Fisher 1-3 Erith & Belvedere
Tuesday 27th September 2022
SCEFL Premier Division
Scorer: Jacob Katonia (51 mins)
Picture Credit: John Cronin
Fisher returned to league action with a difficult visit from runaway league leaders Erith & Belvedere and despite a spirited second half could not repair the damage from a disastrous first spell and fell to a 3-1 defeat.
With Isaac Thompson ruled out after limping out of Saturday’s FA Vase win and Luke Thomas unavailable due to work commitments, manager Ajay Ashanike was forced into changes. Eni Amgbaduba returned from injury to lead the line with Michael Sarpong dropping in at right back and Cedric Nganga coming on to play out wide.
However, the new line up had little chance to settle when after just two minutes the visitors had the lead as Justice Owusu failed to gather a through ball cleanly under pressure from Danny Lear and he flicked the loose ball to Nathan Palmer who precisely guided the ball past the retreating defender into an unguarded net.
Fisher were almost presented a soft goal themselves when a short back pass allowed Eni Amgbaduba to race through but Callum Backhurst bravely raced out and in the resulting collision as both players made contact with the ball at the same moment received a very serious looking injury resulting in a long delay. With no keeper on the bench Fraser Walker took over between the sticks as the unfortunate Backhurst was ferried to hospital.
Fisher then wasted several good opportunities to get on level terms when firstly Amgbaduba failed to make contact after good work down the right from Nganga allowed him to sweep in a low cross and then Sam Fitzgerald lifted an effort over the bar as he stretched to control ball recycled into the box. They were to pay dearly for the missed chances as a deep corner for the visitors was met at the back post by Danny Lear whose header made its way into the net for a goal Fisher will feel they should have defended better.
Erith and Belvedere had their tails up and clearly felt the best way to protect their rookie keeper was to take the game to Fisher, Nathan Palmer saw a long-range effort fly narrowly wide and some good passing around the Fisher box always looked a threat. Just before half time this threat gave Nathan Palmer a sight of goal after a sweeping move forward following Fisher coughing up possession cheaply, and he rifled the ball into the top corner to pretty much put the game out of Fisher’s reach.
Clearly the Fish would need an early goal in the second spell if they were to salvage anything from the game. A reshuffle saw Conor Darwish on at left back with Prince Imoru switching to right back allowing Michael Sarpong a more familiar midfield role. The move paid off almost immediately as Sarpong fired an effort just over and within five minutes of the half starting Nganga again put in a low cross which Jacob Katonia nipped into to swivel away from the keeper and defender and then turn to poke the ball home into the far corner.
Fisher then pushed to find a second to possibly exert some pressure on the visitors, who whilst sitting a little deeper still looked a threat on the break. Luzolo replaced Amgbaduba and Atkinson came on for Katonia but the changes did not really have the desired effect and Fisher huffed and puffed without really testing Walker in goal, with a few efforts flying high and wide.
With seven minutes of time remaining Joseph Adewunmi saw his header come off the base off the post in what was pretty much Fisher’s last attempt of note and the Deres played out the final minutes with little alarm. Fisher’s search for their opening league win goes on, although it was always looking an unlikely prospect in this game with Erith and Belvedere looking as if they will be in title shake up come the end of the season.