Sheppey United 0-1 Fisher FC
On a freezing January day, in one of the only SCEFL games to survive the weather, a coachload of Fisher fans, players and staff headed off to the Isle of Sheppey looking to get back to the top of the league. Despite the weather, Holm Park was in absolutely immaculate condition and the surface would put many to shame much higher up the pyramid. As usual, gaffer Dean Harrison was able to name a settled line-up, with Richie Hamill coming back in at left back following his suspension and Kasai replacing Ramsamy in an otherwise unchanged line-up.
Fisher started well and soon took a grip of the game. Andrew Mott was winning every loose ball in midfield as Sheppey struggled to keep the ball, and the combative midfielder nearly broke the deadlock on 8 minutes. A Hamill corner from the left found Mott in space at the back post. He cannoned a header off the bar, falling forward as he did so, and as the ball bounced down it hit Mott’s body and went away from goal. So unlucky to clear your own header off the line!
Sheppey’s only chance of note in the whole game fell on 13 minutes, a speculative shot from range after a Fisher player had slipped in midfield finding the arms of Dan Wheeler. The rest of the half was Fisher’s, and Rob Brown had a good chance from a free kick on 16 minutes after Aderonmu had been pulled down. Brown beat the wall but also the bar, failing to trouble the home keeper.
At the midpoint of the half, Mott had another chance from a header: again it was from a Hamill set piece, this time a free kick, and again Mott was in space at the back post. This time, he tried to loop the ball over the keeper, which he managed to do, but the ball landed on the roof of the net. Two minutes later, Trey Small thumped the roof of the stand sheltering the Fisher faithful from the elements, and then a desperate block on the edge of the box denied a thunderous Aderonmu shot.
With a minute to go in the half, Rob Brown flashed a shot inches past the left hand post, with the Sheppey keeper beaten all ends up. There was just time for Sheppey to break and win a corner after a long range strike was deflected behind, but the set piece came to nothing.
Half-time: Sheppey United 0-0 Fisher FC. The Fish were a little unlucky to go in level at the break, having bossed the midfield and created the lion’s share of the chances.
If Sheppey had struggled to enjoy much meaningful possession in the first half, the second half was a different affair altogether. The home team got a foothold in midfield, and enjoyed far more possession than they had in the first half. For all that, they struggled to make any impression on the Fisher defence, with Dan Wheeler enjoying another very quiet day in goals.
For their part, Fisher also struggled to test the home defence in the second half, as both defences cancelled each other out. On 56 minutes, the Fish broke and won a corner which was punched clear as far as Trey Small, but he sent the ball well over the bar. The now customary Fisher substitution on the hour mark came long, Kasai going off for Ramsamy in a like for like swap. 5 minutes later, Fisher suffered a blow when Dan Flemming had to limp off. Jacob Skelly came on for him and slotted into an unfamiliar central defence position, which he took to very well for the remainder of the game.
Sheppey were now well on top in terms of possession, without ever looking like scoring. Dean Harrison decided to make his final substitution and replace Aderonmu with Kush Campbell-Palmer to see if the deadlock could be broken, and what an inspired decision that would turn out to be. As the game went into the final ten minutes, good play down the right by Jamie and Rob Brown saw Fisher win back to back corners, without troubling the home keeper on either occasion.
Just as it looked as if the game would peter out into a 0-0 draw, a delightful through ball sent Campbell-Palmer galloping through on goal, and as the keeper came out to narrow the angle the big hitman kept his cool and slid the ball under the keeper’s body and into the back of the net. A tremendous finish which sparked bedlam behind the goals, as the Fisher faithful celebrated in style. See the goal – and, more importantly, some of the celebrations – as captured by resident Fisher videographer @John84Green: https://twitter.com/John84Green/status/1091740605426946052 0-1, Kushal Campbell-Palmer, 87 minutes
Fisher saw out the remaining minutes comfortably, serenaded by a five minute long rendition of the Fisher faithful’s new terrace anthem: Kushal Kushal Kushal Campbell-Palmer, Campbell-Palmer, Campbell-Paa-aalmer (try it, trust me!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmcA9LIIXWw
Full-time: Sheppey United 0-1 Fisher FC. A fantastic win for a Fisher side which just doesn’t know how to give up. An excellent day all in all, which was suitably toasted on the journey home by players and fans alike!
Man of the match: covered every blade of grass, very unlucky not to get on the scoresheet and drove the team on to victory – this week’s man of the match is Andrew Mott.
Sheppey United 0-1 Fisher
Saturday 2 February 2019
SCEFL Premier Division
Kush Campbell-Palmer 87
Photo courtesy of Graham Havill: https://www.facebook.com/Graham-Havill-Photography-824820711191419/