Deal Town 2-1 Fisher
Tuesday 4 April 2023
SCEFL Premier Division
Scorer: Own goal (7 min)
Despite taking a first half lead, Fisher fell to a 2-1 defeat under the lights at Deal Town, having been forced through postponements to make their longest trip on the season on a midweek evening.
Oneal Rowe and Inesh Sumithran dropped out from Saturday’s game meaning starts for Ollie Milton and Kaylam Burgess and Justice Owusu returned to replace George Taylor goal. With the bulk of the Fisher squad experienced heavy traffic getting out of London and only arriving at The Charles Ground an hour before kick-off, after a scramble to get the team sheets in on time Fisher still started the game brightly. In just the second minute Clyde Semazzi was picked out by Darnelle Bailey-King’s low cross and he skipped the defender’s tackle before seemingly being clipped by the keepers outstretched arm, but no penalty was given. Five minutes later Fisher did have the lead in bizarre circumstance. With Deal playing the ball across the back Ollie Milton closed down a defender and his hurried back pass was wide of the keeper and slowly bobbled into the net.
Deal almost hit back immediately and only a great last ditch covering tackle by Luke Thomas stopped Aaron Milbank from converting from close range, after a good move down the right. Deal though seemed to be content with a lot of patient play across their back line and with Fisher’s forwards eagerly closing, Milton almost managed to slip in for a second, but just overhit his last touch and the keeper gathered and a bobbly goal area almost saw a repeat of the first goal with Fisher earning an fortuitous corner after another back pass fiasco.
The hardening surface was causing problems for both sides and following several shouts for for handball in the Fisher area as the ball rose from leg to chest height, Fisher were penalised for a similar offence just outside the area. The resulting free kick was hit low around the wall and Owusu did well to palm away the ball after a difficult bounce, with Munday heading the resulting corner over when jumping clear of the defence. Just before half time Fisher had strong claim for a penalty turned down when a difficult bounce caught a Deal out and appeared to hit an outstretched arm and with play then switching quickly to the other end Deal wasted a glorious opportunity to equalise as the ball was fed to Tom Chapman in the right channel, but he dragged his effort wide of Owusu’s goal meaning Fisher took their slender lead into the break.
If Fisher were to hang on to the lead through the second half, then a tight first ten minutes was required. Unfortunately, any thoughts about that ended when on 51 minutes, Deal left back Jack Penny got forward and cutting into the box was tripped in the tackle for a fairly uncontentious penalty. After an age whilst the players jostled for dominance of the penalty spot, Macauley Murray duly dispatched the kick sending Owusu the wrong way.
The goal brought Deal to life and several good opportunities were wasted by them, as Fisher struggled to regroup, with shots sent flying over and wide of the Fisher goal. Fisher finally settled again and with promotion chasing Deal pushing on for a much needed win themselves, space appeared behind their back, line which Baily-King almost exploited drawing a good low save from Newcombe. With twenty minutes to go Fisher spurned a great opportunity to take the lead as Clyde Semazzi skipped a defender and advanced into the box. He pulled the ball pack sensibly and found Bailey-King but a cruel bobble as he made contact saw the winger send his effort over the bar with goal begging. On small margins such as this games are decided and within a minute Deal had made Fisher pay and taken the lead themselves, when a quick ball down the right saw Chapman’s cross find Riley Alford who slammed the ball home from close range. Deal almost put the game to bed minutes later with a third, but Owusu saved well at his near post.
Fisher huffed and puffed looking for an equaliser, but clear chances were few and far between and when substitute Luke With’s goal bound volley in added time struck his one of his own players as it appeared to be heading for the bottom corner they knew their luck was out and would have to make the long journey through the night, back to London, pointless.