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Match Report: Fisher 2-1 Sheppey United

Fisher FC 2-1 Sheppey United

For the second week running, Fisher returned to St Paul’s for a Saturday fixture after feeling aggrieved to have lost in midweek. This week, the men in black in white faced Sheppey United on league duty, after being very unfortunate indeed to go down 3-2 at Corinthian in the FA Vase replay. Gaffer Dean Harrison was able to name a very strong line-up, with Wanogho and Flemming returning in the centre back positions, Hossam Hassan taking over the gloves and Rob Brown making a welcome return in the centre of the pitch. Off the pitch, it was Fisher FC’s community day, with money being raised for both Cardiac Risk in the Young and Non League 4 Grenfell.

Fisher made their customary strong start to the game, winning a free kick out on the left hand touchline midway inside the Sheppey half in the first minute. Hamill swung in the cross which was nodded out, then returned into the box where it fell invitingly for Trey Small, but his volley went wide. Sheppey were also looking lively in the early stages, and in the 7th minute Hossam Hassan had to be alert in the Fisher goal to push clear a shot from outside the box by Sheppey’s number 6.

On 10 minutes, Fisher broke quickly and Rob Brown found Richie Hamill with a great crossfield pass. Hamill shot from just inside the box but a defender blocked and Sheppey were able to clear. Fisher didn’t have long to wait for the opener, however. With 13 minutes on the clock, Sheppey were awarded a free kick on the Fisher right 35 yards from goal. The ball was crossed into the box but cleared by Wanogho. Jack Rogers picked up outside the box and advanced up the left touchline, before feeding Hamill. The midfield maestro took one touch then launched an inch-perfect diagonal ball to the opposite wing where Trey Small controlled with ease, turned and headed towards the box. Small then played a one-two with Rob Brown, picking up the return pass inside the box and wrong-footing the Sheppey keeper with a cool finish. A great team move caught on film by @xandersnaps – see it again here: 1-0, Trey Small, 14 mins

Sheppey were eager to get back into the game and won a free kick down at the left hand corner flag. The attempted cross was blocked behind for a corner by the wall, the first corner was headed out for another corner, and the second corner was finally cleared by Fisher. Sheppey were enjoying a good spell of possession without really looking like penetrating the Fisher rearguard. At the midpoint of the half, a cross from the right was meant by a leaping Sheppey number 11, but he failed to connect properly with ended up poking the ball well wide. On 27 minutes, a Sheppey forward nicked the ball away from a Fisher defender and volleyed straight at Hassan who was equal to it, but the ref had already penalized the forward for a high boot in the challenge with the Fisher defender.

On 29 minutes, Sheppey were awarded a free kick 40 yards out to the right of the Fisher goal. The right back elected to shoot, but the ball deflected off the wall, taking the sting out of the shot, and Hassan gathered easily. Sheppey quickly won the ball back and attached down the left wing. Harvey Brinkley did brilliantly to tackle his man then take the ball out of defence, bodyswerving two tackles before playing the ball behind the high Sheppey backline and allowing Sam Pekun to use his pace to get in behind. Pekun advanced up the right then played a one-two with Hamill before crossing low. The cross was stabbed out and came to Trey Small, whose first time volley went wide.

Sheppey were continuing to push, and Fisher had to defend another two corners before Sheppey got another free kick outside the box with ten minutes left in the half. This time they elected to cross and Fisher could only clear as far as the 18 yard line, but the waiting Sheppey midfielder could only shoot off one of his own players and out for a goal kick.

On 41 minutes, Sheppey won a corner on their left after solid defensive work from Dan Flemming. The ball was crossed deep and then headed back towards goal, where the Sheppey number 8 flicked a header onto the bar. A minute later, the Sheppey number 9 shot wide under pressure from Dan Flemming following a speedy Sheppey counter-attack.

In added time at the end of the first half, Sheppey won another corner on their left following a clearance from Wanogho. The Sheppey player placed the ball outside the quadrant and some intense heckling of the linesman and referee by the standside crowd eventually forced the referee to make him move the ball! The corner was flicked on at the near post and a crunching Hamill tackle blocked a shot from just inside the box.

Half time: Fisher FC 1-0 Sheppey United. Fisher would be pleased with the half time lead, having weathered plenty of Sheppey possession inside the Fisher half, and would be looking to cause more problems for the Sheppey defence in the second half with the pace of Small, Kasai and Pekun. That fantastic Trey Small goal remained the difference between the two teams.

Fisher came storming out of the blocks in the second half, really taking the game to Sheppey and pressing high up the pitch. Two minutes in, Rob Brown forced a corner down the left which Hamill took short to Sam Pekun. Hamill received the return pass inside the box and curled a shot just past the left hand post. Watch it again here thanks to footage from @wabbiteater:

On 49 minutes, Sam Pekun played Rob Brown in on goal but the keeper rushed out to beat him to the ball. A minute later, Brown was in the thick of it again, stepping forwards to intercept a pass in midfield and charging towards the Sheppey goal. He found Pekun, but the flag went up for a close offside call.

On 57 minutes, Fisher should have doubled their lead. A great break down the right saw Trey Small square the ball and Sam Pekun meet it on the penalty spot, but he thumped the ball just over the bar. On 59 minutes, Sheppey had a good chance of their own, a flashing cross across the face of goal just requiring a touch but finding no takers. In a real end to end spell in the game, Fisher then broke and lovely play from Trey Small saw him flick the ball over the head of a defender, pick it up on the other side and then thread the ball through to Pekun, but again the keeper was quick off his line and managed to gather.

On 66 minutes, Sheppey had their best chance of the match. A shot from outside the box was pushed across goal by Hassan and a Sheppey forward was waiting to tap the ball in at the back post, only for a superb sliding challenge from Wanogho to divert a certain goal behind for a corner. Fisher defended the corner comfortably, and saw off two further corners before another flowing Fisher move saw a Rob Brown shot on the turn tipped over the bar by an acrobatic Sheppey keeper.

With just under 15 minutes left of the regulation 90, Richie Hamill picked up in midfield and threaded a lovely ball which wrongfooted the right back. He couldn’t quite recover to stop the ball and the target, Chandler Kasai, picked up and advanced into the box. He then finished low and hard with the outside of his right foot from an acute angle. A defender got to the ball on the line but could only help it into the net. A first goal in the stripes for Kasai! See it again here thanks to @xandersnaps: 2-0, Chandler Kasai, 76 mins

The game continued at its frenetic, end to end pace, a strong run by the towering Sheppey number 9 ending in a bobbling shot from outside the box which ran past the post, then an arrowing shot from the corner of the box by Sam Pekun flying just over the join of bar and post. With 6 minutes left, a lovely flick from a flying Rob Brown breached the Sheppey rearguard and sent Sam Pekun through on goal. He raced into the box and as he pulled the trigger, the keeper dived at his feet to block.

Fisher weren’t content to sit on their lead, and some delightful interplay between Kasai, Small and Pekun saw the ball manoeuvred along the 18 yard line before Small’s shot from a narrow angle went behind.

With 95 minutes on the clock, Sheppey scored a fantastic consolation goal. Their number 12, John Ralph, controlled a pass on the edge of the box, let it bounce once, then crashed a volley on the turn into the roof of the net. A great strike caught again by @xandersnaps: 2-1, Ralph, 95 mins

Full time: Fisher FC 2-1 Sheppey United. A tremendous win for the Fish, with every player working his socks off. Solid at the back in the face of Sheppey pressure, lightning quick on the counter attack and a constant menace to the Sheppey rearguard. A very well deserved three points!

Man of the match: it’s hard to pick just one player in what was an outstanding team effort from the Fish. Wanogho and Flemming were mountains at the back despite both carrying injuries, Hamill showcased his fantastic range of passing and was involved in both goals, Small and Pekun were constant thorns in the sides of the Sheppey defence, but this week’s award goes to Rob Brown who covered an enormous amount of ground in midfield, popping up all over the place both to break down Sheppey attacks and to launch Fisher attacks.

Fisher 2-1 Sheppey United
Saturday 8 September 2018
SCEFL Premier Division

Trey Small, 14 mins
Chandler Kasai, 76 mins

Ralph, 95 mins

Attn: 167

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