Whitstable Town 1-2 Fisher
Saturday 8 April 2023
SCEFL Premier Division
Scorers: Isaac Thompson 75 mins, 81 mins (pen)
Two late second half goals from Isaac Thompson earned Fisher three points in a 2-1 comeback win at Whitstable Town in front of a bumper Easter crowd of 526.
With games coming thick at fast at the tail end of the season, Fisher welcomed back Conor Darwish and Joseph Adewunmi into the back four and Manny Shoderu played at the top of three man midfield, in a slight formation change, with Darnelle Bailey-King playing down the centre of a three man attack.
On a pristine surface Fisher started well and could have taken the lead inside seven minutes, when Michael Sarpong found space on the edge of the box to shoot and saw his well hit effort bounce off the post and away with the keeper beaten. Clyde Semazzi and Bailey-King caused Whitstable some early problems down the right flank and several good balls were put into the box, but the lack of an aerial target man meant they were easily dealt with by the host’s defence. At the other end Jefferson Aibangbee’s pace and power was looking to be Whitstable’s main threat and on several occasions it took well timed tackles to stop him having a clear slight of goal.
As the half wore on Isaac Thompson saw more of the ball on the left and drew two good saves from the Whitstable keeper, before firing an effort over the bar as Fisher kept on the front foot. Three minutes from the break they had a great chance to take the lead with Manny Shoderu rising to meet a cross from a half cleared corner, but he put his free header over the bar with the keeper having come and not got to the ball.
The second half started frenetically and saw two shouts for penalties from the home side waved away by the officials, before a cross come shot from Semazzi clipped the top of the bar as the game started to become more stretched.
Shortly before the hour mark the game got its opening goal as Fisher missed a couple of tackles and the ball was fed down Whitstable’s left wing and then centred for an unmarked James Jeffery to control and covert unchallenged from close range. Several Fisher hands went up claiming offside, but after the referee had consulted the assistant with a discussion about active and non-active players the goal stood.
In what had been a tight game there had been a feeling a single goal may decide it and so having fallen behind Fisher looked to have a mountain to climb, made harder when skipper Luke Thomas limped off with a recurrence of his thigh injury. However, the resulting substitutions, as Fisher shuffled their pack, changed the game with Ollie Milton coming on to play down the middle allowing Bailey-King to return to his preferred right wing. Milton’s eager running and hold up play gave Fisher a better outlet and enabled them to play higher and Bailey-Kings pace and trickery gave greater threat.
On seventy two minutes Fisher were level as Bailey-King tussled for possession on the right flank and having broken free cut into the penalty area where his drag back found Ollie Milton who flicked the ball onto Isaac Thompson coming in from the back post to tap the ball past Eason from close range.
Fisher sensed a winner could be on the cards and when Lewis Duberry was felled just outside the area, they and a great chance, but Sarpong’s low delivery just failed to find Milton and ran through for Eason to comfortably gather. With ten minutes to go though, Fisher won a penalty as Milton caught the Whitstable centre backs in possession and raced into the box only to be bundled down from behind as he looked to shoot. Isaac Thompson comfortably dispatched the spot kick sending Eason the wrong way to put Fisher ahead, much to the delight of the 56 travelling fans behind the goal.
Ollie Milton almost wrapped up the game as he slid in at the near post, but the angle was against him, and the ball went out for a goal kick. There was to be late drama though, as the game went into four added minutes when Aibangbee chased down and won a ball deep in the Fisher half and manged to get into the area before being felled for clear penalty. The winger got up to take the kick but stabbed his effort well wide of the post having jinked his run up to send Owusu the wrong way.
Fisher played out the added time well with Lewis Duberry driving them forward and putting in one lung busting run to get onto a ball forward to ensure Fisher were able to play out the game deep into the Whitstable half and secure the points in a deserved win.