Fisher 3-3 Glebe
Monday 28 August
SCEFL Premier Division
Scorers: Ezekiel Miller (81 mins and 93 mins), Mark Chidi (90 mins)
Matchball Sponsor: Millwall Community Trust
A stunning and improbable comeback earned Fisher a point, against an impressive Glebe side and kept the Fish’s unbeaten start to the league and saw them head the embryonic league table.
With two games in three games, manager Ajay Ashanike rotated his squad with Luke Thomas back at right back for the injure Tyron Mbuenimo with Mark Chidi coming back into the centre of defence. Billy Brown was rested to the bench Ezekiel Miller in midfield seeing Lewis Duberry play out on the wing and Julian Kuhr came in for Jojo Kinzonzi.
It was Glebe though who were to make the early running, with some slick one touch football allowing runners to get in behind the Fisher back line. Having forced an early corner, they took a fourth minute lead when the in-swinging delivery beat everyone and dropped in at the far post. A sloppy goal to conceded with no defender on the back post.
Fisher had a good chance to equalise four minutes later, when good work from Charles Yiadom-Konadu on the right saw his low cross allow Manny Shoderu some space, but his effort was blocked at the keeper’s near post.
An open game saw another chance for Glebe as a forward raced clear and as Justice Owusu rushed out, saw his lifted effort not drop sufficiently and pass harmlessly over the bar. Whilst Fisher had some good spells of possession and pleasing on the eye passing interplay, much of it was in non-dangerous areas and it was Glebe who always looked the more likely to add to their score with Owusu forced into a good low save, before just past the half hour mark when pressing the Fisher defence into an error the Glebe forwards combined to create an easy chance to double their lead which they gratefully took.
The half time break gave Fisher a chance to regroup but some strong words from manager Ashanike had little effect as just three minutes into the second spell they fell further behind, when Nathan Mampono broke down the right and took the most of fortuitous bounce to settle himself and calmly convert past Owusu.
Fisher immediately made changes; Billy Brown coming on for Lewis Duberry and a debut for Brandy Makuendi, signed late on Saturday evening on the coach back from Camberley, for Manny Shoderu. The changes had some effect with Fisher seeing more of the ball but still lacking any real goal threat with Old in the Gebe goal not yet required to make save. Yiadom-Konadu, still feeling the effects of a recent illness was withdrawn for Thomas Ngegba and further changes on the hour mark saw Inesh Sumithran on for Luke Thomas and Jamie Brown come on into the midfield to allow Ezekiel Miller to play up top in an old school four, four, two formation. Despite the better shape the switches made, a clumsy tackle by Billy Brown gave Glebe a gilt edged chance to add a fourth from the penalty spot. However, Justice Owusu guessed correctly and stretched out a long arm to push the ball away low to his right, in a save that was to change the game.
Glebe had surrendered a two goal lead on Saturday and there had been a feeling that if Fisher could get one back then perhaps an unlikely comeback could be on, but with the game going into the last ten minutes that seemed very unlikely. Fisher pushed forward and started delivering balls into the Glebe penalty area with more threat, helped by Sumithran and Brown’s work down the right. From one such ball in, some confusion saw the ball pushed downwards by a Glebe arm and the referee pointed to the spot. Ezekiel Miller stepped up and whilst his low penalty was parried by Old, Miller was quickest to the rebound to tuck the ball away and give the Fish a glimmer of hope with nine minutes of normal time left. With the Glebe keeper already booked for taking too long over a goal kick there would obviously be some considerable added time which was to Fisher’s advantage.
With the Dockers End urging Fisher forwards and the clock showing ninety minutes, Kuhr won a throw in the right. Billy Brown’s delivery into the box found Mark Chidi who managed to backward head the ball over his marker and the outcoming keeper to see it nestle in the far corner and bring hopes of an amazing comeback alive. Seven minutes went up on the added time board and the Dockers End roared the Fish on.
With three minutes of added time, Fisher won a throw on the left and with everyone expecting Brown to launch another effort into the box, he cleverly threw it short to Sumithran and whilst his cross lacked his usual quality, Chidi was able to help the ball into the box where, Jamie Brown and Thomas Ngegba battled to keep it alive and saw it fall to Ezekiel Miller, who calm as you like, steadied himself with one touch and then slotted the ball into the corner through a mass of bodies to send the home fans into raptures of joy and disbelief in equal measure and cap and amazing comeback from three down to level the scores.
Both sides looked to push forward for a late winner but, neither could force a real chance and after ten minutes of added time in total, the referee drew a close to a very entertaining and highly improbable three all draw – a comeback that will long in the memories of all of the 191 who were present.
Man of the match plaudits will go to Ezekiel Miller, for a powerhouse performance and his two goals to lead the comeback, but a word of praise is due to the supporters, who kept the belief at three goals down and turned St Pauls into a cauldron of noise in the later stages, to urge the side onwards to find the equaliser
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