VCD Athletic 2-2 Fisher
Tuesday 10 October
SCEFL Premier Division
Scorers: Charles Yiadom-Konadu (5 min), Mark Chidi (45+5 min)
Fisher were twice pegged back and finished with ten men in a 2-2 draw at VCD Athletic on a night that was marred by what looked as serious injury to young defender Conor Darwish.
There were two enforced changes to Saturday’s line up, with Charles Yiadom-Konadu returning for Ezekiel Miller in midfield and Ade Gbolahan replacing Thomas Ngegba up front.
In the shadow of Crayford dog track, Fisher were quickly out the traps and a powerful run from Jojo Kinzonzi saw him get to the byline before pulling the ball back to Manny Shoderu, who side-footed his effort just wide of the angle of bar and post in a huge let off for the hosts. However, the miss was soon atoned when Fisher took the lead on five minutes. Kinzonzi again raced down the right to be met the keeper gathering the ball whilst out of his area. The keeper doubled down on his error by showing Charles Yiadom-Konadu too much of his near post and midfield maestro needed no further invitation to sweep the free kick over the wall on into the net.
The goal woke the hosts, and they almost profited from a mix up in the Fisher back line with possession given to Richard Jimoh who bore down on goal and rounded Sam Amedu, but then ran out of space and could only find the side netting with his effort. Fisher didn’t heed the warning and allowing VCD too much time on the ball, a cross from the left was allowed to come in and Bethel Gboda rose unmarked, to head home powerfully from close range. It could have got worse for Fisher as more generous defending saw VCD offered a chance close to goal but the forward somehow smashed the ball over the bar.
Fisher finally tightened up at the back and the game went through a scrappy spell with much of it played in midfield and despite a big pitch lacked any width and expansive play. Seven minutes from the break an awful collision between three players saw Conor Darwish stay down in obvious pain and the match was delayed for almost fifteen minutes as he was carefully placed on stretcher after lengthy treatment. A reshuffle saw Manny Shoderu revert to left back and Jospeh Koroma come into the midfield.
With Fisher frustrated that no card was shown to any player for the challenge on Darwish they were further upset when a promising attack with Yaidom-Konadu fed the ball wide to an unmarked Andres Tobon was halted by the referee blowing the whistle when knocked over accidentally by a VCD defender seeing play restart with a drop ball for VCD after the referee consulted the assistant who hadn’t seen the passage of play, rather than the one who had, in whose half the action had been.
However, just before the break their angst was forgotten as clever footwork by Yaiadom-Konadu allowed him to send over a low cross from the left, after a corner had only been half cleared and it found its way through to Mark Chidi at the back of the box who turned to sweep the ball home and send Fisher into the break in front.
Fisher quickly went on the attack in the second spell, looking for a third goal that would kill the game off. Tobon just failed to get on the end of a Shoderu cross and Jojo Kinzonzi fired in a powerful shot that the keeper did well to just claw away for a corner. Andres Tobon then saw a powerful shot charged down but injured his hip in the process and saw Fred Obasa replace him.
Without the third goal Fisher always looked vulnerable to VCD’s pacy front two, and twenty minutes from time the game was level again. There looked to be little danger when a ball over the top was retrieved by Inesh Sumithran, but instead of knocking it out for a throw to allow Fisher to reset, he tried to recycle possession and his clip forward hit the closing Richard Jimoh, who brought it under control jinked left and right to find space and swept the ball low into the far corner.
Eniye Amgbaduba and Nathan Tshola came on to try and find a winner but hopes of that were dispelled when Yiadom-Konadu received a second yellow for a trip in midfield and was sent off leaving Fisher to play out the remaining ten minutes with ten men.
Both sides looked to win it the game late on. Mark Chidi saw a back post headed tipped away by the keeper from under the bar as Fisher forced some late corners but needed a miraculous save from Sam Amedu to save the point. Somehow the big keeper, threw out a hand to his left, at full stretch, to keep out a powerful header the looked destined for the top corner.
Neither side will have been satisfied with the point, but in the cold light of day a point away from home is always worth picking up and of more concern to the Fish will be the absence of Yiadom-Konadu for the Vase game in ten days, due to his suspension and more crucially and worryingly the length of time Conor Darwish will been out after his injury.