Erith Town 1-1 Fisher
Wednesday 22 February 2022
SCEFL Premier Division
Scorer: Isaac Thompson (13 mins)
Late drama cost Fisher three points against high flying Erith Town, as having led for most of the game from Isaac Thompson’s neat finish, they conceded with virtually the last kick of the game at the Erith Athletics Stadium.
With several players managing injuries there were a number of changes from Saturday’s game, with Lewis Duberry, Cedric Nganga and Luke With all joining Jacob Katonia and Billy Brown on the side line. However, the current strength of the Fisher squad still saw a strong starting eleven, with Inesh Sumithran, Andres Tobon and Darnel Bromfield all coming in for a start. The bench looked a little weaker though with manager Ajay Ashanike naming himself amongst the substitutes much to the amusement of the 25 travelling fans.
Fisher started the game strongly and within seven minutes had Erith in trouble as Eni Amgbaduba closed Ryan Mahal as he looked to play out and robbing him of possession bore down on goal. The pull on his shirt to halt his progress saw a simple decision for the referee to send off the defender leaving Erith to play eighty minutes with ten men. The resulting free kick saw Michael Sarpong’s effort blocked by the wall.
Fisher did not have to wait long for a goal though, as having already sent over a number of dangerous corners, a throw into the box was met by Isaac Thompson who controlled with his chest and then swivelled to shoot low into the far corner giving Mackenzie Foley no chance in the Erith goal and give Fisher a thirteenth minute lead.
Erith Town almost replied immediately when their pacy forward line manged to get in behind the Fisher defence for the first time, but Jayaguru’s powerful shot was well saved low to Sam Amedu’s right and pushed away for a corner. Erith’s main threat came from balls over the top with Steadman Callender constantly looking to add to his impressive goal tally. In the main though he was well marshalled by Luke Thomas, although there was an early yellow card for Joseph Adewunmi for nudging an Erith forward off the ball as he broke down the right.
Fisher also looked pacy on the attack with Thompson and Andres Tobon both stretching the ten-man hosts. Tobon saw several shots charged down and Amgbaduba wasted a great chance when again closing down Erith playing out, but the striker took his shot early, having raced clear and his wayward effort cleared the pole vault bar on the running track as well as the cross bar!
Fisher continued to press, knowing a second goal may well seal the game and Adewunmi rose to powerfully head a flicked on free kick, but Foley was perfectly placed to gather to keep the Fisher lead to a single goal.
With Adewumni walking a red card tightrope and just one tumble from a forward in a foot race giving the referee an option to even up the numbers, he was withdrawn at half time for Prince Imoru. It seemed a sensible move and Fisher continued to marshal Erith’s long ball forward well. The hosts were often forced to shoot from distance and Amedu in the Fisher goal was watchful as several efforts went wide of each of his posts.
The impressive Tobon looked Fisher’s best prospect for adding a second and he saw a curling effort blocked having slipped past a couple of tackles. A quality ball in from Inesh Sumithran, who again looked very composed at right back, was almost flicked home by Amgbaduba but an Erith defender bravely blocked with his head. It was to be Amgabduba’s last role in the action, as he was replaced by Julio Da Mata to give Fisher more running options up front.
Erith looked to have finally unlocked Fisher’s back line when Callender lofted the ball over Amedu having outpaced the defence, but Imoru was on hand to get back and hack the ball away as it rolled towards goal.
Some lengthy stoppages for treatment led to six minutes of injury time being added with Petrov and Hoy both added to the fray and another injury stoppage meant the game had slipped into the 98th minute when Malaki Coker was upended on half way to give Fisher a free kick. It simply needed to be launched forward to the corner to allow the referee to blow for time, but inexplicably Fisher attempted a short routine that saw the ball rolled straight to a Erith player allowing him to launch it forward where the eager-running Steadman Callender beat Amedu to Luke Thomas’s desperate effort to tidy up the free-kick error and rounded the keeper to slot into an empty net.
It was heartbreak for Fisher as the final whistle followed immediately as they kicked off and what in the cold light of day will be a useful point at the league’s second placed side felt like a defeat.