Gravesham Borough 0-6 Fisher FC
After last week’s comfortable win against Sutton Athletic at St Paul’s, Fisher took to the road aiming to make it six wins on the bounce in the league. Nathan Hunter and Luke Haidarovic continued at centre back, Pat Geddis and Jack Bullock came in for Toyo Adeshina and Harry Draper, and Mathieu Ramsamy returned to the starting line-up at the expense of Jamie Brown, who was nursing a slight knock and dropped to the bench. Gravesham Borough provided the opposition at Chatham Town’s Maidstone Road Stadium, and there was added spice to the fixture with former Fisher manager, Gary Abbott, having recently taken the hotseat at Borough.
It took until the 7th minute for Fisher to force their first real chance. A free kick was awarded on the right wing, which Hamill curled into the box. A flying Rob Brown met it on the volley but the keeper blocked his attempt and the loose ball plugged in the mud of the goalmouth. The keeper himself was first to react and grabbed the ball gratefully. However, Fisher did not have to wait long to make the breakthrough. Moments later, Hamill picked the ball up 20 yards from goal and played in Ramsamy on the left hand side of the box. The little French winger drew the keeper and tucked the ball across him and into the bottom right hand corner. 1-0 (Ramsamy, 8 mins)
Fisher continued to attack, and on 10 minutes Rob Brown gathered in midfield and unleashed a fierce shot which the Borough keeper turned round the post after flinging himself to his right. Borough then had their first chance of the game on 15 minutes, a free kick from range taken direct but Nic Taylor got down to his left and caught the ball cleanly.
One of the more bizarre incidents of the season then occurred on the 20 minute mark. Nathan Hunter and his Borough opponent both went down off the ball, which resulted in a mêlée midway inside the Fisher half. The ref seemed to have lost control of the players, several of the home players were engaged in pulling away one of their teammates, and some of the home bench were on the pitch. Nic Taylor came running out of his goal to join in the fun, and then went down. The end result was a free kick to Gravesham Borough, yellow cards for Hunter and his counterpart…. and a yellow card to Nic Taylor for simulation! Surely the first keeper to be booked for diving 30 yards outside his own box!
Midway through the half, Richie Hamill drove into the left hand side of the penalty box and squared the ball. Rob Brown looked to get on the end of it but the ball was cleared only as far as Ramsay on the right hand side of the box. His thumping shot was blocked and then cleared. Hamill continued to probe, and on 29 minutes he played Trey Small in on the right hand side of the box. Small’s shot was blocked but came back to Hamill, who jinked round his man and struck a low shot from the edge of the box which the keeper held to his right.
Fisher were not having it all their own way, with Borough proving to be strong, physical opponents. However, Dean Harrison’s men were patient and continued to probe for that second goal. It came on 31 minutes: Rob Brown played an exquisite through ball from deep, Mathieu Ramsamy ran onto it, took a couple of touches and then slipped the ball under the keeper. A beautiful finish and a well-crafted goal. 2-0 (Ramsamy, 31 mins)
Only four minutes later, Fisher had their third goal and put an end to the contest. This time it was Richie Hamill with the through ball and Trey Small who ran onto it on the left hand side of the pitch. Small rounded the keeper and passed the ball into the unguarded net from an acute angle with a lovely finish. 3-0 (Small, 35 mins)
Toyeeb Babatunde had his first chance with five minutes of the half remaining, running onto a bouncing ball and lobbing the advancing keeper but the ball ran wide. Gravesham Borough had a good chance to reduce the deficit on 44 minutes after a free kick was knocked into the box and their number 9 found himself in space, but he could not connect with the ball and it went behind for a goal kick.
Half time: Gravesham Borough 0-3 Fisher FC. The Fish went into the break with a convincing lead which they would be looking to extend in the second half.
Gravesham Borough never gave up at any point in the match, and it was the home side who threatened first in the second half. A long throw into the box was headed over the bar by the number 9. Normal service soon resumed, however, and Babatunde had two chances in a minute on the 55 minute mark. First, a Ramsay run down the right wing ended in the ball being squared to Fisher’s number 9 but the ball was intercepted. The ball was only half cleared and Rob Brown played Babatunde back in on goal but this time his shot was blocked.
Two minutes later and Fisher had the first goal of the half. Trey Small ran in on goal from the left wing and squared for Rob Brown who had made the run into the box and finished first time just inside the keeper’s right hand post. 4-0 (Rob Brown, 57 mins)
After 64 minutes, Richie Hamill bamboozled the Borough defence, dropping his shoulder and taking four men out of the game before playing in Rob Brown, but the all-action midfielder was foiled by a last ditch tackle. Borough had not given up the ghost yet, and had two good chances to pull one back. On 66 minutes, a corner was swung into the box. Nic Taylor blocked the first attempt but the ball fell nicely for a home attacker who could only blaze wildly over the bar. A minute later, the Borough number 9, who looked handy throughout, sent a shot thumping off the outside of Nic Taylor’s right hand post. The shot was struck so hard that it went out for a Fisher throw on the right touchline!
Despite those near things, it wasn’t to be long before Fisher extended their lead. A lovely counter-attacking move saw the ball swept out wide to Ramsamy who cut in diagonally on goal and finished beautifully once again. This time, he was under real pressure from a defender but there was never any doubt in the tricky winger’s mind. 5-0 (Ramsamy – hat-trick – 73 mins)
Fisher weren’t happy to settle for five and continued to attempt to improve their goal difference. With ten minutes left, Alfie Collins broke free but his shot was blocked by the last defender. On 86 minutes, Richie Hamill played a clever short free kick to Jamie Brown, with the defenders waiting for a cross. The Borough keeper had to be alert to dive at Brown’s feet and prevent a sixth goal.
There was nothing the keeper could do to prevent Fisher extending their lead on 91 minutes, however. Fisher cleared the ball from defence up to Alfie Collins on the halfway line. Collins turned with the ball and played in Rob Brown, making another lung-bursting run from deep. Brown took a touch then slid the ball under the keeper with another expert finish. 6-0 (Rob Brown, 91 mins).
There was almost time for Trey Small to grab his second and Fisher’s seventh, as he evaded a tackle in the box and was about to pull the trigger, only for a desperate lunge from the last man to clear the ball out for a Fisher throw. The final whistle was not long in following.
Full time: Gravesham Borough 0-6 Fisher FC. A truly commanding performance by the men in black and white. Another clean sheet, another hatful of goal and another three points – a perfect away day!
Man of the match: Richie Hamill was his usual influential self, Rob Brown scored two very good goals, had an excellent game and in any other week would surely have been man of the match, but this week’s award has to go to hat-trick hero Mathieu Ramsamy. Three delightful finishes – he never looked like missing any of his three one-on-ones with the keeper – and simply too hot to handle for the Gravesham Borough defence.
Gravesham Borough FC v Fisher
Saturday 16 December 2017
SCEFL First Division
Matthew Ramsamy 8, 31, 74
Trey Small 34
Rob Brown 58, 91