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Match Report: Sutton Athletic 1-1 Fisher

Sutton Athletic 1-1 Fisher
Saturday 30 December
SCEFL Premier Division

Scorer: Flavio Jumo (17 mins)
Attn: 70
Photo Credit: Dave Anderson – Full Album

Fisher ended 2023 with a hard fought 1-1 draw at Sutton Athletic, on a heavy difficult pitch, courtesy of goal of the season contender by Flavio Jumo.
There was a surprise returnee in the Fisher starting line-up, with Michael Sarpong drafted in for his first game of the season. Callum Flynn had recovered from illness to take the left back slot and Inesh Sumithran returned at right back, allowing Prince Imoru to switch back to centre half. On the bench were new signings Sineen Sineen and Ibrahim Kamara, with manager Michael Williams starting to mould his new look side.
Fisher started brightly and an early chance saw Michael Sarpong test the keeper with a long range effort that was pushed away for a corner. A swirling wind made defending corners difficult for both sides, but Fisher couldn’t find a decisive header from some testing early deliveries into the box.
Despite the good start for the Fish, it was Sutton who opened the scoring, just ten minutes into the game. A well worked move down the right saw a chipped ball into the box find Mariano Banjoko in space and he brought the ball down, before slamming it into the corner, having been given far too much space and time.
Fisher almost made matters worse when they were caught playing out from the back, but some scrambling defence cleared the danger that had been entirely of their own making. They almost redeemed themselves immediately, as from the following break, Manny Brown was clipped on the edge of the box with the resultant free kick seeing Thomas Ngegba’s header clawed away from the top corner. Fisher then wasted a second free kick opportunity after Prince Imoru was brought down just outside the area. On seventeen minutes though Fisher were finally rewarded for their good response to going a goal down. Michael Sarpong’s lofted pass forward saw Flavio Jumo get in behind the Sutton back line and checking back with a clever flick, he then unleashed a rasping shot on the turn from twenty five yards out to give the keeper no chance as the ball few into the top corner.
Both sides struggled a little for fluency as the pitch started to cut up and became heavier with the aerial route proving easier. Fortunately, Mark Chidi was in commanding form at the heart of the Fisher defence, winning his battles and carrying the ball out well. A late chance for Fisher just before half saw the keeper gather at the second attempt as Ngegba almost managed to nip onto the fumble and at the other end Samuel Nwabuko did well to tip over an injury time header and ensure the sides went into the break level.
Sutton were quicker out the blocks in the second spell and a low long range effort skimmed just wide of the post. Both sides however found it hard to get clear chances on goal with the match being largely fought in midfield. The introduction of Ibrahim Kamara for his debut gave Fisher an injection of pace and good work from him down the right with a teasing cross at the end of it, saw Michael Sarpong sneak in to force the ball home at the back post only to see a tight offside call go against him.
Youngster Ben Sangare and Sineen Sineen both joined the fray from the bench as Fisher made positive substitutions looking for a winner. Kyron Cooper also came on to add even more pace to Fisher’s attacking options and a great run from him down the right saw his deep cross find Sineen in space at the far post, but his left footed effort flew over the bar.
Sutton pushed forward for a winner as well as the game opened up and Fisher gave away some careless free kicks around the box, but Chidi and Imoru were equal to all the deliveries sent in. A poor loss of possession in midfield deep in injury time nearly took the hard earned point away from Fisher as Sutton broke for one last time, however Imoru defended superbly to force the ball carrier wide allowing seventeen year old keeper Nwabuko to make a brave block save at his near post and then cap a fine game by claiming the resulting corner under pressure in what was the last attack of the game.

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