Fisher 2-2 Hollands & Blair
Saturday 11 February 2023
SCEFL Premier Division
Scorers: Isaac Thompson (37 min, 77 min)
Fisher picked up a point from a bruising encounter with Hollands and Blair at St Paul’s having twice comeback from a goal behind to secure a draw.
With Cedric Nganga unavailable, there was one change from the midweek league cup victory against Stansfeld, with Jacob Katonia back the starting eleven, despite being slightly hampered by a foot injury meaning the midweek cup hat trick hero Eni Amgbaduba continued to lead the line.
Fisher made a poor start though and were behind within three minutes when Malaki Coker mistimed a tackle, that did not really need to be made, and Harry Brown confidently sent Sam Amedu the wrong way from the resulting penalty kick to fire the visitors ahead.
Several heavy tackles came in on Fisher players with Billy Brown being on the receiving end of a particularly reckless challenge that earned Hawking an early yellow card, that on another day may well have been red, as the game became a scrappy affair with lots of stoppages for infringements.
On twenty minutes Fisher created their first clear cut chance when Billy Brown sped away down the right wing and sent over a well-placed cross that Amgbaduba arrived too early for and from a stationary position could not get enough on his header to send it on target with sufficient power and it bobbled wide.
With the Fisher bench getting unnecessarily agitated, yellow cards were issued to substitutes Alfred and With for having too much to say, albeit frustrated by the visitors tactics of breaking up play with their number 10 also going into the book for another heavy challenge that saw Michael Sarpong need extended treatment to a gashed shin.
Eight minutes before the break Fisher got back on level terms when Amgbaduba rose at the back post to head a well flighted cross from Billy Brown back across the area with the ball stopped by a raised arm of a Blair defender. At first the referee appeared to not be interested, allowing Amgbaduba to get his shot away but as it was blocked to no advantage he then pointed to the spot. Isaac Thompson stepped up to fire home his eleventh goal of the campaign tucking the ball powerfully into the corner, giving Dan Ellis no chance despite his dive the correct way.
Fisher ramped up the pressure in the second half looking to go on and win the game. A powerful run from Jacob Katonia took him past his marker and into the penalty area but the contact he received in the back from the trailing defender was deemed not enough to warrant a second Fisher penalty in what looked a close call.
Fisher then had a great chance to go ahead as another great cross from Billy Brown was headed firmly towards the bottom corner by Michael Sarpong from twelve yards out. Somehow Ellis in the Blair goal threw himself low to his left to push the header away one-handed for a magnificent save. Fisher continued to press and went even closer when following a half cleared corner Joseph Adewunmi saw a volleyed effort from the edge of the area bounce back off the cross bar with Ellis this time beaten.
Having absorbed almost continual Fisher pressure for the first twenty minutes of the second half Blair suddenly conjured up an unexpected goal of their own. A long ball down the right channel found the eager run of Ben Brown and as the ball sat up nicely for him, he lifted an exquisite lobbed effort that left Amedu with little chance and dropped into the net to give the visitors the lead.
Further cards were issued to Darwish and Coker, probably more on a totting up basis than for their actual tackles, as it started to look like Fisher would get little out of the game despite their domination. However great work by Eni Amgbaduba chasing a lost cause as a Blair defender tried to shepherd an overhit through ball into touch, saw the big striker win possession and feed Isaac Thompson, who cut in from the left and curled a low effort into the far corner that despite getting a hand on Ellis could not keep out.
Having got level, Fisher almost fell behind again immediately with a powerful header rattling the crossbar, but bar late free kick which was well defended by the Fisher back line, it was the Fish who looked the more likely to find the winning goal, but were unable to turn good possession around the Blair box into a clear cut chance and when Lewis Duberry saw his late effort drift wide they settled for a share of the spoils.