Fisher FC 4-4 Corinthian FC (AET)
After being very unfortunate to take nothing at all from the bank holiday Monday fixture at Glebe, Fisher returned to St Paul’s on FA Vase duty for the visit of Corinthian FC. Dean Harrison rang the changes, having spoken before the game about the need to rotate his squad. Carpanini, Begg, Rogers, Small, Crawley and Richardson all came into the starting line-up, and there was a first start of the season for last season’s goal hero Mathieu Ramsamy. There was a new face on the bench for Fisher, with hitman Allicion Blake appearing for the first time.
Fisher lined up looking very smart in their new home kit, with renewing sponsors British Land emblazoned on the front. In recent times, we have become very used to fast starts and early goals from the Fish, but this time it was the home team who fell behind in the first minute of play. A cross from the left was pushed out to the edge of the box by Carpanini, and the ball was sent back past him with a curling shot that landed just inside the left hand post. 0-1, 1st minute
Corinthian continued their lively start, and found the side netting from a short corner on the 10th minute. The ref saw a Fisher touch and gave a second corner, which was headed partially clear by Wanogho but Corinthian kept up the pressure and had the ball in the back of Carpanini’s net again on the 12th minute. Fortunately for Fisher, the linesman had his flag up for offside the goal didn’t stand.
Fisher were struggling to get into the game, but Sam Pekun was doing his best to drag them into it. After a good strong run by Ramsamy, he laid the ball off to Pekun 25 yards from goal. The little striker unselfishly tried to thread the ball back through to Ramsamy in the box, but couldn’t quite find him and the chance was lost. A minute later, Pekun himself drove into the box before curling a shot just over the bar, then Peklun popped up again on the right wing to send in a tantalising cross after a flick on by Trey Small. The Corinthian defence could only head the ball up in the air and Small got to it first, but was crowded out before he could shoot.
However, despite this short period of more encouraging player from Fisher, on 19 minutes it was 2-0 for Corinthian. Seemingly in no danger, a short back pass towards Carpanini was capitalized on by the Corinthian striker and ended up in the back of the net. 0-2, 19 mins.
On 27 minutes, Fisher came close to getting a goal back. Pekun shot from outside the box and the ball was deflected behind for a corner. Tim Moffatt rose above the opposition defence to send a header goalwards, but it went over. The next action of note saw Corinthian extend their lead even further: awarded a free kick on the edge of the box, Corinthian sent a shot goalwards but the ball hit the wall. It rebounded to the taker who slid the ball in off the left hand post. 0-3, 32 mins.
Fisher had a good chance to pull one back on 35 minutes, Ramsamy hitting the byline on the left and cutting the ball back to Sam Pekun only a few yards from goal, but just as he looked likely to score, a defender nipped in to nick the ball away from his feet with a great tackle. The rest of the half petered out, with Corinthian content to sit on their lead and control the game, and Fisher struggling to make any impression in the Corinthian half.
Half time: Fisher FC 0-3 Corinthian FC. Fisher will have been disappointed with the nature of all three goals, but clinical finishing from the opposition deservedly put Corinthian in front at the break. Fisher had a mountain to climb if they were to get anything at all from the game, and few in the ground would have been predicting it after the first 45 minutes.
The Fisher dressing room was likely not a happy place to be at half time, and Dean Harrison made two immediate changes. Richardson and Crawley went off, with Richie Hamill and Chandler Kasai coming on. In the first minute of the half, a Corinthian forward hooked a bouncing ball at the corner of the box over Carpanini but it dropped just over the bar. A fourth goal really would have put an end to Fisher’s FA Vase dreams for another year.
On 50 minutes, Kasai turned and shot from the edge of the box, but the ball was deflected into the hands of the keeper. Just a minute later, however, Fisher were back in the game. Richie Hamill won the ball back with a crunching tackle in midfield, then fed Trey Small on the right wing just inside the Corinthian half. The winger ran all the way into the box, before shooting from just inside the right hand corner of the box. The ball arrowed low into the bottom left hand corner of the goal – a splendid finish caught as ever by the trusty camera of Mr Fisher FC TV, John Green! See it again here: https://twitter.com/John84Green/status/1035966841393504256 1-3, Trey Small, 51 mins
You could sense the belief and confidence coming back to the Fisher players, and Hamill sent a piledriver of a shot crashing just over the bar on 61 minutes, with the Corinthian keeper motionless. A minute later, Ramsamy did the same thing from a similar range, then followed that up with a cross which found Trey Small, only for his close range finish to be deflected wide. Fisher were piling on the pressure and the Corinthian players were rattled. Small volleyed over, Ramsamy played Pekun through on goal only for the keeper to dive at his feet to thwart him, and then a lovely cross field ball found right back Martin Begg in space on the right hand side of the box, but his throat was straight down the throat of the opposition keeper.
On 71 minutes, Richie Hamill was tripped just outside the box when about to pull the trigger. The free kick was awarded and you can guess the rest – Richie did what Richie does best! A stunning free kick curled straight into the net, and Fisher right back in the tie! See it again here: https://twitter.com/John84Green/status/1035967834583646211 2-3, Richie Hamill, 72 mins
Fisher were well on top and the equaliser looked to be a matter of time at this point. With 15 minutes remaining, Fisher brought Allicion Blake on for his debut to replace the tiring Ramsamy. He nearly made an immediate impact, just failing to connect with a Hamill free kick into the danger zone. Blake then linked with Kasai after a good darting run by the winger, and his first time shot flashed just past the left hand post. Kasai continued to threaten, feeding Small who shot over on 86 minutes.
With just a couple of minutes remaining, Sam Pekun collided with the Corinthian keeper when attempting to reach a high cross from the right, but the ref waved away Fisher’s claims for a penalty. Moments later, a cross from the opposite side was headed just over by Blake, although the flag had gone up. Kasai and Small then combined to win a corner for Fisher as the clock ticked into the final minute. Hamill swung the ball across to the near post and Mudiagha Wanogho stooped to head the ball into the roof of the net and send the home support jumping for joy – quite literally, if you look closely at the video! https://twitter.com/John84Green/status/1035969937574178819 3-3, Mudiagha Wanogho, 90 mins
Corinthian were hanging on like a punch-drunk boxer on the ropes, and Fisher had one final attempt to nick the winner, an excellent sliding tackle from Hamill winning the ball inside the Corinthian half and sending Trey Small scampering down the right wing, but his low cross eluded the Fisher strikers.
Full time: Fisher FC 3-3 Corinthian FC. If Corinthian had been well on top in the first half, Fisher completely dominated the second and thoroughly deserved their three goals. As arranged by the two teams in advance of the match, 30 minutes of extra time were to follow, but with a replay to be scheduled if the teams were still level at the end of 120 minutes.
Extra time got underway and Fisher continued as they had left off. On 92 minutes, Kasai turned well then was unceremoniously dumped on the ground. Hamill swung in the free kick to the back post and Blake knocked it in. The ref signaled a goal, the Corinthian players protested, the linesman did nothing then finally put his flag up. After consultation between the linesman and the ref, the goal was chalked off, either for offside or handball. No hand of god at St Paul’s today!
Blake then shot wide before Corinthian won a free kick 30 yards from goal and sent a shot just wide. They were still looking for their first attempt on target since the first half! On 101 minutes, Corinthian had another chance, with a corner from the left sent across the face of goal and missed by everybody, before being returned to the back post where it was met by a free header. The ball was sent wide, but the flag was up in any case.
On 105 minutes, Blake looped a header just over the Corinthian bar, then Kasai was fouled once more and Fisher were awarded a free kick just inside the Corinthian half. Hamill took it long into the box, where it was missed by Blake and his marker, bounced once and shot up into the roof of the net! Incredibly, Fisher now led 4-3! Watch it again here: https://twitter.com/John84Green/status/1035970894932451328 4-3, Richie Hamill, 106 mins
Having scored in the final minute of the second half of normal time, Fisher had now repeated the feat in the final minute of the first half of extra time. At the break, Fisher brought on their fourth substitution of the day – having the right to an additional sub in extra time – with Jamie Brown replacing Trey Small. The second half of extra time was a largely scrappy affair – it was a hot day and both teams understandably looked to be tiring. The first real chance came on 114 minutes, when a looping cross into the box was left by the home defence, bounced, and then was headed up and over Carpanini at the back post. Another painful goal to concede, and Corinthian were back level again. 4-4, 114 mins
The Fisher defence had to alert to repel first a free kick crossed into the box and then a corner, before the home side ventured up the pitch themselves and saw three successive crosses from the right hand side blocked by the opposition defence. With just a minute remaining, Hamill tried one of his trademark diagonal balls to release Jamie Brown, but a defender was alert to the danger and managed to nod it back to his keeper, and that was to be that.
Full time after extra time: Fisher FC 4-4 Corinthian FC. What a cup-tie! Fantastic entertainment served up by the two teams who went at it hammer and tong. Fisher’s comeback seemed impossible at half time, and Corinthian’s late equaliser just as unlikely once Fisher took the lead. Attention will now turn to the replay on Tuesday at Corinthian.
Sponsors’ man of the match: our thanks go once again to our good friends at Cocke Vellacott & Hill, experienced chartered accountants in the local area (https://www.cvhaccountants.co.uk/), who sponsored the match. Their pick for man of the match was Ritchie Hamill – a decision few, if any, in the ground could disagree with! Hamill took a grip of the match from the moment he took to the field, scoring two and assisting the two others. An outstanding performance from Fisher’s midfield maestro!
Fisher 4-4 Corinthian (AET)
Saturday 1 Sept 2018
FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round
Trey Small 51
Ritchie Hamill 72, 106
Mudiagha Wanogho 90
Oscar Housego 1
Connor Heffernan 19
Charlie Clover 32
Jack Bath 114