Welling Town 1-0 Fisher
Saturday 18 March 2023
SCEFL Premier Division
An uncharacteristically tired looking performance from Fisher saw them fall to a single goal defeat at Welling Town.
The lengthy injury list was not helped by Billy Brown pulling out in the morning of the game through illness, meaning Manny Shoderu started on the wing, with Ollie Milton in a forward role. At the back Inesh Sumithran switched to left back with Malaki Coker dropping in at right back. With the squad pretty much fully used, manager Ajay Ashanike was forced to name himself and coach Michael Williams on the bench.
Fisher made bright start though and just two minutes in some good midfield play saw Lewis Duberry skip through into the box, with his effort blocked by the keeper before Michael Sarpong’s strike on the rebound was cleared off the goal line by a defender. At the other end Welling had an early chance after they found space in the Fisher box, but Sam Amedu at full stretch pushed away a deflected shot. A frantic opening then saw Fisher go even closer as Manny Shoderu sprung the offside trap, but saw his effort, as he approached the penalty area, clip the crossbar. Isaac Thompson was next to have an attempt on goal but his close range effort and Ollie Milton’s follow up were both smothered by the Welling keeper.
After such a frenetic first ten minutes the game slowed a little, with Welling popping the ball about in midfield as Fisher stood off. However, it was from a more direct approach that the opening goal arrived. A long ball out to the left winger saw him outpace Malaki Coker and whilst Amedu saved well from his powerful shot, the Fisher defence were not awake to the rebound and Sam Bailey was unchallenged as he stooped to nod the ball back past Amedu’s grasping hands into the net.
Fisher looked to respond immediately and good work down the right from Shoderu saw his cross almost turned home by Luke With, as the ball was cleared off the line for a corner. A minute later Fisher thought they had equalised when Sarpong’s deep free kick delivery found Adewunmi who headed back across the goal for Shoderu to head home only to see a raised flag for offside.
As the half wore on, Welling looked the more likely to add to the score with their left winger finding plenty of space but his crosses were scrambled away by the Fisher back line. The Fisher attack stalled a little after their threatening start and whilst Ollie Milton was an eager runner, the supply lacked quality and timing.
Welling started the second half well and within five minutes had hit the top of the bar from a rising shot when their forward had found space behind the Fisher defence. Fisher were then required to reorganise after Malaki Coker chased down Welling left winger and in trying to block the cross it looked as if his knee buckled beneath him and saw him stretchered off and taken to hospital in obvious pain. Antony Connor came on at left back with Inesh Sumithran moving to right back and the switch added mor fluency with Sumithran able to join the attack more effectively from his favoured right side and provide a better supply of through passes. From one such move down the right a deep cross saw Joseph Adewunmi thump a header against the outside base of the post.
Andres Tobon was introduced and added more quality down the left and from a good run he fired a low cross that just evaded Milton’s outstretched foot as Fisher ramped up the pressure in search of equaliser. A number of crosses were just out of range of the forwards and a massed Welling defence put in blocks were required with Fisher cutting inside to shoot on several occasions, where supplying the overlap with the ball to cross could well have been the better option to unlock a stubborn rear guard action.
At the other end Fisher were always prone to being caught on the counter and Amedu made a good save to stop Welling putting the game to bed. Deep into injury time manager Ajay Ashanike threw himself on to add physical presence to the front line but the supply did not come and Welling hung to leave the Fish frustratingly falling to their second single goal defeat of the week.
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