Charlie Bradford tells us about his first visit to The Menace Arena from The Non League Chronicles. Like their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/thenonleaguechronicles
Peckham Town 1-1 Fisher
Saturday 10th July 2021, 1 PM @ The Menace Arena
Admission – £3
Programme – £1
Pin badge – £3
New ground number 229
Game 5 of the 2021 / 2022 season
England in the final of a major tournament with a ticket in hand – buzzing! How to pass the time between now and the final tomorrow? Well, more football of course! Peckham Town had been on my radar for a while as a local venue to tick off and today’s friendly against SCEFL side Fisher represented a perfect opportunity to do just that.
Walking into the ground with Smiffy, I thought that the ground was brilliant for the level with covered areas behind the near goal and on the far touchline, a cafe / tea hut selling refreshments, full colour programmes, pin badges and the offer of a free cider – lots of groundhopping brownie points for me and even more impressive given Peckham Town are in step 7 of the National League System.
The 2020 London Senior Trophy winners managed by former Arsenal Ladies player Mary Phillip had the better of the opening stages and perhaps should have taken the lead in the opening 30 seconds when their number 11 was slipped through but his effort was well saved by Fisher goalkeeper Carpanini.
However, in the fifth minute, The Menace did take the lead when Peckham’s number 7 produced a low cross from the left to which Tidian Barry controlled and turned on before producing a left footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner from around 8 yards out. As Del Boy of Only Fools and Horses (set in Peckham of course) would have said, “lovely jubbly”!
Both teams then managed to create some chances with Julio Da Mata having an effort at Peckham goalkeeper George Legg from 25 yards out, with Peckham’s number 9 equally going close a couple of minutes later when he cut in from the right before drilling a shot wide.
Fisher had a good chance once again in the 16th minute when Blackwood decided to take aim from 20 yards out with his effort dipping and landing on the roof of George Legg’s goal.
In the 28th minute Peckham should have doubled their lead when a low pass from the right found the feet of Tidian Barry six yards out but his shot ended up off target. Inevitably they were made to rue that missed chance when just three minutes later Fisher equalised when a bundle between a Peckham defender and Fisher attacker in the penalty area resulted in the referee Josh Price pointing to the spot following a fall more reminiscent of the chandelier scene in the aforementioned Only Fools and Horses.
Lee Weemes stepped up to take the spot kick and made no mistake in putting the ball into the bottom left-hand corner to restore parity in the game.
Fisher had a good chance to go into half time in the lead when Coker’s pass to Brown six yards out found the latter with room but he missed the target with his effort.
The second half did not seem to create much in the way of opportunities giving the chance for the groundhoppers in the crowd to discuss all things Euro 2020. The first chance of the second half came in the 69th minute when Peckham’s number 7 stood up a cross from the left onto the head of the Peckham number 9 six yards out but he headed the cross off target.
In the 75th minute Fisher’s custodian was called into action when a shot from the edge of Fisher’s box by Peckham’s number 14 had to be tipped wide for a corner, with Peckham responding 13 minutes later with a shot by their number 11 dragged wide from the edge of the box.
All the best chances of the second half seemed to come in the dying moments – firstly Fisher’s Sam FitzGerald headed a free kick at George Legg from six yards out, before Fisher’s number 17 had a clearance fall his way and his shot from 20 yards finished off target.
Peckham themselves had two good chances to win the game in the third minute of second half stoppage time. Firstly a corner from the right fell the way of their number 7 at the edge of the box but his shot flashed over, and then Peckham’s number 9 stole the ball of off Fisher’s number 18 and ran through on goal only to see his shot saved by Fisher’s goalkeeper’s foot.
In the fifth minute of stoppage time Fisher had one last chance to win it when a cross caused confusion amongst the Peckham defence and was brought down by Fisher’s number 16 and a bundle eventually end up in the grateful hands of George Legg.
FT: 1-1. An excellent day out at a ground I thoroughly recommend visiting. If they had lights and seats it would make for a welcome addition in the SCEFL division one.
MOTM: Peckham Town’s number 7 – looked the liveliest player on the pitch.