Fisher 0-0 Sutton Common Rovers
Saturday 6th August 2022
Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Photo Credit: Dave Anderson
Fisher will have to try again on Wednesday in their quest to get through the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup after a tight game ended goalless against Step 4 side Sutton Common Rovers in the blistering heat at St Paul’s.
Fisher gave a debut to Darnel Bromfield in midfield with Malaki Coker dropping to the bench in the only change for the starting eleven from the league opener a week ago. Forward Eni Amgbaduba also made a debut, when coming on as an early substitute for illness-stricken Julio Da Mata.
The visitors showed their higher league pedigree early on an made the brighter start with their front three looking lively. However, the Fisher back line looked very composed with Sam Fitzgerald and Joseph Adewunmi looking dominant in their familiar centre back pairing. Keeper Sam Amedu made a couple of tidy saves, showing excellent handling technique to hold a well-placed header and an early shot. The visitors seemed to have the upper hand in midfield, picking off the second phase balls to see them with the lion’s share of the territory, but as the half progressed, Fisher came into the tie more and more. Fidan Fejzi started to see more ball and his powerful running pushed Rovers back with the presence of Amgbaduba up front adding a new dimension to the Fisher attack.
Both sides wasted well placed free kicks, failing to beat the respective defensive walls and Fisher survived a late first half scare, when a long range effort skimmed the top of the crossbar, but should have gone into half time ahead, when a fine cross from Fejzi saw Michael Sarpong acrobatically volley goal wards from close range bringing out an excellent reflex save on the line from the visiting keeper, who was signed the day before on loan from Hampton, who somehow kept the ball out with one hand when a goal looked almost certain (see photo).
The second half saw Fisher get stronger and stronger. Darnelle Bailey-King saw more of the ball and sent over a number of dangerous crosses, but no one could find a final touch. A Sarpong header, when he arrived late into the box, to connect with a Bailey-King cross found the visiting keeper’s grateful hands and Amgbaduba, Bailey-King and Oseman Usifoh all saw opportunities in the penalty area but couldn’t make good enough contact to force the ball home under defensive pressure. Manny Shoderu and Malaki Coker came on from the bench to add fresh legs as Fisher continued to take the game their visitors. At the other end, Amedu had to save well at the near post when Rover’s winger escaped Foday Jaiteh’s attention at left back, but this was a rare second half threat on the Fisher goal.
Fisher pushed and pushed for a goal to seal the tie but when Malaki Coker fired a half-cleared corner over the bar time had run out and the teams must replay on Wednesday evening at Sutton Common Rovers’ home ground at Whyteleafe. A brave and determined effort by the Fish would not have been undeserved if it had led to a place in the next round and if they can repeat the performance on Wednesday they will feel they still have a chance of pulling off a cup upset.