Hollands & Blair 1-1 Fisher
Saturday 13th August 2022
SCEFL Premier Division
Scorer: Sam Fitzgerald (69 mins)
On a sweltering afternoon Fisher picked up their first point of the season with a well-earned draw against Hollands and Blair. With the game switched to Lordswood due to the laying of a 3G pitch at Blair’s Star Meadow ground, the sides were faced with a very hard and dry surface but still managed to play out game of decent tempo in the heat.
After Wednesday’s cup exploits Fisher brought in Dennis Asante to replace Fidan Fejzi and Malaki Coker was unavailable due to a knock to his ankle meaning Patrick Hoy was added to the bench,
Fisher had the game’s first chance as Joshua Montella pounce don some hesitancy and a difficult bounce to round keeper Mitchell Ware, but a recovering defender did enough to stop Montellla sliding the ball into an unguarded net. At the other end Blair wasted a good chance when a free player headed wide. On thirteen minutes though the hosts made amends for their miss. A free kick on the right was swung in low by Joe Kane and a very difficult bounce meant Sam Amedu in the Fisher goal could only partly stop the ball on its journey into the far corner having travelled through a number of legs and bodies.
Fisher looked to try and get back on terms immediately and Darnelle Bailey-King found space on the right but his cross was blocked and the delivery form the corner was not of sufficient quality to cause trouble for the hosts defence.
Shortly before the break Ware pulled off an incredible save to deny Montella who had pounce don Dennis Asante squared pass after he has disposed a Blair defender deep in his own half. The save saw Fisher go into the break still a goal behind, but with some encouragement form an improved showing in the last ten minutes of the half.
With a referee allowing more contact than usual, a number of strong tackles were made in the early exchanges of the second spell. Usifoh was heavily taken out after playing the ball, but Asante was adjudged to have fouled when he tried to pounce on the loose ball.
With the heat sapping the players it was clear that the five substitutes rule would be key and that the strength of the benches may decide the game. Fisher brought on Manny Shoderu and Eni Agmbaduba for Bromfield and Montella and the change soon paid a dividend. After Usifoh was upended again, Michael Sarpong’s flighted free kick was powerfully headed towards goal by a leaping Agmbaduba and with Ware unable to hold the header Sam Fitzgerald quickly arranged his feet to hook home the rebound and level the game.
The final quarter of the game saw Fisher look the more likely to snatch the win, with Imoru and Hoy coming on to add fresh legs for Jaiteh and a tiring Usifoh. Bailey-King was giving his now yellow carded marker a torrid time and from another mazy run he shot just wide of the post, but the best chance came in the dying seconds when Ware again puled off an incredible save, although how much he knew about it is up for questions as Shoderu got in at the front post to flick on Luke Thomas’ cross and Ware somehow deflected it away with his upper arm for a corner.
In the sapping conditions a draw seemed a fair result and useful pint on the road for the Fish.
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