Holmesdale 4-0 Fisher
Monday 2 January 2022
SCEFL Premier Division
Photo Credit: Dave Anderson
Fisher opened 2023 with a poor performance resulting in a 4-0 defeat at Holmesdale to end their six match unbeaten run.
A wet week preceding the game had left the match hinging on a morning inspection but whilst heavy and slippery the pitch was perfectly playable with Holmesdale having little difficulty mastering it whilst Fisher seemed all at sea defending up the slope in the first half. With Luke With unavailable Malaki Coker came to lead the line and German Petrov returned at centre back allowing Luke Thomas to go back to a familiar right back slot, with Billy Brown starting the wing in place of Cedric Nganga.
Fisher fell behind as early as the third minute as a long throw into the box was allowed to bounce several times enroute to finding Fred Obasa who had space to turn and fire home tucking the ball inside the far post beyond the reach of Justice Owusu, leaving a lot of statuesque Fisher players staring at each other trying to work out what had happened.
Fisher thought they had drawn level on the quarter of an hour mark, when a quick break saw Malaki Coker slip in Isaac Thompson who carried the ball forward and tucked it neatly under the advancing keeper, only to see an assistant’s flag adjudge he started his run just too early. It was to be a rare sortie on the Holmesdale goal as the Dalers took control of the game on twenty minutes. An interchange of passing down the right saw Obasa slip the ball to Joe Nwoku on the left of the penalty area and he had time to control and fire the ball home to double the lead. Whilst the defence was clearly troubled, it was in midfield where Fisher were really failing to get any foothold on the game with many Fisher players struggling to keep their feet on the surface, having opted to play in moulds rather than studs, half time could not come quickly enough to allow them to change boots and play downhill which seemed a slightly easier prospect. But that half time whistle seemed an eternity away as Holmesdale cut through at will adding a third when Obasa again found space in the right side of the penalty area to convert with ease. The goal signalled German Petrov to leave the field to receive treatment for a bloodied nose that he had picked up in clash of heads with Temi Oladejo moments before the goal and his return he field having been patched up did not stop the hosts adding a fourth just before the break as Cian McCarthy was given time twenty five yards out to shoot low with Owusu not covering himself in glory in being deceived by the bounce and letting the ball slip under him. Fisher almost pulled a goal back in first half stoppage time with Jacob Katonia’s good run and cross just evading the diving head of Billy Brown.
As poor a forty five minutes as Fisher have produced for several seasons finally ended and immediate changes were made with Petrov and Darnel Bromfield replaced by Lewis Duberry and Henry Adeniran for the restart, with Thomas switching to centre back and Coker dropping in to right back. Duberry in particular made a difference in midfield giving Fisher some bite and quality that had been severely lacking. Oladejo tested Boughtflower in the Holmesdale goal with an early free kick but his powerful effort was safely handled. Fisher found playing down the slope far easier and much of the second forty-five was played out in the Holmesdale half, with the hosts understandably happy to sit back and look to counter. However, for all Fisher’s extra industry they still found it hard to create, wanting too many touches and then finding the pitch as tricky an obstacle as the defenders. Oladejo again went close when heading over and Thompson saw an on target effort blocked but Holmesdale’s goal rarely looked seriously threatened. Osemen Usifoh and Cedric Nganga were also introduced to add fresh legs and giving the side more quality, leaving manager Ajay Ashanike wondering if the side that finished the game may have been more productive starting it.
Whilst the second spell at least saw the side show some pride, there was to be no stunning comeback nor even a consolation goal for the 28 travelling fans as Fisher’s nemesis of a sloping heavy pitch again undid them and saw 2023 off to a poor start.