Tunbrudge Wells 1-3 Fisher
Tuesday 5th April 2022
SCEFL Premier Division
Scorers: Sarpong (26 mins), Thompson (51 mins) Bailey-King (54 mins)
Fisher travelled down to Tunbridge Wells for a midweek game at the Culverden Stadium – a ground where they had only previously won once in eleven attempts but returned with the three points after a very professional performance.
Luke Thomas was unavailable due to work commitments so Vincent Follea slotted in at right back allowing Michael Sarpong to return to the starting eleven in midfield after his injury.
The game saw a cagey opening as both sides struggled to get to grips with a difficult bumpy surface as Matt Gething fired high and wide for the hosts and Isaac Thompson and Michael Sarpong both shot over for the visitors.
Fisher looked the sharper however and Darnelle Bailey King quickly got the measure of this marker sending over a teasing cross that Manny Shoderu just failed to turn goal wards, the ball flying off his outstretched boot for a goal kick.
Tunbridge utilising a long throw and high balls into their front man Gething but Fitzgerald and Adewunmi were more than match for the tactic.
The Wells goal was starting to lead a charmed life as Oladejo sent over a vicious inswinging corner that just evaded everyone at the back stick, but on twenty three minutes the goal that was promised arrived. A sweeping move found Shoderu wide on the left and he got to the by-line before drilling a low cross to find Michael Sarpong joining the attack to calmly stroke the ball home from twelve yards out.
With Fisher firmly in the ascendency Thompons and Bailey King both went close in the later stages of the half and Taylor dealt well with an awkward deflection in a rare sortie on the Fisher goal to send the Fish in at the break a goal to the good.
However barely had people time to drink their half time tea when the scores were level as from the first attack of the half Fisher conceded as a ball from the left was allowed to travel through a mass of bodies and Gething was on hand to turn the ball past a stranded Taylor.
Hearts sank amongst the twenty strong Fisher faithful that had travelled to the game, as it looked another winning position would be hauled back but the side had other ideas and went straight back on the front foot with a dazzling second half display.
Bailey-King, now rediscovering his undoubted talent, was simply mesmerising on the right and time and time again turned his marker inside out and sent over a series of dangerous crosses. From one such move he found Isaac Thompson and whilst his connection wasn’t a sweet as he would like the ball somehow found its way past Lee-Wharton in the Tunbridge goal and put the Fish back in front within five minutes of being pegged back.
Five minutes later the Fish had extended the lead, this time Fidan Fejzi on the left was the provider following a flowing move and his cross evaded Lee-Wharton and found Bailey- King lurking at the back post like all good wingers should to tuck the ball home into an empty net.
Fisher were rampant at this stage surging down the Culverden slope and Oladejo fizzed n a thirty yard effort that forced Lee-Wharton into the save of the match to tip the screamer over the bar.
Tunbridge tried to rally and Taylor dealt with a dipping effort well, but the lead never really looked like being threatened. As the home sides frustrations grew Lee-Wharton was lucky to stay on the field after a fracas with Shoderu, that saw a yellow card for each player, despite the Tunbridge bench sending for the spare keepers kit obviously expecting a red, but some sensible refereeing – in a well officiated match – kept the sides at eleven a piece. Fisher withdrew Shoderu to save him form any further trouble some keep ball deep in the Tunbridge half saw the game out with ease.
The final whistle sparked fine celebrations in the far corner as the team and supporters enjoyed one of the best performances of the season and a well-deserved three points.