Crockenhill 1-5 Fisher FC
Fisher travelled to Wested Meadow to face the team propping up the bottom of the league, Crockenhill. After Crockenhill’s 12-1 defeat at the hands of Holmesdale last week, the Fisher faithful had been hopeful of a similar goal glut, but the wet and windy conditions, and the bumpy and boggy pitch, were far from conducive to Fisher’s usual brand of passing football. With a nod to the conditions, Dean Harrison left out Richie Hamill, who found a place on the bench, and Trey Small. There was a debut for new signing Tim Moffat, who recently left his post as Lewisham boss, and Lee Friend returned up front.
The first ten minutes were played almost entirely in the Crockenhill half, but Fisher were struggling to adapt to the conditions and to break down a resolute and organized Crockenhill rearguard. Nic Taylor was so far out his goal he was almost playing as a sweeper-keeper, and Lee Friend was doing his best to link up with the midfield but with little joy early on. In fact, the first real chance of the game came for Crockenhill on 13 minutes, in their first real foray up the pitch. Toyo Adeshina was penalized outside the box, Crockenhill took the free kick direct and Nic Taylor had to be very lively to tip a dangerous shot over the bar, as it blew about in the wind. Taylor then held the corner at the second attempt.
A quarter of an hour into the game, Toyo Adeshina tried to make an impact at the opposite end of the pitch, embarking on a surging run then trying to slip in Lee Friend, but the flag went up on the far side. It took until the halfway point in the half for Fisher to make the breakthrough. A beautiful pass over the top split the Crockenhill defence and Lee Friend darted between the centre backs to gather. He drove into the box but seemed to take one touch too many and was closed down by two defenders. One of them took the ball away from Friend, but in stepped Jamie Brown to take the ball back and then square to Rob Brown for a simple tap in. Fisher videographer John (@John84Green) really excelled himself this week, catching all five Fisher goals – see the first one here: https://twitter.com/John84Green/status/957304609638440961 1-0, Rob Brown, 23 mins
Three minutes later, Mathieu Ramsamy had the ball in the back of the net after a similar pass split the defence and left him on his own in the box, but the flag went up and it didn’t stand. On 27 minutes, Rob Brown nearly grabbed a second, latching onto a poor clearance and attempting to lob the keeper who was stranded in no-man’s land, but the ball bounced just wide.
With fifteen minutes of the half left, Fisher were awarded a free kick right on the edge of the box at the byline. Rob Brown’s free kick hit the one man wall and was bundled away. Two minutes later, his namesake Jamie popped up on the same wing, pulling down a high ball with an exquisite touch and crossing. The cross was blocked behind for a corner, which Brown himself took. A simple ball into the box was met by Nathan Hunter on the edge of the six yard box, and he bulleted home a header for his first goal in Fisher colours! See it here: https://twitter.com/John84Green/status/957304886391181312 2-0, Nathan Hunter, 32 mins
Fisher started to relax and were keen to add to their tally. However, on 39 minutes, Crockenhill got themselves back into the match. Awarded a free kick on the left hand side midway inside the Fisher half, they curled in a cross which swirled in the wind and was flicked on and past Nic Taylor. 2-1, 39 mins
Fisher went on the attack straight form the restart, with a Ramsamy header going over on 40 minutes, and then a lovely flowing move on 42 minutes ended with a Lee Friend shot across the goal and just past the left hand post, after good link-up play between Rob Brown and Harry Draper. A minute later, Harvey Brinkley won a corner on the right hand side which Jamie Brown took long and found Rob Brown, but his header went wide of the left hand post. In the final minute of the half, the Crockenhill number 9 evaded several tackles and cut along the byline, but he overran the ball and Nic Taylor was able to pick up.
Half-time: Crockenhill 1-2 Fisher FC. Fisher would be pleased to have the lead in testing conditions, but looking to extend the lead n the second half. Crockenhill had been well organised and hard to break down, and it was difficult to believe the same team could have shipped so many goals the week before.
Dean Harrison made one change at the break, Richie Hamill coming on for the jetlagged Rob Brown. The second half was more open in terms of chances than the first had been, as the teams perhaps began to adapt to the pitch and the weather. Fisher’s first chance of the half came after 51 minutes, Lee Friend picking up in midfield and driving towards the goal before shooting from outside the box. His shot was off target, but not far away.
A minute later, some quick footwork from Hamill allowed him to beat his man and play in Ramsamy. A bobble took it away from the French winger, but he recovered to win a corner. The set piece came to nothing, as Fisher were penalized for a push in the box.
On 57 minutes, Fisher extended their lead with a well-worked goal. Harvey Brinkley worked hard to get across to the right touchline and beat the attacker to the ball. He played a pass up the line for Jamie Brown, who passed infield. A clever dummy by Harry Draper allowed the ball to reach Lee Friend just inside the box. The striker took a touch to steady himself then finished in off the left hand post for his first Fisher goal – see it here: https://twitter.com/John84Green/status/957305330857336833 3-1, Lee Friend, 57 mins
With half an hour remaining, Friend nearly doubled his tally, doing well to reach a deep cross from Hamill but being just unable to keep his header on target. Immediately after, Sam Pekun replaced Ramsamy.
If Fisher thought they were going to have it all their own way from now on, they had another think coming. On 63 minutes, Crockenhill passed up a splendid chance when a clearance out of defence split the Fisher centre backs and allowed the pacey number 9 to charge in on goal. Nic Taylor did brilliantly to block with his feet. Four minutes later, Crockenhill squandered an even better chance. A low free kick from the left wing into the box was missed by Hunter after it failed to bounce, and it fell to the Crockenhill striker in the six yard box on his own. He made two attempts to control the ball, and as Nic Taylor went to ground he somehow dribbled the ball wide. The pitch certainly didn’t help him, but it was still a bad miss.
On 69 minutes, Toyo Adeshina made a fantastic sliding tackle inside the box, clearly taking the ball with Crockenhill appealing in vain for a penalty. Fisher then went up the pitch and won two corners in a row, but couldn’t threaten the home side’s goal. Fisher then made their final change, Jack Rogers coming on for Toyo Adeshina.
With ten minutes remaining, Richie Hamill found space in the centre of the pitch and spread it wide to Jack Rogers. Rogers found Pekun on the left wing, and his dangerous cross was headed behind for a corner. Jamie Brown took the corner, which was met by a defender at the near post, but only found its way out to Brown again. He hit a swirling, curling cross to the back post from the edge of the box, and it floated right over the head of the keeper to nestle in the net! https://twitter.com/John84Green/status/957305725558149125 4-1, Jamie Brown, 80 mins
Fisher managed a fifth goal to put a bit of gloss on the scoreline with three minutes left. A nice one two between Draper and Jamie Brown allowed the winger to win a corner down the right. Hamill took it towards the near post, where the unmarked Luke Haidarovic ran in to sidefoot home for a simple but well-worked goal: https://twitter.com/John84Green/status/957305828410908674 5-1, Luke Haidarovic, 87 mins
Crockenhill kept plugging away and were awarded a free kick on the left wing after a Brinkley tackle. Nathan Hunter headed out and Lee Friend picked up 30 yards from the Fisher goal. He did well to hold it up, then play a great ball down the right wing for Jamie Brown. Brown touched it past the defender who was rushing across to cover, then bore in on goal, but the keeper just beat him to it and was able to pick up. The referee decided that that was enough, and blew the final whistle.
Full-time: Crockenhill 1-5 Fisher FC. Job done! The scoreline perhaps suggests a more comfortable afternoon for Fisher than was actually the case, but the team worked hard to grind out the three points. A victory which sets up the boys nicely for next weekend’s top of the table clash with K Sports at St Paul’s!
Man of the match: for the third game in a row, the award goes to Jamie Brown – he assisted the first three goals, and scored the fourth (we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he meant it!). The winger is absolutely on fire at the moment!
Crockenhill 1-5 Fisher
Saturday 27th January
SCEFL First Division
Rob Brown 23
Nathan Hunter 32
Lee Friend 57
Jamie Brown 80
Luke Haidarovic 87
Ryan Cullen 39
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