Faversham Town 5-0 Fisher
Saturday 9 September
SCEFL Premier Division
Fisher played the role of the Washington Generals up against the Harlem Globetrotters in the guise of star-studded Faversham Town, when going down to a comprehensive 5-0 defeat. Fisher had few answers to the power, pace and slick football of the heavily bank rolled title favourites, with Stefan Payne, who they had kept quiet last year when he appeared for Welling United in the FA Cup, in particular causing them all sorts of problems.
Brandy Makuendi was given his first start by manager Ajay Ashanike with Andres Tobon switching to the bench and Kyron Cooper was back in the starting eleven after suspension, replacing JoJo Kinzonzi, with the boss mindful of the heat and another came to come Tuesday evening. Mark Chidi came back onto the bench, in place of Billy Brown, out with a late illness.
On a blisteringly hot day, both sides played with a good tempo, but Fisher were always playing catch up once Faversham opened the scoring shortly before the first drinks break. Conor Darwish had seemed to have cleared the danger from a lightning break down the right wing, but an unfortunate deflection off his clearance landed kindly for Billy Bennett to slam the ball home into the far corner, keeping up his remarkable scoring record against Fisher for his numerous clubs.
Faversham had several good chances to extend their lead, with Fisher conceding too many soft free kicks within range of goal and Faversham teeing up shots from distance which flew just wide of the posts. However, just before the half hour mark Fisher wasted a great chance for an equaliser when some good quick passing in midfield saw Ezekiel Miller release Brandy Makuendi, correctly judged to have been just onside, but his finish lacked conviction and was blocked by the advancing debutant keeper with Makuendi’s follow up header falling to Manny Shoderu. who swept the ball into the unguarded net, only to be judged, again correctly, to be just in front of the ball and so offside. Shoderu then almost capitalised on a moment of hesitation from the young stopper as his defence looked for him to receive a through ball, but he could not quite enough purchase to stab the ball home in the resulting melee.
Ten minutes before the break Faversham doubled their lead as Payne picked the ball up in too much space, thirty yards out, and carrying it forward a few strides he then unleashed a powerful drive that Owusu could not keep out as it flew into the net, despite looking to get a reasonable hand on the swerving ball.
It could have got worse for the Fish just before the break when a deep corner was powerfully headed home at the back post, but the referee spotted the arm stopping the Fisher defender from jumping to compete – a good spot that would not always be seen.
The second spell saw Fisher play with a little more purpose, with better decisions and ball retention. Mark Chidi replace Prince Imoru, troubled with a knock on his knee and Andre Tobon came on for Makuendi giving greater threat on the left wing.
Any hopes that Faversham might wilt in the heat and allow a Fisher comeback were extinguished on the hour mark when a deep free kick saw Owusu leave his line, but not get to the ball and Payne rose to plant a header over him and into the net for a third.
Faversham then brough on fresh legs, with former Fish Keiron Campbell and Jefferson Aibangbee coming off the bench and the pair ran a tiring Fisher a merry dance in the final quarter of the game, down either flank, supplying several good balls into the box two of which were tucked away with ease to make it 5-0.
Fisher tried to add some respectability to the scoreline late on. Adewunmi forced Briggs to save low at his near post from a corner and Yaidom-Konadu and Tobon both shot powerfully after good runs without causing any undue alarm to the Faversham keeper.
Both sides had almost come to a halt when the seven extra minutes were finally up, signalling a heavy defeat for the Fish, but one that was as much due to the impressive performance by their hosts, rather than a poor one from themselves. Judging on the performance today Faversham will certainly be chasing down the tittle come April and Fisher will have easier days.