Canterbury City 3-1 Fisher
Saturday 5 November 2022
SCEFL Premier Division
Scorer: Da Mata (61 mins)
Fisher slipped to defeat against Canterbury on a miserable afternoon in Sittingbourne. Having produced one of their best performances of the season at the same ground in the late Summer when putting out Canterbury’s landlords in the FA Cup, the side failed to find the same levels of determination and defensive strength and three soft goals costing them dearly.
Fisher started well, Darnelle-Bailey King escaped down the right and his low centre was flicked just wide of the upright by Jacob Katonia in the game’s first chance and minutes later Manny Shoderu saw his drive tipped over the bar after a quick short corner gave him a shooting chance. With Cedric Nganga also looking sharp on the flank Fisher continued to make the far brighter start of the two sides, with serval dangerous crosses coming into the Canterbury area and the host soaking up considerable pressure.
The best chance then fell to Jacob Katonia as he jinked into the area on the left and having waltzed past several defenders saw his shot blocked at the near post by Kidman in the host’s goal. At this stage it looked only a matter of time before the first goal came and on 27 minutes it did, but at the other end, as with their first attack on note in the game and certainly their first shot, a quick break down the right allowed Danny Keyte time to bury a low shot into the far corner.
Despite the goal Fisher continued to push forward with much of the rest of the half played in the Canterbury half, though the approach play often broke down with a wrong option or poor final ball, but leaving the 23 supporters, making up over half the crowd, firmly in belief that the side could get back onto the game. That believe waivered just before half time when Katonia won a throw in the far corner only for a Canterbury defenders attempt to kick the ball away seeing him kick Katonia and his aggressive reaction to that led to a coming together of several players and a red card for Fisher’s leading scorer, with bookings for the Canterbury defender and Darnelle Bailey-King, with a couple of players on both sides fortunate to not also see red.
Once again Fisher would need to get something out of game with ten men from a goal down as they did at Glebe last week. Hopes of this were quickly extinguished when six minutes into the second spell some poor marking and weak clearances allowed Seb Rowland time to hook home a second. This did lead to Fisher’s best spell of the half and on the hour mark Julio Da Mata stabbed home from close range after the hosts keeper had not held a flighted corner. Fisher almost got back on level terms shortly after as the hosts seemed temporarily rattled and Cedric Nganga saw an effort saved off the line with the follow up effort also blocked.
With Fisher just starting to get up a head of steam and push for an equaliser, Canterbury grabbed a third out of nothing as a harmless chip from Henry Arnold slipped through Owusu’s grasp and restored the two goal cushion. Fisher huffed and puffed to find a late way back onto the game. Imoru and Sarpong combined well to see the rangy defender surge into the area, but his pull back was wasted by Zeddini who fired wide. The hosts strategy of leaving men up, rather than sitting deep meant that it was actually they in the closing minutes who looked the more likely to add to the score.
The final whistle signalled a very disappointing defeat and huge puzzlement as to why the side cannot find their impressive cup form in league games. Were points awarded for cup games Fisher would have a comfortable 21 points from 14 games with many of those games against higher opposition, yet the league sees them with just 8 points from their 11 games played and firmly at the bottom of the table.