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Kentish Football guest match report: Beckenham 2-3 Fisher

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Beckenham Town 2-3 Fisher – I think it’s a big boost for the boys that they know they can come to places like this and get three points, says Fisher boss Dean Harrison

Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Wednesday 17 October 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Eden Park Avenue

FISHER manager Dean Harrison says he suffered a roller-coaster of emotions after his side grabbed victory at league leaders Beckenham Town to join the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division title race.

Beckenham Town were eight points clear at the top of the table after winning all of their first nine league games but Fisher have now closed the gap to just two points after extending their winning run to five games as they inflicted Beckenham Town’s fourth defeat on the spin.

A crowd of 230 were treated to a very high quality game of football at Eden Park Avenue.

Fisher raced into a two-goal lead inside the opening six minutes through centre-half Harry Tobin and winger Mathiew Ramsamy.

Beckenham Town upped the tempo straight from the first whistle after the break and swiftly levelled proceedings through strikers Eku Dean and Shameek Farrell inside eight minutes.

Beckenham Town created more chances, had more possession but Fisher hit their hosts on the break to grab the winner through striker Tunde Aderonmu, who notched his fifth goal in as many starts since his move from First Division side Kent Football United.

Farrell was red-carded deep into injury time following an altercation with Trey Small, who was booked by referee Phillip Dunkley.

“I’m absolutely delighted obviously. To come to Beckenham, league leaders and take the points, we’re over the moon tonight,” said Harrison, who has taken Fisher to new heights.

“It was up and down, it was a roller-coaster of emotions for 90 minutes. I think it had a little bit of everything but enjoyable at the end of the day.

“I told them it’s the biggest game so far this season and we just spoke about discipline, keeping our shape, doing what we do best, staying as a unit, staying connected and working hard for each other.”

“I thought we were very good. I thought we played extremely well and I think the way football is, can I say the wrong team won,” said Beckenham Town’s assistant manager Billy Walton.

“I think on pure dominance and football ability we should’ve won the game but the score line suggests that they won so fair play to them, well done.”

These two clubs are bitter rivals but Walton admits everybody wants to knock his club off top spot.

“I think it’s more than a Fisher rivalry than a Beckenham rivalry.  We’re having rivalries all over the place at the moment so everyone’s raised their game against us but hopefully a few teams will think we’re useless now and switch off a bit!

Fisher got off to a flying start by taking the lead after only 64 seconds.

Left-back Ritchie Hamill swung in an excellent corner from the right to put it on a plate for Harry Tobin at the near post. He buried a downward header, which deflected off Jake Rose and bounced past the diving keeper and over the line into the bottom right-hand corner.

Harrison said: “Fantastic start! I couldn’t ask for anything better. Great finish from H, a great delivery by Ritchie.”

Tobin was to be withdrawn through injury in the 35th minute so Tim Moffatt came on in midfield and Luke Haidarovic slotted beside Daniel Flemming at the heart of Fisher’s back-four.

“He had a bit of a twinge, he had a bit of a quad from Saturday.  They were struggling tonight. I had Harry with a quad. I had Flemming with his hamstring. Mudiagha Wanogho was out with his ankle from Saturday.  Toyo Adeshina pulled out on me on Monday, he hurt his back at work, so we were struggling for defenders, so I had soldiers out there tonight.”

Walton said: “First 10-15 minutes, all the things you talk about to come out and not be switched on.  It’s a big part of football the first 10-15 minutes.  You have to be switched on and be focused and do the right things and we just didn’t do the right things from the kick-off!

“We just didn’t pick up anyone. They obviously got a practice facility and time to go and work on things and they moved us around and delivered the ball into the right area and got on the end of it.”

Fisher doubled their lead with only five minutes and 3 seconds on the clock, courtesy of a defensive mix-up from Beckenham, who ditched their three man defence for a back four tonight.

Adam Wadmore hesitated and goalkeeper Michael McEntegart was slow to come off his line and Ramsamy nipped in to poke his shot into the centre of the goal from 10-yards.

“That was the goal that disappointed me the most, when everything we talked about, we know Damo, what he’s like so we should’ve picked him up and we should’ve cleared that,” said Walton.

“It was the worst possible start.  I just felt after that, the next 10 minutes, the way we started pressing the ball and moving them around and they dropped off us so I thought to myself can we get a goal back before half-time, that was the key for me, which we didn’t do.

“After that first six minutes there was only one team in the whole game so they’ve had six minutes, maybe seven minutes of the game and we’ve had 83!”

Harrison added: “Damo was alert. He got in and nicked it and put it away nicely. Great start, your thoughts are you know there’s a long way to go. You know with the quality that Beckenham have got it’s not going to remain 2-0. You’ll be lucky for it to remain 2-0 so we knew we had a big job to do.”

Beckenham Town created their first opening in the 12th minute when Dean played the ball inside to Dean Carpenter, who flashed his low left-footed drive across the keeper and past the far post from 35-yards.

Beckenham Town missed a glorious chance when Carpenter’s chip was controlled by Jake Rose inside the box and he cut the ball back for Farrell who sliced his shot at the near post some six-yards out.

Walton said:  “In games like this you have to take the chances – that just wasn’t the only one – we created quite a few good chances and we never put them away!

Beckenham Town enjoyed plenty of possession but Fisher were a well-organised outfit in their 4-2-3-1 formation and were a threat on the break.

Harrison added: “We work on our shape, that’s what we train for and the work on that defensive shape and the boys did very well tonight.”

An example of this came in the 20th minute when lone striker Aderonmu went on a 30-yard crossfield run before drilling a left-footed shot from outside the D, which rolled into McEntegart’s gloves for a comfortable save.

“I think he let it go with his left-foot. It opened up a little bit. I think there was a pass into Damo to be fair but it was a strike. When he gets his opportunities he’s going to have a go. He didn’t catch it,” said Harrison.

“They’re going to have little things like that but we know what they were going to do.  They talk about playing football but all they do is launch it up front to their front three and try to get it in behind you, which we nullified really easy,” added Walton.

Neither side could fashion a decent chance for the remainder of the half as Fisher went in at the break with a two-goal cushion.

“First half, very good, very pleased,” said the Fisher boss.

“We got the two goals, defended very well. The shape was excellent. We knew what was going to happen in Beckenham’s dressing room at half-time. It wasn’t going to be pretty so we knew to come out and it was going to be on us. We had to try to weather the storm. Unfortunately they got a goal from a deflection which put them on the front foot.

“At the break (I said) just keep doing the right things.  I told them the next 45 is massive. The next goal is going to be crucial. We didn’t want it to be them. It was but we should keep doing the right things and keep working hard, keep the shape well, hit on the break or from a set-piece.”

Walton added: “We’re playing really well. I thought there was only one side who was going to win it, whoever scored next.

“If we score, we’ll go on and win the game, obviously it didn’t materialise that way but I thought the second half can someone tell me how many times they got in our half?”

Beckenham Town clearly upped their tempo from the first whistle and created their first opening after only 32 seconds.

Centre-half Nathan Paul hit a long ball over the top and Haidarovic who headed the ball out to Dean, who swept his right-footed shot on the turn from 25-yards into Dan Wheeler’s hands for a comfortable save.

Beckenham Town pulled a goal back with just 62 seconds on the clock when Dean unleashed a right-footed drive from 25-yards, which deflected off Haidarovic’s foot and looped over the keeper and sailed into the top right-hand corner.

“Tempo, that’s what we asked for and that’s what we got,” said Walton.

“Funnily enough the two boys that scored, the first one (Dean), I said to him you cut in a few times, you can hit the ball like a bullet, have a few shots, on this surface, have a shot.

“Let’s have some shots! We were getting in some really good positions and in all good areas and we wasn’t getting our shots off.  It’s no good having the ball and passing and passing and passing and you don’t have an end product.  Second half we had an end product, we got things going.”

Harrison added: “They came out on fire, which we knew they would!  It took a nasty deflection but that’s football, these things happen.

“I thought Luke had a great game. I thought he slotted in well. You can play him anywhere down that middle. He can play from centre half to centre forward.  He does a great job. He’s a good size, he works hard and he’s a good leader out there so he’s a nice asset.”

Beckenham Town were more than likely to equalise and they fully deserved their equaliser when it came just seven minutes and 47 seconds on the clock.

It was a well-worked move as Dean played the ball inside to Carpenter, who played a first time pass to release Richard Atkins down the left and he put in a quality low cross towards the near post for Farrell to sweep into the bottom near corner from six-yards.

“He’s got on it and he’s a danger Eku. He cut inside and for once he’s unleashed a shot. It’s taken a slight deflection and went in. It was a great goal,” said Walton.

“I thought the whole game was all Beckenham, god only knows why. I do know but I don’t want to say publicly why we lost but that’s the way football is, you’ve got to take it on the chin.”

Harrison added: “It was a really nice goal. It’s the sort of stuff that we work on. We score goals like that. Just getting it, run in those side pockets and slotting it across the face of goal, unfortunately for us the boy got in front of our defender and put it away nicely.”

Fisher then found it hard to get out as Beckenham Town pressed and pressed and pressed for a win that their attacking play deserved.

“We could be in trouble but we’ve got to weather it, ride it out and just dig in,” added Harrison.

“You come here and you expect Beckenham to have good quality. They’ve got good quality individuals, we knew that before the game, we knew it during the game so it’s how you deal with them and the way you deal with that is stick together as a team.”

However, Fisher got their game-plan spot-on as they soaked up the pressure and hit Beckenham on the counter-attack and snatched the game courtesy of a mistake from the Beckenham keeper.

Billy Bennett went close when he curled his right-footed shot just around the far post from 35-yards, before he should have tested the keeper more on the hour-mark.

“It was unlucky, it was a good effort, it was a real good effort.  When it went just wide, from my angle I thought it was in and I hit my head on the dug-out,” revealed Walton.

Firstly, Farrell cut in and drilled a left-footed drive which deflected off Pat Geddis’ head and sailed over the top of the right-hand post.

Farrell put over a deep corner from the right, which sailed over the head of Fisher’s right-back Harvey Brinkley but all Bennett could do was poke his shot wide.

Beckenham Town went close again when Bennett rolled the ball out to Farrell on the right and he played a one-two with Carpenter before curling his left-footed shot around the scrambling goalkeeper and narrowly around the foot of the far post from 30-yards out.

Beckenham Town were playing like a fighter who had their opponent on the ropes and all that they lacked was that knockout blow.

Wadmore released Atkins down the bottom left-channel and he played the ball inside to Dean, who played the ball inside to Carpenter, whose right-footed drive from 25-yards sailed over the Fisher crossbar.

It was only a matter of time that Beckenham would score the winner.

In the 66th minute, Carpenter’s deep free-kick saw Wadmore get in behind Fisher substitute Tim Moffatt only to stretch his shot just past the near post from a tight angle.

Beckenham Town should have won the game in the 70th minute when Carpenter carved open the Fisher defence – aided by Haidarovic’s slip – to put Farrell through on goal but Wheeler moved swiftly off his line to save low to his left.

“Should’ve scored, good move, we passed the ball well tonight on that surface. We done everything right except for the result,” came Walton’s reply.

Harrison said: “Dan made a couple of good saves tonight. I thought he did well and when you win games like this and you come to places like this you need your goalkeeper to have a good game and I thought he did very well tonight.  I thought his hands were clean as well.”

Substitute centre-half Ike Robinson fed the ball into Bennett’s feet, who cut the ball onto his right foot to curl his shot against the underside of the crossbar from 22-yards. The ball dropped down to Farrell who from a couple of yards out was destined to score but Wheeler pulled off a brilliant reaction save to make a vital block.

“The linesman (Zack Moules) saw their first goal go over the line apparently,” said Walton.

“I can remember the same thing at Fisher two years ago on (the day after) Boxing Day. I’ve actually got a photo on my phone that says it didn’t cross the line.

“We get the same thing, it hit the crossbar and comes down and he said it didn’t go in. I don’t know, I can only go with what he’s seen. Bill thought it was in, he ran away celebrating.”

Harrison added: “Brilliant save again, it was a great shot. He done the keeper but as soon as it’s come back off the bar he’s reacted. That’s what the goalkeeper works on in training – his reactions – and he was great tonight.

“I couldn’t tell from where I was, if it was over the line or not over the line so I was just praying it wasn’t and someone could just get it out!

“I just told them to stay in it, weather the storm. I told the boys just to calm down, just to keep their shape. I said to them they’re running out of ideas out there, which they were. They were having a go but they were getting a little bit frustrated at the time and I knew we could hit them on the break and we’ve got the tools to do that.”

Fisher were hanging on to dear life and it was a shock when Fisher grabbed the winning goal with 32 minutes and 34 seconds on the clock.

Robert Brown came to life when from a central position he shifted the ball out to Ramsamy out on the right.  He drilled a low shot across the keeper, who allowed the ball to squirm underneath him and poacher Aderonmu reacted to poke the ball over the line from close range.

Harrison said: “I think Tunde put that in, he follows everything up. He’s done it for the last three games, anything around that goal-line he’s putting in and everything goes with it. That’s what your centre-forward is there to do so that’s definitely Tunde’s that one.”

The winning goal was totally against the run of play.

Harrison said:  “Absolutely but possession doesn’t win games and we know that you can have all the possession in the world, it’s a results business and goals win games so let them have the possession, keep your shape and we go and hit you on the break!”

Walton refused to blame McEntegart for gifting Fisher the win.

“I’m not going to blame Macca for spilling it. He’s made great saves for us in the course of this season so that’s being a goalkeeper for you, so I’m not going to put any blame on Macca. He’s very upset and very disappointed the lad so he’s saved us enough this year so I’ll let him have that one.”

Beckenham Town should have equalised two and a half minutes into stoppage time when Jamie Humphris played the ball out to Dean, who cut inside and drove in a low shot across the face of the goal which fell at Humphris feet at the far post and he failed to force the ball over the line, the keeper making a smart block with his legs.

Harrison said: “Fantastic save! He got his legs to it. I thought he was going to score for sure and he’s got out to him, he can’t get out any quicker and he’s just spread himself and tucked it away with his legs. It was a great save. I thought it was the equaliser.”

Walton said: “I still thought we could win it. We opened them up a couple more times. Humphris should’ve scored! Open goal, two-yards out, he should’ve scored. I still felt we could get our goals back and get something back from the game.

A bad tackle by Trey Small on Farrell sparked handbags from both sides and management also ran onto the pitch.

Once calm was restored and the referee consulted both of his assistants, Farrell was sent-off and Small escaped with just a yellow card.

Both camps were asked their thoughts on the incident.

Walton said:  “I thought it was very harsh from what I saw.  Their (player) came running across two-footed lunge, which basically is absolutely ridiculous that tackle at that stage of the game. He could’ve caught him, that would’ve been a serious injury. He’s fell down on top of him, just handbags and the lad gets sent-off.

“Their goalkeeper runs 35-yards out of the goal to go over and cause all mayhem and no-one says anything to him! What’s he running over there for?”

Harrison added: “Trey Small made the challenge. He missed the ball. He dived in, he shouldn’t have done. It was the wrong area, he shouldn’t have done it anyway. It was definitely the wrong area to dive in and give a foul away, at that time of the game.

“I don’t think he caught the lad that bad. I thought he got out of the way because he got up quick enough to throw a punch or whatever he did, so he obviously didn’t injury him. It was a poor challenge. There was a little bit of a kerfuffle, it was handbags.”

Beckenham Town remain top on 27 points from 12 games, while Fisher are in second-place with 25 points from 12, while there are others in the title race, including seventh-placed Cray Valley, who have four games in hand on both and are on 19 points.

Both clubs are in Kent Senior Cup First Round action at the weekend. Beckenham Town host Erith Town – their last victory was over the Dockers in the league on 3 October – while Fisher travel to Chislehurst to play Glebe.

“As I said to you, I’ve just said to them in there, I’m really pleased with the way we played. Who’s going to be the rocks when the storm comes and the storm now has turned into a hurricane,” said Walton.

“But what we say to them if we play like that we’ll beat most sides, it not all of them if we play like that.  Your luck will turn. We haven’t had any luck really in the run of defeats.”

Fisher boss Harrison added: “Delighted! What a result! What a fantastic result to come here and get three points and keep the run going, I’m over the moon!

“The team spirt is absolutely fantastic in that dressing room. Like I said to you before, we were not expected to be up there. We’re punching above our weight but the team spirt and the solidarity in there and the desire to win for each other is fantastic, we’re enjoying the journey.

“Like I said to you before, our aim for the season is to stay up so anything more than that is a bonus.  I think in terms of morale, I think it’s a big boost for the boys, that they know they can come to places like this and get three points.”

Beckenham Town: Michael McEntegart, Jack Hope (Jamie Humphris 86), Taylor Fisher, Dean Carpenter, Adam Wadmore (Ike Robinson 71), Nathan Paul, Jake Rose (Stefan Wright 90), Billy Bennett, Richard Atkins, Eku Dean, Shameek Farrell.
Subs: Calum McGeehan, Jesse Darko

Goals: Eku Dean 47, Shameek Farrell 53

Booked: Adam Wadmore 45

Sent Off:  Shameek Farrell 90

Fisher: Dan Wheeler, Harvey Brinkley, Ritchie Hamill, Pat Geddis, Daniel Flemming, Harry Tobin (Tim Moffatt 35), Chandler Kasai (Trey Small 64), Luke Haidarovic, Tunde Aderonmu, Robert Brown (Afilabi Soyemi-Olade 90), Mathieu Ramsamy.
Sub: Martin Begg

Goals: Harry Tobin 2, Mathieu Ramsamy 6, Tunde Aderonmu 78

Booked: Tim Moffatt 45, Daniel Flemming 62, Trey Small 90

Attendance: 230
Referee: Mr Philip Dunkley (Nunhead, London SE15)
Assistants: Mr Zack Moules (Erith) & Mr Adam Back (Sidcup)

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