Fisher FC 1-0 Corinthian Casuals Reserves
After last weekend’s 9-1 thumping of Lydd Town in the league, it was a very different looking Fisher side which returned to St Paul’s to face Corinthian Casuals’ Reserves in the London Senior Trophy. Gaffer Dean Harrison took the opportunity to ring the changes, with debuts for keeper Daniel Carpanini and left winger Conner Westney, returns to the side for Nathan Hunter and Toyo Adeshina, and unfamiliar midfield roles for Pat Geddis and Jack Bullock. There was also a welcome return to action for Trey Small after his injury against KFU in the Kent Reliance Senior Trophy. Fans’ favourite Ash Wright took the captain’s armband.
As has become customary in recent weeks, Fisher took the game to their opponents right from the off. It took until the 16th minute before they forced their first chance, however: Trey Small and Toyeeb Babatunde linked well on the right wing, before the latter’s cross was headed just over by Conner Westney, who could not quite get over the ball at the back post.
Fisher then won a succession of corners, coming close to opening the scoring on several occasions. On 24 minutes, the Corinthians keeper pulled off a great block to deny Rob Brown. The follow-up cross was then headed out from under the bar by a Corinthians defender for another corner. The keeper clawed the ball behind for a further corner, which in turn led to a goalmouth scramble, a stabbed shot cleared off the line and then a hasty clearance. Just a minute later, it really should have been 1-0 Fisher: debutant Westney found himself in space in the left hand side of the box after cutting inside his man, but he blazed his shot well over.
After weathering this sustained spell of pressure, Corinthians started to get back into the game. Their first real attempt came on 27 minutes, a weak shot from distance trundling through to Carpanini in the Fisher goals, who had really had nothing to do until then. A few minutes later, Corinthians were awarded a free kick a few yards outside the box to the left of the goals after a foul by Adeshina. The free kick was taken direct, but was straight at Carpanini who gathered comfortably.
With ten minutes to go until the break, Trey Small robbed his man on the edge of the box and fired off a shot which the keeper got across to tip onto the post and behind for another Fisher corner which came to nothing. A minute later, Small used his pace to run on to a flick-on from Brown, but the keeper blocked at his feet.
Corinthians then broke up the pitch and won their first corner after Pat Geddis did well to get back and block the cross with a sliding lunge. The corner came to the Corinthians centre back who attempted an ambitious and acrobatic volley, which sent the ball well over the bar and right out the ground! Corinthians finished the half strongly, winning another couple of corners but without troubling Carpanini.
Half time: Fisher FC 0-0 Corinthians Casuals Reserves. Fisher had had much of the play, but had not been able to find the breakthrough, while Corinthians came more into the game as it progressed. Half time match stats courtesy of Simon Throssell (@throssfilms):
Fisher started the second half quickly, winning a corner in the first minute after good work by Trey Small. The corner led to another scramble in the box, but the ball would not fall for a Fisher player and was eventually hoofed clear. A few minutes later, Carpanini had to be alert to gather low at his front post when a Corinthians corner was taken short and led to a shot from an acute angle inside the box.
On 51 minutes, Fisher suffered a blow when Westney went down in the centre circle. After some treatment, he had to come off, making way for Cameron Stevenson. An unfortunate way to end his debut. When play resumed, Brown and Geddis linked well in midfield before finding Adeshina on the overlap. His run was brought to an end inside the box, but the ref waved away shouts for a penalty.
Trey Small continued to terrorize the Corinthians left back, first winning a corner which was cleared, and then going in on goal himself. The keeper came out and collided with his own defender, leaving Small to shoot across the face of goal, but the ref decided to punish Small for the collision.
On 65 minutes, Jack Bullock scampered onto a long ball, beating the keeper to it on the edge of the box, but a defender got back to stop him getting a shot off. From the breakdown, Cameron Stevenson found Rob Brown at the back post with a diagonal ball, but the flag went up. A minute later, the offside flag denied Fisher again: Rob Brown took a free kick out on the left wing and crossed into the box, the Corinthians keeper made a block from the first attempt and Dwayne Agyemang fired home the rebound, but the goal did not stand.
Fisher did not have long to wait to take the lead, however. Awarded a free kick just outside the right hand corner of the box, it was Toyeeb Babatunde who stepped up to take it. He hit a curling shot towards the left hand side of the keeper’s goal and, although the keeper got a hand to it, he could only push it into the roof of the net. A great strike from Babatunde who is on hot goal-scoring form after last week’s hat-trick! 1-0 Fisher (Babatunde, 73 mins)
Just a minute later, Stevenson almost doubled the advantage, shooting narrowly wide of the right hand post from inside the box. Shortly after, Stevenson threatened again, this time finding the side netting on the other side of the goal after wriggling between two defenders inside the box. Fisher continued to press and look to extend their lead, the Corinthians keeper having to look lively to beat Trey Small to a lofted pass from Ash Wright, and then again to beat Babatunde to a through ball from Stevenson.
With just two minutes left on the clock, Corinthians had their best chance of the game. The ball fell to their number 9 in space inside the box, but his shot was blocked and looped up in the air for Carpanini to gather. Fisher then saw the rest of the game out, even forcing a corner deep into injury time, and never looking likely to relinquish their lead.
Full time: Fisher FC 1-0 Corinthians Casuals Reserves. Another good win for Fisher, who deserved to progress on the balance of play. Corinthians kept plugging away, but did not really threaten the Fisher rearguard. We now move into the quarter finals of the competition, with a home tie to come in early 2018 (date still to be finalised) against league rivals Forest Hill Park.
Man of the match: Trey Small was very lively on his return to action with his pace causing all sorts of problems, Toyeeb Babatunde had another good game up front with his link-up play improving continually as he gets to know Fisher’s style of play, but this week’s award goes to Pat Geddis. Playing in an unfamiliar holding midfield role, the blonde livewire covered every blade of artificial grass. He was strong in the tackle, used the ball well and helped start the transition from defence to attack on numerous occasions.
Final match stats courtesy of Simon Throssell (@throssfilms):
Fisher 1-0 Corinthian Casuals
Saturday 25 November 2017
London Senior Trophy 2nd Round
Toyeeb Babatunde 73
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