Fisher 2-2 Sheppey United
Tuesday 1st March
SCEFL Premier Division
Scorers: Fitzgerald (44 mins and 69 mins)
Report by Jack Hayman of Non League Chronicles
Photo Credit – Dave Anderson
Fisher picked up a well-deserved point against high flying Sheppey United at St Paul’s on Tuesday night but may feel that their performance would have warranted more on another day.
The home side began brightly and matched the visitors for intensity in an opening 15 minutes which would be best described as cagey but promising with both sides looking to stamp their authority on the tie.
Fisher had the first real effort of note with twenty seven minutes gone when a really good bit of passing play allowed Luke Thomas to release Nickal-David Luzolo with a superb ball through the lines but his shot was deflected for a corner, which eventually came to nothing. Isaac Thompson was next to have a go, but his snap shot was in reality quite tame and bread and butter for Adam Molloy in goal.
Meanwhile at the other end the conditions combined with a great delivery caused issues when Sam Fitzgerald could only scuff a clearance half clear before Warren Mfula blasted his effort with force over the top of the Dockers End.
Mfula & Fitzgerald were involved again as the former went down under ‘challenge’ on the edge of the area resulting in a yellow card for Fitzgerald with the free kick came to nothing drawing a save out of Tommy Taylor and Mfula hitting the rebound high again.
A minute before half time Fisher broke the deadlock and it was that man Fitzgerald again in the thick of things. He peeled off well to meet Isaac Thompson’s delivery at the near post with his left foot, opening his account for the season and notching his first goal since September 2020 in the process.
Sheppey in all fairness came straight out in the send half and took the game to the hosts, showing all the hallmarks of a team with the bit between their teeth and they were level on 50 minutes. A corner caused problems and the ball was eventually bundled home at the near post by full back Danny Devine to restore parity much to the disappointment of the home crowd.
Things weren’t going to plan and got even worse at this point as Tommy Taylor was penalised for bringing down his man as he slid across to claim the ball. He received a yellow card in the process. Billy Bennett stepped up and did the honours from the resulting spot kick sending Taylor the wrong way to turn the tie on its head and make it 2-1 to Sheppey.
It’s fair to say at this point that Fisher didn’t have a vintage 15 minutes but they dug in nonetheless and showed their teeth with some resolute defending.
Fisher got their reward on 69 minutes when a free kick was whipped in by Temi Oladejo and Fitzgerald left his marker trailing to prod home again with his weaker left foot just inside Molloy’s far post with the keeper rooted to the spot to level the scores.
The game at this point was end to end as both sides served up a full blooded contest in the persistent rain. Fisher again went close with Vincent Follea’s low drive forcing Molloy into a good stop at the base of his right hand post.
A great delivery from a Sheppey corner was met well and looked to be heading in but for a wonderful goal line clearance from Luke Thomas – a great piece of defending that was as good as a goal.
Sheppey had introduced Fish legend Richie Hamill from the bench and he found himself lurking with intent over a free kick 25 yards from goal with the clocking ticking away. The Fisher faithful held their breath having seen Hamill convert so often from this range but he could only force Tommy Taylor into a simple catch.
There were two last half chances of note as Fitzgerald nearly nicked all three points and a hat trick when he met a corner at the far post but his header didn’t trouble the keeper and a lightning break from the Fish saw them force a late corner but as the ball was punched away by Molloy and the final whistle went and the points were shared.