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Match Report: Rusthall 1-2 Fisher

Rusthall 1-2 Fisher
Tuesday 30 January
SCEFL Premier Division

Scorers: Tyron Mbuenimo (60 min), Teddy Jones (75 min)
Attn: 91

Fisher ended a tough month of fixtures with their first win of 2024, after an excellent 2-1 win at Rusthall, with Tyron Mbuenimo and Teddy Jones providing the second half goals to overcome the host’s early strike.
With rail strikes causing huge traffic issues, Fisher endured a tortuous journey and with the home side also struggling to get their London based players to the game a sensible decision was made by the match referee to delay kick off until eight o clock. Fisher selected a very young side with the starting eleven having an average of just 20 years old. They welcomed back Tyron Mbuenimo into midfield and there was start for Sineen Sineen after his impressive performance off the bench on Saturday, with Thomas Ngegba dropping to then bench after picking up a knock at the weekend.
Not surprisingly with a very limited warm up and preparation time the game started in a quite scrappy manner as players got used to the conditions. However, Fisher looked to start slightly the stronger, forcing a couple of early corners which gave Ben Sangare a chance to shoot from range after a weak clearance, but his effort was deflected wide of the post. The good start was undone on twelve minutes though, when a misplaced pass across the back line allowed Danny Powell to close Prince Imoru and nudge the ball through to Jesse Hammond, who calmly slotted past Sam Nwabuko in the Fisher goal.
Fisher almost struck back immediately, with former Fisher keeper Tommy Taylor saving well to deny Billy Brown’s close range shot after Tshola had floated in a free kick from the right. They then saw strong claims for a penalty waved away after the referee consulted with the assistant after Jones and Rusthall defender competed for a through ball.
Despite the majority of possession through the rest of the half, Fisher struggled to find an opening. Teddy Jones saw a couple of efforts comfortably saved by Taylor and Billy Brown lashed an effort high and wide from outside the penalty area when found in space on the right by a good cross field move. With Jones also firing over with virtually the last kick of the half, it looked like it may be frustrating evening for the Fish.
Five minutes into the second half came a game changing moment. Good counter attacking from Fisher saw the lively Jones race onto to a switch pass and skipping the first tackle he was then felled by Ryan Styles as he raced towards goal and following a long consultation with the assistant the referee decided Styles had been the last man and therefore denied a goal scoring opportunity and so saw red.  Whilst Fisher couldn’t capitalise immediately with Tshola hitting the free kick into the wall, the man advantage was key to the comeback, along with an inspired managerial tactic switch from Michael Williams, bringing Thoams Ngegba on for Sangare and dropping Billy Brown into midfield. Brown’s energy and vision controlled the midfield and Ngegba’s hold up play brought in players around him superbly.
Rusthall then created a good chance to double their advantage as an effort form Powell went past the post with the on loan striker seemingly not getting a clean connection on his effort following a good cross in from the left. However, it was to be rare attack on the Fisher goal, as the visitors pushed forward, with Taylor having to react well to keep out a sliced clearance from his own defender from Sineen’s cross.
On the hour mark Fisher deservedly drew level. Kaylam Burgess deep free kick was kept alive by Mark Chidi at the back post and Ngegba was allowed to bring the ball down in the area and tee up Tyron Mbuenimo, who swept home left footed into the top corner from twelve yards out.
Fisher sensed the points were there for the taking and in another attacking move brought on Jojo Kinzonzi with the youngster looking very lively down the right. With fifteen minutes to go Ngegba spread play well to Kinzonzi, who drove to the by-line then crossed low into the danger area where Teddy Jones was on hand to sweep the ball home for a fantastically worked team goal.
Fisher immediately brough on Jamie Brown and his experience helped the young side to masterfully see out the game as Rusthall tried to rally. A late free kick caused some alarm, but the well struck effort was six inches too high and floated free kick from deeper skimmed off a Fisher head and bounced just inches wide of the post. Nwabuko then saved well low down to his left from another decent chance for the hosts. However, with Seco Embalo coming on late on for his debut to bolster the defence Fisher saw the game out to delight of the small travelling band of supporters that had beaten the travel chaos to get to the game – an effort almost as impressive as that of the young side out on the pitch!

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