Forest Hill Park 0-2 Fisher
Saturday 24th September
FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round
Scorers: Nader Zeddini (38 mins), Jacob Katonia (44 mins)
After their FA Cup odyssey came to an end in midweek, Fisher made the short trip to Lewisham to resume their other major cup campaign in the FA Vase, against Forest Hill Park. Having already defeated one Step 6 side in Oakwood in the first qualifying round, Fisher were looking to advance to the First Round Proper for the fourth consecutive year and completed the task with minimal fuss, securing a 2-0 win.
With a injury hit squad, manager Ajay Ashanike opted to rest keeper Samuel Amedu and Manny Shoderu, with Justice Owusu deputising in goal and Nickal-David Luzolo returning to the line-up along with the suspension free Jacob Katonia. There was a place on the bench for youngster Justin Hancock.
The game had a quiet opening, with Fisher seeing plenty of possession but lacking a cutting edge, possibly as a result of the number of games they have played recently on the back foot against higher level opposition. Fisher were dealt a further injury blow when Isaac Thompson hobbled off after 15 minutes, with Ryan Atkinson coming on to replace him.
As the half progressed, Fisher were still searching for a final pass to open up a determined Forest Hill rear guard, which included former Fish Dan Fleming, despite some good build up play down either flank. At the other end Justice Owusu came out well to smoother when a Forest Hill forward broke through with the referee waving away home claims that the forward was felled just before Owusu reached him. From Owusu’s save, Fisher broke up field with good work down the left by Prince Imoru and Katonia and with Forest Hill unable to fully deal with the ball delivered into the box, Nader Zeddini was on hand to fire home and give Fisher a lead.
Fisher almost doubled the lead soon after as Imoru again drove into the box after a run down the left that saw him beat three markers and sending in a low ball from the by line gave Osemen Usifoh a simple finish with the goal gaping, but somehow Usifoh got the ball caught in his feet and the chance went begging. It was not to cost Fisher though, as on the stroke of half time, Jacob Katonia came in off the left flank and drove at the heart of the Forest Hill defence, before hitting a low drive into the corner of the net to double the lead.
The second spell saw Fisher sit back and settle on their lead with Joseph Adewunmi and Sam Fitzgerald again looking in dominant form at the back. A third goal almost arrived when Ryan Atkinson skipped out of a tackle and advanced to the edge of the area where he unleashed a powerful shot that the keeper did well to parry away.
With half an hour remaining Luzolo made way for sixteen-year old Justin Hancock to make his Fisher debut. However, chances were few and far between as the game become a little scrappy. Katonia had a good shout for penalty waved away and Atkinson was felled by Fleming just outside the box which saw a yellow card for the former Fish defender and the resulting free kick wasted when Atkinson sent it into the wall.
Forest Hill Park almost snatched a late consolation, but Justice Owusu saved well, making himself big to block the shot from the escaping forward. The final whistle signalled Fisher’s advance to the First Round, the draw for which will take place on Monday.