Forest Hill Park a corner after some pushing and shoving in the box as they prepared to take a corner. It was hard to see who was at fault or why a penalty had been awarded. Nevertheless, the Forest Hill Park number 8, Robinson, stepped up and sent a penalty low to Nic Taylor’s bottom right hand corner. The big keeper almost managed to get to it but could not keep it out. 0-1.
It did not take long for Fisher to get back in the game. A Trey Small shot from inside the box was blocked but Goring pounced on the loose ball to volley home from close range, and Fisher were deservedly back level. 1-1.
However, with the next real action of the game, the opposition regained the lead just after the half hour mark. It was Robinson again who was the dangerman, nutmegging Rob Brown then playing a neat one two on the edge of the box and sending a fine low shot into the same corner as his penalty had ended up. A well worked goal. 1-2.
Again Fisher rallied and took the game to the visitors. Another classy pass from the outside of Hamill’s left boot after turning his man in the middle of the pitch allowed Stevenson to scamper down the left wing, cut inside his man and shoot just wide once more. With five minutes remaining, a lung-bursting run from Jack Rogers saw the young left back somehow reach a ball that looked as if it was running out for a goal kick. He went round his man on the byline and squared to Goring, but his shot went wide from close range.
Half time: Fisher 1 – Forest Hill Park 2. Fisher were disappointed to go in one down at the break, having created the lion’s share of the chances. If the performance had lacked some of the fluency of recent weeks, the side were no less dangerous on the attack and would have been hopeful of getting back into the match in the second half.
The first goal in the second half was likely to prove key, and sadly it was Forest Hill Park who made the early break through. After just five minutes of the half, the number 11 was left unmarked to head home from close range at a corner, leaving Fisher with a real uphill battle to get back into the game. 1-3.
Fisher kept plugging away despite the deficit, and just before the hour mark Cameron Stevenson gathered on the edge of the box, turned and shot fiercely towards the goal. The keeper could only palm the ball up into the air, but he managed to get to the rebound before Trey Small. Two minutes later, a Rob Brown shot inside a congested box looked to have been blocked by a hand, but the ref pointed to his chest and waved play on. Forest Hill Park broke immediately and Nic Taylor did well to block a shot from close range with one outstretched arm.
With 63 minutes gone, Dean Harrison replaced Facchinetti with Harry Draper as he looked to up the tempo. Almost immediately, Stevenson did well to gather and turn on the right hand corner of the box. His aerial pass along the 18 yard line found Trey Small, whose volley was turned wide by the keeper. From the corner, Rob Brown failed to connect with the bouncing ball then Small managed to get away a volley. Again there were shouts for handball, and again the ref waved away the Fisher protests. So incensed was Nathan Hunter that he ended up in the book for dissent.
Halfway through the half, Trey Small was the victim of a crunching tackle on the right side of midfield. While the Forest Hill Park number 6 may have got to the ball first, he followed through dangerously and was rightly booked. Sadly for Fisher, Small had to be taken off and the club has now seen two wingers crocked in a week. Small was replaced by Qazzim Folawiyo who made his debut in the number 17 jersey, and there was also a welcome return to action for Dwayne Agyemang who replaced Nathan Hunter.
With fifteen minutes remaining, a free kick from the left by Hamill was headed down into the turf by Goring and sat up nicely for the keeper to take. Two minutes later, Goring chested down nicely for Hamill, but his shot was well over. Goring then flicked on a cross from the left at the near post to the unmarked Stevenson, but he could only head over from close range.
With the Fisher faithful sensing that it was to be one of those days, Forest Hill Park nearly extended their lead with a minute remaining. After a driving run down the Fisher left, the ball was squared inside the box, but blazed well over when it looked easier to score. There was time for one final Fisher chance in injury time. Stevenson chipped the ball from the byline to the back post, where Goring’s header was blocked on the line. Folawiyo got to the loose ball, but could only find the side netting.
Full time: Fisher 1-3 Forest Hill Park. Fisher created more than enough chances to win the game, but just couldn’t find the finishing touch all too often. Onwards and upwards: next up is Cray Valley PM on Sunday 15 October at Badgers Sports Ground, Eltham in the Kent Reliance Senior Trophy 1st round. Come along and cheer the boys into the next round!
Man of the match: Cameron Stevenson was a constant threat to the Forest Hill Park defence with his pace and trickery. He could have had a number of assists had Fisher had their shooting boots on, and he was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself.
Fisher 1-3 Forest Hill Park
Saturday 7 October 2017
SCEFL First Division
Leonard Goring 24
Ashley Paul Robinson 20(p), 32
Jay Burke 47
Photo courtesy: David Anderson. See all his Fisher match photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brockleylion/with/23705701528/