A much changed line-up took to the field in our orange away kit, with a debut for new keeper Daniel Wheeler and returns to the starting line-up for Toyo Adeshina, Martin Begg, Dwayne Agyemang, captain for the night Pat Geddis, Mathieu Ramsamy, Calum Crawley, Afilabi Soyemi-Olalade and Joe Richardson. Only Jack Rogers and Sam Pekun retained their places from Saturday’s victory against Sheppey.
Despite the untried starting eleven, Fisher began the game brightly, passing the ball crisply, retaining possession well and closing down their Isthmian League opponents at every opportunity. The first chance of the match came on 9 minutes, Ramsamy plucking a high ball out of defence from the sky with ease then flicking to frontman Soyemi-Olalade whose strong run down the left channel was rewarded with a corner. The corner was taken deep to the back of the box where the unmarked Pat Geddis rose to meet it with a strong header back across goal, but a Greenwich Borough defender headed off the line.
With almost a quarter of an hour on the clock, a long throw into the box by Jack Rogers was taken down by Joe Richardson, who then cleverly spun his man and shot on the turn, but his strike went agonizingly across the face of goal and past the post for a goal kick. Mathieu Ramsamy was next to threaten on 21 minutes, turning inside the box to beat his man and open up the opportunity for a shot, but the ball bobbled on the sloping and bumpy pitch at Middle Park Avenue and his attempt to curl the ball into the top left hand corner ended up well wide.
A minute later, more pressure by the Fish down the Greenwich Borough right led to an opportunity for another long throw into the box by Rogers. This time, the throw was headed behind for a corner which Fisher took short. Soyemi-Olalade put the cross into the box and Dwayne Agyemang smashed a fine header square off the middle of the bar. The strength of the rebound was such that it took the ball out of the box and away from danger.
In what was probably their best spell of the game, Fisher then had a huge shout for a penalty on 24 minutes. Ramsamy darted towards goal and was sandwiched by two defenders. The little hitman fell to the ground several yards inside the box, but the ref awarded a free kick right on the 18 yard line. The resulting free kick was taken short, Soyemi-Olalade’s shot was blocked behind for a corner, and then corner was cleared by Greenwich Borough.
With 15 minutes of the half remaining, Martin Begg was penalized for a trip and Greenwich Borough were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal in a dangerous position. Solomon Taiwo, who was once signed by Cardiff City from Dagenham Redbridge for £250k and has since tumbled down the leagues, stood over the set piece but could only thump it into the wall. Greenwich Borough were starting to come into the game a little more, and won a corner on 35 minutes. Fisher cleared but only as far as the taker, whose second cross was also cleared, and a shot from distance was sent well over.
Quick feet in the box by Ramsamy and then Richardson saw the duo evade several tackles, and Richardson eventually laid the ball off to Pekun for the shot, but the home keeper dived at his feet to claim the ball.
On 42 minutes, Greenwich Borough set off on a swift counter attack down their left wing. Toyo Adeshina must be one of the quickest players at Fisher, but he was outpaced by the winger and it took a simply outstanding tackle by Pat Geddis to take the ball away from him as he neared the box. Not only did Geddis stop the attack, he actually came away with the ball. “Bobby Moore-esque” was the chat amongst the Fisher faithful!
Right on 45, another long throw into the box from Jack Rogers caused havoc. It was missed by several defenders and Sam Pekun lunged in to stab the ball just as it bounced. The keeper was helpless but sadly for the away team, the ball went inches over the bar. Fisher continued to press as the game went into added time at the end of the half, an excellent Jack Rogers tackle to win the ball back inside the opposition half allowing the left back to play a one two with Sam Pekun and then cross into the box, but the keeper held it under pressure from Ramsamy. With the last action of the half, Ramsamy was flattened on the Fisher right, and he swung the resulting free kick into the box. Pat Geddis met it at the back post and headed back into the danger zone, but the home side cleared.
Half time: Greenwich Borough 0-0 Fisher FC. Despite the Fisher eleven never having played together before, it was a composed and fluent display in the first half. Plenty of good possession, plenty of chances and able to deal comfortably with the little Greenwich Borough had thrown at them.
Three minutes into the half, the Greenwich Borough sub, Sesay, showed a turn of pace to get to the byline down the left, but Geddis was across to cover and block for a corner. Fisher cleared the corner and immediately broke up the pitch, Sam Pekun gathering out wide left and crossing to Richardson who brought down the high ball with his first touch but could only stab over with his second.
On 53 minutes, Greenwich Borough dribbled into the box form the right, evading two tackles but then blazing the shot well over. With 59 minutes gone, Taiwo had another chance to show why he was worth his £250k price tag after the home team were awarded a free kick outside the box. This time he beat the wall, but sent his shot well over. A minute later, Greenwich Borough got another opportunity from a free kick just outside the right hand edge of the box, but this one, too, was ballooned over.
Immediately after the set piece, Fisher gaffer Dean Harrison rang the changes and made a triple sub. Calum Crawley, Joe Richardson and Sam Pekun all came off, with Trey Small, Jack Bullock and Richie Hamill coming on to replace them. Greenwich Borough had come back into the game in the early stages of the half, and Fisher needed to re-impose themselves.
On 64 minutes, a slide rule pass sent a Greenwich Borough forward through on goal. He shot cannoned off the post, but the flag had already gone up for offside. Halfway through the half, a thumping Jack Rogers header from deep not only cleared the ball, but led to a chance for Ramsamy who read the bounce of the ball and got in behind the last defender. He volleyed over as he looked to be pulled down by the defender, but the ref wasn’t interested.
Fisher were beginning to regain their rhythm and Hamill pinged a diagonal ball to Ramsamy which a defender had to put behind for a corner. The corner was low along the ground and was cleared at the near post, but Jack Bullock picked up the loose ball in midfield, charging forward then finding Ramsamy inside the box, but his shot on the turn wasn’t strong enough to beat the keeper.
7 minutes of regulation time were left on the clock when Hamill dinked over the top for Ramsamy to run in on goal, but he was flattened by the Greenwich Borough defender who was rightly booked. The free kick was claimed by the keeper. Greenwich Borough then set off on the attack and a volleyed cross after what looked like a foul on Geddis was cushioned up into the air by a man towards the back of the box, before his team mate headed over.
With 42 minutes gone, Fisher created their best chance of the whole match. A trademark through ball from Hamill split the defence and Trey Small ran in on goal from the left. He drew the keeper then shaped to curl the ball into the top right hand corner, but the ball ended up high and wide.
The game headed into stoppage time and a period of extra time looked to be on the cards when Greenwich Borough were awarded a free kick inside the D in the 51st minute. The home fans were aggrieved that the ref had not played the advantage, with the ball having been worked to the right to a man in space in the box; the Fisher fans were aggrieved that a free kick had been awarded at all. The free kick was taken low, deflected off the bottom of the jumping wall, and the wrong-footed Wheeler could only get a foot to it and divert it high into the roof of his net. A horrible goal to lose, and a sickening way to go out of a cup tie in which the Fish had been well on top. 0-1, 51 mins
Full time: Greenwich Borough 1-0 Fisher FC. For the third time this season, Fisher exit a cup in the first round by the slenderest of one goal margins. If the Fish were entitled to be aggrieved about the first two exits, then last night’s defeat was nothing short of floodlit robbery!
Man of the match: Jack Rogers had another outstanding game, winning every duel, strong in the tackle and in the air, and always a threat when getting forward – not to mention those long throws! However, last night’s man of the match award has to go to Pat Geddis – the skipper for the evening was simply superb. He was always calm and unflustered in possession, in the right position to make a clearance or cover a team-mate, and his “Bobby Moore-esque” tackle will live long in the memories of the travelling Fisher faithful!
Greenwich Borough 1-0 Fisher
Tuesday 11 Sept 2018
London Senior Trophy – First Round
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