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Match Report: Fisher 1-2 Sutton Athletic

Fisher 1-2 Sutton Athletic
Tuesday 13 February
SCEFL Premier Division

Matchball Sponsor: Millwall Community Trust

Scorer: Michael Sarpong (34 min)
Attn: 142

Match Highlights: Courtesy AJH Vision here
Photo Credit: Dave Anderson. Full album here

There was no dream homecoming for manager Ajay Ashanike as Fisher fell to a 2-1 defeat against Premier Division strugglers Sutton Athletic on wet night at St Paul’s.
Familiar faces returned to the starting line up with Joseph Adewunmi back for the second spell with the Fish and Luke Thomas also returning to take place on the bench. There was a debut for Mo Otuyo in goal with young Samuel Nwabuko unavailable due to a trial at League One Peterborough United. Callum Flynn also recovered from illness to take his place at left back, against his former club, in a strong looking Fisher line up.
Fisher started well have a good supply of balls to both Teddy Jones and Darnell Bailey-King on either wing, but in a sign of things to come, the balls into the box didn’t find the Fisher forwards. Thomas Ngegba then saw a shot flash across the face of the goal after good work on the edge of the box by Charles Yiadom Konadu had slipped him in down the right.
On ten minutes however, the momentum of the game swung in the visitor’s favour, as some poor defending allowed England Kurti too much space in the box and twisting past Mark Chidi, he was able to fire a low shot that whilst Otuyo got a hand on, couldn’t keep out the net, with the ball bouncing in at the near post to put Sutton ahead.
Fisher responded well, forcing a number of corners, but the delivery was poor and easily claimed by the keeper. Michael Sarpong then almost produced a moment of brilliance, bringing down Mark Chidi’s long pass with one touch to flick it over his marker and his shot on the volley as it dropped, just flew wide of the post. Despite this, on 16 minutes, Fisher fell further behind when a long ball down the middle wasn’t dealt with allowing forward Daniel Emanuel to race into the area and comfortably slot the ball past Otuyo, giving Fisher a mountain to climb.
Fisher’s best route to goal looked to be down the right hand side with Bailey-King and Jones swapping wings to give the visitor’s left wing-back a torrid evening. It was from good link up play down the right that Fisher pulled a goal back, as Tyron Mbuenimo joined the attack and linked up with Jones and Ngegba’s shot from the ball in was spilled onto the post by the keeper, allowing Michael Sarpong a tap in from close range on the rebound.
Fisher wasted two good opportunities, just before the break, to draw level within Ngegba not getting enough power with his shot on the turn to trouble the keeper and Sarpong sweeping an effort just wide of the post after good link up play around the edge of the box.
The second spell saw the introduction of Luke Thomas for Adewunmi. A strong start to the second half by the visitors penned Fisher back as they were forced to defend a series of corners and long throws into the box. However, with Billy Brown at the heart of everything in midfield, with an all action display, Fisher soon got themselves higher up the field as they pressed for an equaliser. Bailey-King just failed to connect at the back post on a deep cross by Tyron Mbuenimo after good work down the right, but Sutton’s low block was dealing well with the Fisher attacks. Fisher continued to press, with more good work down the right, but too often the ball in was dealt with by the first defender as a lack of firepower stopped Fisher from making the breakthrough. With fifteen minutes to go Michael Sarpong rattled the crossbar from a quickly taken free kick, although the referee subsequently brought play back to caution a visiting player for the original offence so had the ball gone in then it may not have counted.
Fisher used the whole substitutes bench to try and find a way back into the game and two of the substitutes combined with Flavio Jumo sending in a good cross that Ezekiel Miller headed against the crossbar with Andreas Tobon unable to turn home the rebound. Miller spurned the best chance of the half for an equaliser when his touch from close range somehow took the ball over the crossbar with the goal gaping. Even a late red card for a visiting defender for delaying the restart after the ball had gone out for throw in the corner could not help Fisher to get back on level terms and resolute defending from Sutton saw them see out the eight minutes of added time.
Fisher’s midfield play throughout was a joy to behold with Billy Brown at the fore, but errors in both penalty boxes cost them dearly and saw them end up pointless at full time.

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