Hollands & Blair 1-5 Fisher
Saturday 12 August
SCEFL Premier Division
Scorers: Jojo Kinzonzi (6 min), Julian Kuhr (38 min, 57min, 90 min) Own Goal (50 min)
A thoroughly convincing performance on the road saw Fisher ease to a 5-1 win at Hollands & Blair and see them top the embryonic SCEFL Premier Division league table.
With keeper Sam Amedu ruled out by the injury picked up midweek, Justice Owusu came in for his first appearance of the season and there were debuts for England Mini Football international, Charles Yiadom-Konadu and on loan Gillingham youngster, Julian Kuhr. Mark Chidi also returned to the back line as manager Ajay Ashanike rotated his squad.
A new levelled artificial surface at Blair’s Star Meadow ground suited the Fish, who have traditionally struggled on the previous grass surface and sloping pitch and they used the pristine pitch to quickly set up an expansive passing game. Yiadom-Konadu showed early glimpses for the Fisher faithful of his ability, at times seeming to have the ball on a string as he shimmied past the opposition midfield and switched play with some masterful passing.
The opening goal soon arrived as Yiadom-Konadu made space for himself before sliding a through ball with the outside of his boot for Jojo Kinzonzi to run in behind the Blair back line and though Dan Ellis blocked his shot, the ball billowed off the keeper’s legs and into the net.
Buoyed by the goal, Fisher looked rampant and Yiadom-Konadu’s cheeky ‘shovel chip’ sent Manny Shoderu into the box, but the danger from his cross was snuffed out. At the other end Blair’s main threat seemed to be from dead balls and foolishly Fisher gave them opportunities with some careless tackles and pushes in their own third, one of which saw Chidi booked, before the resulting free kick was smashed into the wall. Fisher chanced their arm once too often and conceding another free kick on the edge of the box, just after the half hour mark, saw it swept in at the near post from a well delivered strike by Jack Simon.
Fisher responded well to the equaliser, despite Kinzonzi being forced off with injury, being replaced by Lewis Duberry, and Chidi fired over when a half cleared corner fell to him, before on thirty six minutes, they regained the lead. A loose pass across the Blair back line was picked off by Julian Kuhr and he used the decoy run of his fellow forwards well to make space just outside the box to tuck the ball in off the far post.
Fisher were slow to learn their lessons though, and almost conceded another equaliser, after yet another soft free kick was conceded on the edge of area, with the resulting effort needing a good save from Owusu with the follow up rifled over the bar to ensure Fisher went into the break ahead.
The second spell was only five minutes old when Fisher extended their league in bizarre circumstance. Blair played the ball across their back line, and under no pressure knocked it back to their keeper, however the wind that had gusted throughout the first half seemed to slightly alter the path of the ball and the it bounced over the left foot of the keeper in nestled in the net to the surprise of everyone.
Having got the two goal advantage Fisher were in no mood to surrender it and with Yiadom-Konadu’s constant wizardry with the ball more goals looked likely, especially with the pace of Kyron Cooper who came on replace Eni Amgbaduba up top. Just before the hour Fisher had a fourth, as Miller and Yiadom-Konadu combined with the latter slipping in Kuhr on the right. Having looked to have taken the ball two wide, the youngster hit the ball sweetly across the goal into the far corner, giving the keeper no chance and ending the game as a contest.
Fisher then contrived to make things harder for themselves than they need, with Chidi, already warned by the referee and on a yellow, needlessly fouling the Blair centre forward in midfield and picking up as second yellow. Tyron Mbuenimo and Patrick Hoy were introduced with skipper Luke Thomas dropping into centre back. The changes restricted Blair to long range efforts and despite the hosts winning a few corners the Fisher defence coped well.
A late introduction for Billy Brown saw Fisher always look dangerous on the counter and having been denied by a last ditch tackle from one mazy run, he then won the ball back well and slipped in Kuhr who needed no hesitation to advance on goal and convert for a debut hat-trick and Fisher’s fifth.
Seven minutes of injury time were played out with minimal fuss before the final whistle brought an end to proceedings with Fisher winning their first two opening league games for the first time in sixteen years and will look to make it three in a row on Tuesday at Stansfeld.