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Match Report: Lordswood 2-1 Fisher

Lordswood 2-1 Fisher
Saturday 6 April
SCEFL Premier Division

Scorer: Thomas Ngegba (34 mins)

On a very blustery Spring afternoon, Fisher blew a first half lead, as two second half goals for hosts Lordswood saw them fall to a 2-1 defeat, with both sides struggling to get control of the difficult conditions.
Fisher were affected by some late withdrawals from the squad due to illness and fasting fatigue, so manager Ajay Ashanike was forced to name himself and assistant Luke With on a depleted bench. There was a first start for recent signing Mekhi Clarke on the wing and Ezekiel Miller replaced Flavio Jumo in midfield. Winger Joshua Duyile filled in at right back to allow Luke Thomas to play at centre back.
Lordswood made the better start forcing a series of early corners, which were made trickier by the gusting wind, but the Fisher defence managed to clear as delivery proved as hard as defending the swirling ball. However, it was Fisher who were to carve out the best of the early chances as Sam Sene-Richardson’s fine cross field ball saw Mekhi Clarke sprint clear but despite the ball seemingly sitting well, his strike lacked pace and Aarron Lee-Wharton in the Lordswood goal got down to smother with ease. Muhammed Otuyo then pulled off a decent stop at the end to deny Lordswood as both sides worked out a ball over the top was the best route to goal on the conditions.
Fisher took the lead just past the half hour mark. Having won a free kick on their right after Clarke was fouled, Michael Sarpong’s deep delivery was hooked back by Nathan Tshola and Thomas Ngegba was right man right place to nod home his twelfth goal of the season from close range, in what looked a well worked move even if the wind may have taken the ball into unintended areas! Fisher looked to add a second before the break and in a good counter attack both Tshola and Sarpong saw shots blocked by a scrambling defence.
The home side made three changes at the break and the change of shape seemed catch Fisher out, with the hosts having far more of the ball and playing higher up the pitch. However, it was the Fish who almost added the game’s second goal as Ezekiel Miller drove deep into the right of the Lordswood penalty area and his powerful cross come shot pinged against the cross bar before being smuggled away for a corner as Sene-Richardson looked to get on the rebound.
Fisher were then dealt a blow as left back Rivah Bailey hobbled off after not recovering from a heavy challenge and with a shortage of defenders on the bench a big reshuffle was needed with Teddy Jones coming on at left wing, Sene-Richardson dropping into central-midfield and Josh Duyile swapping defensive sides as Nathan Tshola dropped in at right back. Fisher lacked a little bit of know how in how to settle the game down to allow everyone to get used to their new positions and with the game becoming quicker and more open Lordswood quickly gained the equaliser. Possession was lost in midfield and Lordswood advanced down their right slipping in Gregory Peck who rounded Otuyo and then slipped the ball into the net from a tight angle with two Fisher defenders seemingly hampering each other’s efforts to clear off the line.
Fisher had a good chance shortly after to regain the lead as Clarke was again able to outpace his marker and get into the right side of the Lordswood box, but his powerful hit effort flew wide of the post – not a glaring miss but the sort of chance that needs to be taken to pick up points away from home. This was drummed home ten minutes later when the experienced striker Matt Gething, playing for his third club of the season against Fisher, ran onto a misjudged ball over the top of the Fisher back line, and from a very similar position to Fisher’s chance earlier, drilled the ball home off the near post to give Lordswood the lead with ten minutes to play.
Fisher tried hard to get back on level terms, with Jones looking lively. When he was felled twenty five yards out, Michael Sarpong fizzed in a free kick that Lee-Warton tipped over the bar and with the resulting corner scrambled away, so went Fisher’s final chance of levelling.

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