Holmesdale 2-1 Fisher
Saturday 30 September
SCEFL Premier Division
Scorer: Jojo Kinzonzi (89 mins)
Fisher contrived to lose a game they dominated, despite looking to have at least salvaged a point with a late equaliser, before conceding with the final kick of the game.
There was a debut for new signing Ade Gbolahan, with Eniye Amgbaduba also coming back into the starting line-up, as the pair replaced Thomas Ngegba and Andres Tobon. The late dropout of Tobon saw Assistant Manager Luke With added to the substitutes bench for his first appearance of the season, with Ezekiel Miller also back from illness to take a place on the bench,
Fisher started by playing down the slope, but again found it difficult to master the gradient, over hitting many of the through balls for the forwards and running out of space down the flanks. A scrappy opening saw little of the fluent build-up play of the last two games.
The first chance of the game saw a well flighted ball from Charles Yiadom-Konadu met at the back post by debutant Gbolahan, but his header back across goal was wide of the post. The spell of pressure from the Fish continued and a low ball across the box ending up with Eniye Amgbaduba, but his connection with the ball was not clean and the shot lacked the power to trouble the home keeper. Yiadom-Konadu then shot from range but a slight deflection off a Fisher leg saw the shot go wide of the post and Fred Obasa will feel he may have done better with a snap-shot inside the box that was charged down as Fisher looked the more likely to open the scoring.
Having not taken advantage of their territorial dominance, Fisher were then rocked by a Holmesdale goal from virtually their first attempt of the game just past the half hour. A soft free kick was conceded just wide of the penalty area and the hard, low delivery was not held by Sam Amedu allowing Tola Odedoyin to stab home the loose ball from very close range as Fisher’s defenders failed to react.
Fisher huffed and puffed to get back on level terms before the break, with the game becoming scrappier by the minute, not helped by several long delays for the referee to calm down the home bench, who seemed upset with several decisions by the dugout side assistant.
The second spell saw Fisher still struggle for fluency, despite setting up camp in the Holmesdale half. Conor Darwish saw plenty of opportunity to overlap down the left flank but some inviting deliveries into the box were not capitalised on and several corners saw headers sent well over the bar.
At the other end a rare sortie into the Fisher half saw Holmesdale awarded a free kick after the assistant convinced the referee to change the original decision awarded to the Fish, but the powerfully hit effort flew wide of the post.
In an attempt to find a combination that worked upfront, Jojo Kinzonzi and Ezekiel Miller came on for Amgbaduba and Yiadom-Konadu. Miller gave Fisher better drive going forward and forced the Holmesdale line to sit deeper. Prince Imoru also came on for Manny Shoderu and almost immediately had a great chance to level the game when Darwish’s fine cross gave him a free header at the back post but he got the connection all wrong and ball flew wide with the goal gaping.
Holmesdale then squandered a chance to wrap the game up when breaking out from the intense Fisher pressure, with Ikotun racing clear, but as Amedu narrowed his angle he fired onto the crossbar to leave the game in the balance.
With ten minutes to go Fisher threw on Pat Hoy for Fred Obasa only to see Joseph Adewunmi go down heavily meaning Luke With was required to play the last ten minutes, having only been added to the bench as an emergency keeper. A quick dash to the changing room for a shirt saw him enter the fray and his presence paid almost immediate dividend as with the clock about to hit ninety he flicked on Tyron Mbuenimo’s cross and Jojo Kinzonzi just beat the keeper to the ball to hook it goalwards, with the assistant referee confirming after the game the ball had crossed the line before a defender hooked it out although Ade Gbolahan had been on hand to head it back into the net to make sure.
With seven minutes of added time going up Fisher poured forward for a winner. Kinzonzi almost provided t breaking free on the right, but his powerful shot was put out for a corner by the keeper. Fisher continued to press but having thrown on attacking subs to salvage the game were rather lopsided in formation. They were dealt a sucker blow, when on the stroke of full time, a final attack for the home side saw a long throw only half cleared. The ball ended up at the feet of Antwon McKenzie who took a moment to pick his spot before firing home the very late winner.
Immediately on the restart the final whistle blew leaving Fisher to rue not taking more pragmatic approach on getting the equaliser and settling for the point in a game they dominated but had nothing to show for.