After four wins on the spin, with 15 goals in those victories, it was Fisher side full of confidence which travelled to Eden Park Avenue on Wednesday evening to face table-topping local rivals, Beckenham Town. Gaffer Dean Harrison made one change to the starting line-up, Dan Flemming coming in for the injured Mudiagha Wanogho at the back, and two changes to his substitutes with Sam Pekun and Toyo Adeshina dropping out, and Martin Begg coming in with only four substitutes named.
The Fish began the game shooting towards the clubhouse end, with the pitch looking in great condition under the lights. It didn’t take long for the away team to show that they were up for this one, Tunde Aderonmu barreling down the right wing and winning a corner in the first minute. Richie Hamill swung the corner across and Harry Tobin met the cross with a firm header which hit the post, bounced on the line and continued over the line, despite the best efforts of the a defender who scoped the ball out of the net and off the bar on its way out. A perfect start and a first goal in the stripes for Tobin! As usual, Fisher videographer @john84green caught the action on film – see it again here (we’d recommend the Beckenham assistant manager take a close look as he suggested the ball may not have crossed the line!): https://twitter.com/John84Green/status/1052632620717236224 1-0, Harry Tobin, 1st minute.
With the game still yet to settle down, only 5 minutes later it was two! A diagonal chip forward by Luke Haidarovic looked to be skidding through to the keeper who came out to claim it, but he didn’t count for the pace of Mathieu Ramsamy who nipped in to control the ball (with a slight suspicion of handball expressed by the Fisher faithful, it must be said, although none of the Beckenham players appealed for it) then poke past the stranded keeper, then slide the ball into the unguarded net despite the close attentions of his marker! Great composure from the little winger, and a fine finish! 2-0, Mathieu Ramsamy, 6 mins
The game had set off at a great pace, neither team allowing the other any time to settle on the ball just like all good derby matches. The home side had a great chance to pull on back on 14 minutes, the number 4 getting in behind the Fisher defence and squaring but his teammate couldn’t make contact from a good position in front of the goals. Fisher cleared and immediately broke themselves, Ramsamy carrying the ball upfield and linking with Aderonmu who was so close to threading the ball through an impossible gap to Haidarovic.
With 20 minutes on the clock, another barnstorming run from Aderonmu saw the big number 9 cut infield and line up his shot from just outside the D, but he couldn’t connect cleanly and the keeper had a simple save. Fisher were continuing to pose all sorts of problems for the Beckenham rearguard, and intricate interplay between Rob Brown, Aderonmu and Ramsamy nearly left the latter with another one on one, but two defenders between them managed to scramble it out of the box.
The game finally settled into a pattern for the remainder of the half, Fisher content to allow Beckenham the ball as far as the halfway line, but pressing ferociously as a team as soon as Beckenham entered their half. Luke Haidarovic was a particularly combative presence in the middle, but Fisher suffered a blow on 33 minutes when Harry Tobin went down, having failed to recover from a knock received earlier in the half, and had to be replaced by Tim Moffatt. Haidarovic dropped back into central defence, with Moffatt taking his place in midfield.
For all Beckenham’s possession, they had very little to show for it in terms of chances. The sides traded harmless corners, before Beckenham were awarded a free kick midway inside the Fisher half on 43 minutes. The ball was pumped long into the box, Fisher cleared partially but Beckenham regained possession and won a corner down the right. When the cross came over, Fisher were awarded a free kick for a push.
On 45 minutes, the board went up to show 3 additional minutes, and Beckenham hit another free long into the box from the centre circle. Richie Hamill cleared to Ramsamy who broke up the pitch on the left hand side before finding Rob Brown. The midfielder played a one two with Aderonmu and burst into the box, but the flag went up for offside.
The final action of note came on 47 minutes, Aderonmu breaking clear on the halfway line before being completely and utterly wiped out by the home captain. The ref let him off with a yellow, Fisher swung the ball into the box but Tim Moffatt’s downward header was gathered by the keeper.
Half time: Beckenham Town 0-2 Fisher FC. Even the most optimistic of Fish fans probably didn’t envisage a two goal lead at the break before this one started, but the men in black and white were well worth their lead. Two clinical goals, always dangerous on the break, and comfortable at the back despite Beckenham’s increased possession as the half progressed.
The Beckenham dressing room was most likely an unhappy place to be at half time, but whatever was said had the desired effect. Right in the first minute of the half, just as Fisher had done an hour previously, Beckenham made the breakthrough, a shot from just outside the box taking a large deflection to wrong-foot Dan Wheeler in the Fisher goal. 1-2, Dean, 46 mins
Beckenham continued to dominate possession, but looked far more of a threat in the early stages of the second half than they had in the whole of the first half. Fisher didn’t heed the warning, however, and on 53 minutes the home team drew level. Beckenham got in behind the Fisher backline on the left hand side of goal, and a simple cross across the face of goal was turned in from close range. 2-2, Farrell, 53 mins
Fisher were struggling to hit Beckenham on the break in the way that they had done so effectively in the first half, but on 60 minutes Ramsamy danced his way down the right and jinked into the box. The first defender pushed him with both hands but Ramsamy managed to stay on his feet. He was then tackled strongly but fairly by the second defender, and the ref waved away Ramsamy’s claims for a penalty. It might have been a different story had he gone down under the first challenge.
Beckenham broke immediately, and a fierce shot from range cannoned off Pat Geddis’ head and behind for a corner. The corner was taken deep beyond the back post and dropped nicely for a Beckenham player, but he miscontrolled the ball behind for a goal kick. A few minutes later, a dipping shot from range dropped just wide of the left hand post as the home side sought to take the lead for the first time in the match.
On 65 minutes, Dean Harrison made his second change with Trey Small coming on for Chandler Kasai to add some fresh legs to the Fisher attack. Beckenham were still very much on top, however, and with 20 minutes remaining they sprung the offside trap leaving an attacker in space on the right hand side of the box. Dan Wheeler did brilliantly to come and narrow the angle, and he managed to block the low shot. Wheeler was called into action again two minutes later, a thumping shot from distance cannoning off the bar and down onto the line (Wheeler afterwards claimed he had got a touch!) before the Fisher keeper reacted brilliantly to get to his feet and magnificently block the close range follow-up shot.
Against all the odds, however, it was the Fish that managed to find the breakthrough on 78 minutes. Rob Brown gathered in midfield and advanced before passing square across the 18 yard line to Ramsamy. The winger feinted to cut inside, then flicked the ball past the full back on the outside, before unleashing a low shot that the Beckenham keeper couldn’t hold. The ball squirmed from under his grasp, and the onrushing Tunde Aderonmu put both the ball and the covering defender into the back of the net! Once again, the goal and the delirious scenes in the away support were captured on film for your viewing pleasure by @John84Green: https://twitter.com/John84Green/status/1052657544848642048 3-2, Tunde Aderonmu, 78 mins
Fisher spent much of the remainder of the game camped inside their own half, defending valiantly and winning every header at the back. Beckenham were limited to the odd shot from range which didn’t trouble the Fisher goal, and it took until the 91st minute for them to threaten. An almighty bout of pinball in the box – the proverbial stramash – eventually saw a shot from close range which Wheeler did brilliantly to block. The danger wasn’t over yet, but Dan Flemming eventually came away with the ball, charging upfield and clearing the danger.
There was just time for some more late drama in this game which had it all: with 95 minutes already having been played, Trey Small slid into a tackle just outside the right hand edge of the box, and the linesman immediately flagged for a foul. What followed was an almighty pile up, with players, subs and both benches in the midst of it. At least one punch was thrown, and the Beckenham number 4 saw fit to charge half the length of the pitch, boot the abandoned ball at the melee, then jump on top of the writhing mass! Result: a red card for the Beckenham number 6, a booking for Small, and a free kick for Beceknham. One final chance to equalise for the home side, but the free kick was punched away by Wheeler, and Fisher saw out the remaining couple of minutes to record a fantastic victory.
Full time: Beckenham Town 2-3 Fisher FC. It didn’t look likely at the midpoint in the second half as Beckenham upped their game from the first 45, but the Fish battled manfully to the end and pulled off a tremendous victory in what was a great advert for the league! A winning goal from Tunde Aderonmu that typified his performance, chasing every last ball, and a top rearguard effort. Excellent turnout from the Fish supporters (39 by Ian’s count) and they certainly enjoyed this one – what a thriller!
Man of the match: hard to single out just one man in a heroic team effort with strong performances across the pitch, but the award goes to Dan Wheeler who has shown a safe pair of hands since he came into the team, and pulled off several top drawer saves in the second half to keep the Fish level and then, latterly, in front.
Beckenham Town 2-3 Fisher
Wednesday 17 October 2018
SCEFL Premier Division
Eku Dean 46
Shameek Farrell 53
Harry Tobin 1
Matthieu Ramsamy 5
Tunde Aderonmu 78
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