Fisher 0-1 Whitstable Town
Saturday 30th July
SCEFL Premier Division
Photo credit: John Cronin
Fisher slipped to a narrow defeat against Whitstable Town in their SCEFL Premier Division opening day fixture.
With Whitstable relegated last season from Step Four this was always going to be a tough encounter and the visitors showed they were rightly amongst the title favourites with a strong start putting the Fisher defence under pressure during the first fifteen minutes. Debutant keeper Samuel Amedu was called on early to make several excellent saves from Flack and Huggins. Fisher’s best chance of the opening exchanges came sandwiched between the two visitor’s efforts when Fidan Fejzi broke free down the right and cutting inside saw his effort pass wide of the post.
Whitstable then wasted a great chance to take the lead after Stannard lost his marker, Michael Sarpong in the box following a short corner and was foolishly tripped by the Fisher midfielder leaving the referee with an easy decision to point to the spot. Roger’s kick was however excellently saved by Amedu, who looked a real find for the Fish, low to his left.
A Darnelle Bailey King effort was comfortable saved by Eason on the visitor’s goal as the game opened up and the Fisher wide man started to see more of the ball, linking up well with another debutant in Foday Jaiteh looking assured at left back. On the other flank Fejzi also looked confident on the ball but his powerful running and cutting inside often lacked a final through pass. He did look to have executed well just before the half hour mark but an offside flag went up as Julio Da Mata looked to have got free.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 31st minute when Joseph Adewunmi was adjudged to have tripped a Whitstable forward in the right-hand side of the penalty area and Ryan Flack left to send Amedu the wrong way and fire the visitors ahead from the resulting spot kick.
With the heat starting to tell the game slowed up until half time, but the second spell saw Fisher come out strongly. Bailey-King switched inside from the left but slightly scuffed his shot and Eason saved easily at the near post and the talismanic winger sent in a number of dangerous low crosses but was frustrated by poor runs from his fellow forwards, failing to get in at the near post.
Whitstable responded looking to seal the game with a second and James Jeffery shot high and wide and Amedu saved well from a Stannard shot.
Fisher introduced Joshua Montella for his debut off the bench and a good forward run saw him felled just outside the box but Sarpong’s free kick lacked conviction and was cleared by the wall. With five substitutions allowed this year Fisher looked to take advantage of the new rule by introducing Shoderu and Hoy to give fresh legs although the downside of the new rule saw Whitstable make changes on the 88th, 89th and 90th minutes to break up the momentum of the game.
With time running out, Fisher’s best chance of an equaliser came just into the five minutes of added time when a cross from the right from Bailey-King found its way to Michael Sarpong but his first touch was poor and his hurried shot as a result was straight into the arms of the Whitstable keeper and seal Fisher’s fate of an opening day defeat.
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