Stansfeld 0-3 Fisher
Tuesday 1st February 2022
SCEFL Challenge Cup 2nd Round
Scorers: Thomas (15 min) Thompson (38 min and 58 min – both pens)
Photo credit: Peter Parry
Fisher advanced to the third round of the SCEFL Challenge Cup with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Stansfeld in a feisty ‘Battle of Bermondsey’ at Foxbury Avenue.
Both sides have their roots in Bermondsey having first met in the 1920s when playing in the Peckham League and the crowd of 151 contained many former players of both clubs. The assembled audience paid their respects to Alfie Nunn, who had played for both sides, with a minutes applause prior to kick off.
Manager Ajay Ashanike had selection issues prior to the game with the rules of the competition determining that he could only select from players already signed prior to the original date for the tie on December 7th. This led to Lee Weemes returning from injury to take his place on the bench along with coaches Luke With and Michael Williams and a rare start for teenager Dennis Asante and Patrick Hoy, with Christian Udo leading the line.
Fisher certainly looked the more likely to open the scoring and put the hosts under some early pressure. On fifteen minutes the opening goal arrived when the ball was fed into Asante inside the area and he carefully laid it into the path of Luke Thomas to thump it high into the net.
Udo was to prove a throne in Stansfeld’s side all game long with his powerful forward play and good holding up of the ball. A bursting run shortly after the first goal saw him hauled down in full flight and despite it being clear that his next touch was to be a shot at goal the referee only awarded Wise a yellow card, citing covering defenders stopping it being a goal scoring chance.
Stansfeld pushed for an equaliser and Tommy Taylor saved well with his feet at the far post after a long cross had found an unmarked forward at the back of the penalty area, but their attempts at levelling the game were put on the back foot on 38 minutes when a deep delivery of a free kick near the corner flag by Isaac Thompson was steered away from Udo’s head by Stansfeld’s centre back Lennie Wise, giving the referee no option but to award a penalty and issue a second yellow to Wise leaving the hosts with just ten players. Thompson duly dispatched the spot kick and then almost added a third and his second when a surging run from his own half saw him bear down on goal, but his shot was way too high and sailed into the night sky. Thomas and Asante both saw shots blocked as Fisher turned on the heat and made the extra man count towards the end of the half with the final action being an outrageous bit of skill by Udo on the touchline, turning his marker inside out before crossing where upon Sarpong’s vicious half volley flew just wide of the upright.
The second half became a scrappier affair with a number of very heavy tackles coming in on the Fisher players. Both Sarpong and Katonia had to be withdrawn with serious looking injuries as a result of two of the challenges, both surprisingly deemed fair by the referee, but may see both players sitting out a few games to recover. With the sparse bench, Fisher had to regroup and looked a little unbalanced with substitute Luke With and Udo playing unaccustomed midfield roles. However the task of seeing the game out was made easier when a host’s defender carelessly handled in the box and Thompson was able to fire home his second and Fisher’s third from the resulting penalty.
The third goal gave Fisher the cushion needed to see out the game with ease and advance to the third round where they will return to Foxbury Avenue to face Glebe next Tuesday, when fortunately a full squad will be eligible to play.