Welling United 0-0 Fisher
Saturday 17th September 2022
3:00 pm Kick Off
Emirates FA Cup – Second Qualifying Round
With six games already under their belts, Fisher took on National League South side Welling United in the second qualifying round and after a exciting but goalless draw will need an eighth game if they are to progress to the next round.
With the talismanic Darnelle Bailey-King failing a late fitness test and new signing Billy Brown unavailable, Fisher’s only change to their starting line up from their midweek league outing at Phoenix Sports was Prince Imoru returning from suspension to slot in at left back.
After a cagey opening ten minutes the first real chance of the game came when the lively Isaac Thompson nipped onto a short back pass but despite beating the keeper to the ball his dinked effort drifted just wide of the post.
Welling were having far more of the possession and at times seemed camped in the Fisher half pushing the ball around well but crosses into the box were comfortably dealt with by Sam FitzGerald and Joseph Adewunmi, who marshalled the Wings prolific front two of Azeez and Payne masterfully.
Both keepers were tested low down, with Sam Amedu saving well from Azeez and McKenzie keeping to a Darnel Bromfield effort, before the best chance of the half saw Azeez header safely held by Amedu when the forward should really have found a corner of the net having found a rare pocket of space for a free header. Welling looked to get on top and only some last ditch tackles from Fitzgerald and Sarpong stopped Azeez and Payne pulling the trigger as the ball moved around the Fisher penalty area.
The half ended with another fine chance for Fisher as Malaki Coker’s eager running as a lone striker saw him slip between two defenders but his shot lacked power coming more off his shin than boot.
The Fisher faithful could a barely believe what they were seeing as the sides went into the break still level wondering whether the Fish may rue not taking one of the half chances and expecting a Wings onslaught I the second spell. However, it was Fisher who were to craft the first chance when Adewunmi send a header flashing across goal from well delivered free kick.
Thompson, who appeared hampered by an early knock, still looked a threat cutting ono ff the wing and saw a curling effort parried by McKenzie with Coker and then Manny Shoderu with an overhead kick both seeing efforts smothered from the rebounds. A cross come shot from substitute Nader Zeddini almost caught McKenzie out and the back peddling keeper was relieved to see the ball skim the top of the bar.
A magnificent defensive effort kept Welling at bay and whilst soaking up a lot of pressure and playing mainly on the counter, with Prince Imoru making several superb tackles down the Welling right to stop the supply to Payne and Azeez and Fitzgerald and Adewunmi throwing themselves at everything delivered into the box. Amedu saved well on an occasion when Azeez finally got free, palming away a stinging drive.
With time ticking on and the scores still level a single goal looked certain to win the tie and Fisher looked to get it. Coker ran onto a loose ball and cutting inside he waited sensibly for support but substitute Tamas Amgbaduba could not quite get onto the pass he slipped inside and a defender smothered the shot.
Urged on by a large ad vocal following Fisher held fast at the back and in the dying minutes almost sent the fans into raptures as FitzGerald rose at the back stick to head agonisingly wide of the post.
There was still some late defending for the Fish to do but with Amedu claiming or punching all that entered his box there was little drama and the final whistle meant the sides must lock horns again at St Paul’s on Tuesday evening as Fisher’s cup odyssey continues to an amazing eighth game.