Fisher 1-2 Jersey Bulls
Saturday 12 November 2022
FA Vase Second Round
Scorer: Amgbaduba (14 mins)
Fisher’s FA Vase campaign ended after a heart breaking 94th minute goal from the visiting Jersey Bulls determined an exciting second round fixture.
Once again Fisher made a mockery of their poor league form with a battling performance against the previously unbeaten Jersey side, who must now be amongst the favourites to win the Vase with the logistics of travel later in the competition being possibly their biggest threat.
Having signed striker Henry Adeniran during the week, manager Ajay Ashanike’s plans to use him were curtailed after an injury at training on Thursday evening and so Eni Amgbaduba started up front with Sam FitzGerald returning to the heart of the defence after injury. Manny Brown was also in the starting eleven in place of the suspended Jacob Katonia.
Fisher were quickly out of the blocks and could have taken a fifth minute lead when Darnelle Bailley King nipped into claim possession on hallway and left the Jersey back line in his wake as his pace saw him race towards goal, but his decision to fire the ball over the advancing keeper rather than round him was foiled as the ball rose over the bar.
The game quickly settled in a pattern of play with Jersey knocking the ball confidently around their back line and midfield and Fisher sitting deep in a low block looking to attack on the counter. From one such counter-attack the opening goal arrive. Bailey King again escaped down the right and his deep cross was not fully cleared and found Sam FitzGerald was able to centre and Eni Amgbaduba brought the ball down on the turn and despite seeing his first effort blocked his determination saw him reach the rebound and slide the ball past the keeper to give the Fish a deserved lead.
Jersey could have replied almost immediately with Ben le Rougettel seeing an effort from a free kick curl just wide of the post, but it was a rare sight of goal for the Islanders in the early exchanges, with Fisher again going close after twenty minutes when a powerful run from Cedric Nganga saw him slip the ball into Amgbaduba when shooting himself may have been a better option.
The visitors were then further hampered when a rash tackle from their talented youngster Miguel Carvalho left the referee no choice but to brandish a red card and whilst Fisher had a man advantage they were affected by Nganga having to leave the field of play with a suspected fractured ankle.
Minutes before the break Justice Owusu was required to make a good save to keep out another well hit free kick, pushing it wide for a corner as the Bulls looked to get on level terms. Right on the stroke of half time the turning point on the game came as a hard but fair challenge on Amgbaduba as he challenged in the Jersey box left him requiring extensive treatment for a dead leg and needing to be replaced by Patrick Hoy. Without the target man up front Fisher resorted to sitting deep in the second half with little outlet amidst five attacking players watching injured form the side lines. The strategy looked to be working as Fisher’s well-disciplined shape allowed Jersey to the bulk of possession without much penetration and allowed the pace of Bailey King to be a threat as the Bulls pushed men forwards, with the talented winger forcing a smart save low at the near post after Hoy had slipped him in down the right.
However, the Bulls continued to push for the leveller and Fisher sat deeper and deeper. Lorne Bickley fizzed an effort just wide of Owusu’s left post and then was guilty of missing a regulation chance at the back post as Fisher started to live dangerously. The equaliser that had been threatened finally arrived in the 75th minute as a good interchange finally released Bickely down the left and he calmly sipped the ball under Owusu.
Fisher forged a good chance to retake the lead, again releasing Bailey King down the right but his attempted lob was scuffed and blocked by the keeper. With the game going into injury time Owusu saved well low down smothering Qeune’s shot and amidst mayhem form the resulting corner the Fisher defence somehow kept out several close range efforts. However, with penalties once again looming, the final minute of added time saw yet another Bulls corner and Luke Campbell clambered over Adewunmi to force the ball home with a combination of head shoulder or arm, it being impossible to clearly tell amongst the maelstrom of bodies and the Bulls had won it and ended Fisher’s Vase adventure.