Fisher 1-1 Stansfeld (after extra time Fisher go through 5-4 on penalties)
Saturday 14 October
Kent Senior Trophy 1st Round
Scorer: Teddy Jones (78 mins)
Penalty Scorers: Kyron Cooper, Ade Gbolahan, Namory Kane, Jamie Brown, Teddy Jones
Fisher progressed to the second round of the DFDS Kent Senior Trophy with a penalty shoot-out win over Stansfeld, after the game at been locked at one goal apiece, despite thirty minutes of extra time.
It was a much changed Fisher side, with none of the starting eleven having started in the previous midweek league game. The depth of Fisher’s current squad allowed manager Ajay Ashanike, himself away on holiday, to manage recent injuries with the changes and also allow some valuable game time to those short of minutes of late, including a first appearance of the season for Kaylam Burgess at left back.
Despite the changes, Fisher looked comfortable on the ball and played some pleasing passing football in the early exchanges with Nathan Tshola linking play up well from a central midfield role. In what was a cagey first half, chances were few and far between. Joseph Koroma’s shot from distance after twenty minutes was Fisher’s first sight of goal and the best chance of the half fell to Pat Hoy who was played in down the right channel, but failed to make the most of his shot and Cotrell in the Stansfeld goal smothered the shot with ease. Fisher’s good build up play was often foiled by a final ball not quite finding the target amidst a well-structured Stansfeld defence. At the other end Justice Owusu, in goal, was relatively untroubled, though had a lucky escape when his quick throw was intercepted by a Stansfeld forward, who failed to make the most of a free shot at goal and Owusu was able to regather.
The second spell saw Fisher quickly back on the front foot. Pat Hoy’s cross just evaded a final touch in the six yard box and Fred Obasa drew a smart save from Cotrell low down at the near post. Despite lot of possession, Fisher were finding it tough to open up the Stansfeld defence even though Tshola’s constant switching of play seemed to be stretching the back four. It took the introduction of Teddy Jones midway through the half to finally give Fisher the pace on the flank they needed and his direct running gave the Stansfeld defence something to think about. Twelve minutes from time Jones persistence paid of as he chased his own through ball into the box and slid in to reach the ball before the advancing keeper and tuck the ball under Cotrell and give Fisher the lead.
Having worked so hard for the opening goal Fisher, threw away the advantage within minutes as a throw on the left was worked into the penalty area and a Stansfeld forward went over stray leg with the referee pointing to the spot. Jack Carty stepped up and sent Owusu the wrong way to level the game.
It then took a fine diving save from Owusu to stop Stansfeld scoring what would have been a late winner as a long range shot was fired low to his left, in what was the last significant action of the ninety minutes.
Extra time was only four minutes old when following a tussle in the corner Carty said something untoward about the decision to award Fisher a foul and was shown a straight red card reducing Stansfeld to ten men. This seemed to signal the visitors playing for penalties, as they sat deep with Fisher still struggling to break down a resilient rearguard display.
The second half of extra time saw more chances than much of the preceding 105 minutes. Substitute Ade Gbolahan saw a long rage effort tipped over by Cotrell and Koroma almost stabbed home from a scramble from the resulting corner. Kyron Cooper then slammed a shot towards the near post that Cotrell did well to turn away as Fisher pushed for a winner. In the closing stages though it was Stansfeld who went closest with a powerful header just passing wide of the post. However, neither side was to find the elusive winner and the tie moved onto penalty kicks.
Both sides opted for power into the corners seeing the first eight penalties all scored, although Owusu did get a hand to Stansfeld’s third attempt, but couldn’t keep it out, with Cooper, Gbolahan, Kane and Jamie Brown all scoring for Fisher. With Stansfeld’s fifth kick, the successful sequence was broken, as the ball rebounded back off the post, giving Teddy Jones the chance to win it with his kick. He duly dispatched it with a confident strike sending Fisher into the second round draw.