Fisher 1-0 Bearsted
Saturday 7th January 2023
SCEFL Premier Division
Scorer: Jacob Katonia (6 mins)
Photo credit: John Cronin
Jacob Katonia’s sixth minute strike was enough to give Fisher all three points in their SCEFL Premier Division match against Bearsted amidst torrential second half rain.
Fisher welcomed back Sam Amedu in goal after several months out injured and Conor Darwish returned from injury to bolster a defence still looking for their first clean sheet of the league season. Cedric Nganga also returned to the starting line up in place of Malaki Coker.
Fisher made a strong start with Katonia finding space following some quick footwork to test the visiting keeper with an early sighter, but Benham was well placed to collect the shot. Fisher did not have to wait much longer though for the opening goal which had goal of the month credentials stamped all over it. Darwish won the ball almost by his own corner flag and an inter change of passes allowed Isaac Thompson to carry the ball out of defence, skipping several Bearsted tackles as he went, approaching hallway he slipped the ball to Katonia who jinked past a lunging tackle and sped down the left wing before cutting inside, wrong footing the final defender and burying the ball low into the near corner of the goal giving Benham little chance.
Bearsted were struggling to produce much at this stage and Fisher had a head of steam. Thompson saw a snapshot saved after Katonia had slipped him in down the middle. Another flowing move saw Nganga break down the right and his centre was flicked on by Katonia to find Thompson arriving in the far side of the box, but his shot was smothered by Benham.
The back four were marshalling the Bearsted forward well, with Temi Oladejo swapping flanks to play at right back coping well wit the pace of Ababio. This left Amedu almost redundant and only needed to pick up a few through balls as he watched the side in front of him dominate. Just before the break Nganga seem dot be set to add a second, but an offside flag curtailed his run into the box.
The second half saw Bearsted play with more attacking intent. However, the industry of Michael Sarpong and the impressive Lewis Duberry in midfield often blunted the build up and forced Bearsted wide. A lobbed effort form Akanni sailed harmlessly over and at the other end Oladejo sent a free kick over the top of the bar. Billy Brown came on to replace Jacob Katonia, who succumbed to a sore ankle that had almost kept him out the game and Brown’s energy kept the Bearsted backline on their toes.
Fisher were then required to play a man short for ten minutes as Darwish was sinbinned for complaining about a foul in the build-up of another Bearsted attack but Fisher coped well with the required reshuffle and Bearsted failed to make the extra man pay. However just as Darwish was set to return Fisher were dealt a further blow when Joseph Adewunmi hobbled off after being on the end of heavy tackle that saw a caution given to the Bears midfielder. German Petrov came on in his place and quickly got to grips with his task winning several key headers as Bearsted looked to get back into the game. Fisher looked in control however and the only things that looked likely to deprive them of the three points were an injury to the referee and then the torrential rain, as first the official took a fearsome blow to the face having been caught in the way of a quickly taken Bearsted free kick and then a downpour of biblical proportions threatened to see the game abandoned. Fortunately, the referee was able to continue after treatment form both physios having been laid out on the floor for several minutes and the artificial surface just about coped with the torrents of rain falling for the last fifteen minutes of the game.
Amedu was finally called interaction in the final moments saving very well low down as a Bearsted attacker got in at the far post but it was a rare chance and Fisher had done enough to seal the points and move nearer mid table safety.