Bearsted 2-1 Fisher
Saturday 8 October 2022
SCEFL Premier Division
Scorer: Jacob Katonia (51 mins)
Fisher’s disappointing run of league results continued with a 2-1 defeat in the Autumn sunshine at Bearsted, having been denied a deserved point when a late effort hit the post and the rebound was then hooked away off the line.
Isaac Thompson and Luke Thomas returned to the side after missing the midweek defeat at Stansfeld with Justice Owusu again deputising for Sam Amedu in goal. With the game kicking off an hour earlier due to being part of the SCEFL Groundhop, Fisher’s pre match preparations were further disrupted by severe traffic problems enroute, but the side still started the game well, seeing a lot of possession and getting some good balls into the host’s penalty area.
However, the good work was all undone when on 18 minutes a needless free kick was conceded just to the left of the Fisher penalty area and Ollie Freeman rose above his marker to head home powerfully from the whipped in delivery.
Despite a very poor record of retrieving results from losing positions Fisher battled back well. Thompson’s mazy run and delivery into the box caused some alarm and the ball was only cleared as far as Michael Sarpong on the edge of the box and his low effort just went wide of the post with the keeper beaten.
Jacob Katonia was a constant threat on the wing and having won a corner from a typical run into the box, his delivery saw Sam Fitzgerald head goalwards at the back post but the header was easily held by the home keeper who then shortly after thwarted Eni Amgbaduba as he challenged to get onto Michael Sarpong’s neat cross just before the break
The second half saw Fisher straight on attack with Jacob Katonia driving forwards and seeing his powerful shot well saved with the rebound chance well smothered by the defenders. Katonia was soon to be rewarded for his industry and quality when in a flowing move Alli Abdullahi fed Luke Thomas on the right and his first time ball forward saw Katonia race into the space beyond his marker before switching inside the lunging centre half and calmly sweeping the ball under the keeper for a well worked equaliser.
Parity was to last just two minutes though, as with Fisher pressing high a quick interchange of passes and a missed tackle by Sarpong saw the ball fed to the right wing and a driving run with Imoru caught between two players saw a deep low cross swept home at the far post by Ollie Freeman for a classic counter attacking goal amidst some naive and disjointed pressing.
Trailling again Fisher now found it harder to get fluency into their game as they had when behind in the first half with a series of light touch fouls breaking up play. Katonia looked to be the only spark that could ignite a second comeback and riding one rough tackle he went over in the box with the referee deciding he had dived and only awarding the first foul outside the area– made all the more bizarre by a failure to book Katonia if deemed a dive. There was certainly contact by the defender but this may have been after Katonia had left his feet.
Fisher looked to their bench to add fresh legs into the attack as Nickal-David Luzolo and Darnelle Bailey- King were added up front and Darnel Bromfield and Nader Zeddini bolstered the midfield, but Fisher looked out of ideas at this stage and Bearsted started to look the more likely to get the next goal as they took advantage of the growing space at the back as Fisher committed forward.
Patrick Hoy came on and deservedly went off again minutes later after protesting too much to the referee after he was taken out, albeit unseen by the referee, in back play as frustration grew. Not the first time this season Fisher have played out the final minutes when behind a player short and the emotional intelligence of the side is certainly an area that they need to address.
With virtually the last action of the match Fisher almost grabbed a point. A lobbed ball over the Bearsted back line saw Darnelle Bailey-King race through and manage to bring the ball down and flick it over the advancing keeper only to see the effort hit the near post and then having managed to keep his balance to force the rebound goal wards, the retreating defender showed the desire and agility to acrobatically hook the ball of the line and deny Fisher a share of the spoils.
Fisher now face a three game run of cup games in which to find a winning formula before returning to what is shaping up to be a hard winter of league football needing to somehow find a way to turn the small margins in their favour.