K Sports 2-3 Fisher
Saturday 29 February 2020
SCEFL Premier Division
Scorers: Malaki Coker 16, Jacob Katonia 37, Adebola Oluwo 65
Report: Fisher came into the game looking to extend their unbeaten run to six games in an incredible turn-around of form through February. On arrival at K Sports Cobdown ground it became apparent that the elements would also need to be overcome to keep the run going, with a gusting wind bringing hail showers and very difficult conditions with the only games in the league taking place being on 3G surfaces such as K Sports.
Julio Da Mata was missing from the line up with Sam Fitzgerald slotting in to make his full debut and on the bench Rob Brown returned to the Fisher fold having singed from Punjab United in the week.
From the off Fisher looked sharp and the early exchanges were very much in the K Sports half with it being unclear whether the wind was in front or behind either side and the balls spending a fair amount of time being blown into the adjacent fields. Fisher worked the conditions out the quicker though and put the K Sports high back line under pressure with series of balls over the top which either hung in the wind or carried through allowing the pace of Louie Clarke to come into play. One such move on the quarter of an hour mark provided the opening goal as Clarke broke through one on one only to see his shot well saved by the keeper, but the home custodian could only parry Elias Armah-Tackie’s follow up into the path of Malaki Coker who tucked it home for his fourth goal in seven games.
Minutes later Clarke could have doubled the lead, again bursting forward he cleverly checked inside the final defender and his curling effort for the right hand edge of the box beat the keeper but cannoned of the inside of the post and rolled along the goal line before being hack to safety. K Sports profited from this good fortune in the thirty first minute when a drilled corner was only half cleared and Regan Corke fired in a low shot which travelled through a mass of bodies before nestling just inside the post to give the hosts an equaliser.
Five minutes later the Fish were back in front as some quick passing on the left flank saw skipper Chris Lockwood beat a couple of defender and carry the ball forward into the final third before slipping the ball into the path of Jacob Katonia and he firmly planted his shot into the roof of the net for a well worked goal. However the lead was only to last a minute as some in decision in the Fisher back line I the face of a swirling high ball allowed James Alderman time and space to easily slot home unchallenged. A breath-taking half ended with Fisher almost snatching the lead again when Clarke’s pace saw him get to a through ball first against the odds but his deft lob whilst leaving the keeper stranded just passed over the cross bar.
Fisher had certainly looked the stronger side in the half but the conditions had indicated the points would be very much up for grabs in the second spell with the wind becoming stronger and squalls of hail and sleet seeing the twenty four fisher fans huddle into the limited standing cover in the ground. Whereas in the first half Tommy Taylor was getting good length on his clearances, the K Sports keeper was finding it harder to get ay distance on his kicks and often saw them swirl backwards allowing Fisher to play a very high midfield and much of the play to be in the hosts half. Fishers territorial pressure finally paid off in the 65th minute, when from a throw in on the left Chris Lockwood sent over a tantalising cross which was met by centre back Ade Oluwo’s timely leap to plant an emphatic header into the top corner.
Joel Flavien-Howard came off the bench to add some pace down the left and his intention opened up a chance for Coker to double his tally when turning well I the box but his curling effort flew just past the post and Flavien-Howard himself saw an effort from the edge of the box hit the outside of the post as Fisher finished the game strongly. The introduction of Rob Brown from the bench allowed Fisher to play some keep ball as they carefully managed the latter parts of the game with the only alarm being wasted free kick opportunity from the hosts which sailed over the bar.
After an extended period of injury time the referee brought the proceedings to a close and Fisher rounded off a successful February with 13 points from the 15 available which must see manager AJ Ashanike a serious contender for the league manager of the month award and with just three yellow cards received in the month a possible respects award could be making its way to Rotherhithe. Awards on the day were unanimously given to skipper Chris Lockwood for a terrific display both defensively against one the leagues rated wingers and in attacking mode providing the assists for two of the goals.
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