Crowborough Athletic 2-2 Fisher FC
Saturday 13 February 2016
Southern Counties East League
Honours even in an entertaining encounter between the Crows and the Fish
First of all, with many games called off in Sussex due to waterlogged pitches, those who attend this game at the Community Stadium should be grateful to the groundsman and his volunteers for making sure they had a game at all.
The pitch was perfectly playable, if a bit sticky and difficult in places but far from being unplayable, although the conditions probably contributed to the Crows having to make three substitutions inside the first 24 minutes, not something I’ve personally seen before.
Dan Tear, who carried on from where he left off last week and who had made a good start to the game, was the first to be replaced as he suffered a hamstring injury after only 16 minutes. Last week’s match-winning hero, Alex Rich, coming on to replace him.
Callum Ridley was the next Crow to leave the field of play after 22 minutes due to a foot injury which he sustained in a tackle with Lawson, the Fisher number four, who became the first booking of the day for the match referee.
Whereas the injury to Tear meant a reshuffle in defence, Hollick moving from right back to centre back whilst Rich, normally a left back, had to settle in on the right side, debutant Hyslop replacing Ridley was a like-for-like replacement.
With everyone associated with the Crows hoping that was enough bad luck for the day, only 2 minutes later Gonnella became the second Crow to suffer with a hamstring injury and had to be replaced by Sam Carrington, therefore, a further reshuffle was needed and a 4-4-2 formation was adopted.
The match itself started very brightly and Fisher should have gone 1-0 up inside 3 minutes, their number 9, Haidarovic, heading the ball against a post from only six yards out when he really should have scored.
The Crows had their efforts as well, Biddlecombe blocking a clearance from Hannington, the Fisher ‘keeper, however, the rebound drifted wide of the goal and out for a goal kick.
Then Hollick, up for a free kick after 10 minutes had a great shot blocked by the Fisher defence and a rebound effort went narrowly wide.
A recurring theme of the afternoon became the dual between the Fisher captain and number five, Nunn and Crow substitute forward Carrington, Nunn receiving a yellow card after 28 minutes for one particularly heavy tackle on the forward, however, no quarter was asked or given and at the end of the game Carrington could justifiably claim to have won their individual contest on points.
Efforts came and went for both teams as the half wore on but the Crows eventually took the lead in the 41st minute, Carrington rising high at the back post to head in a Shea corner, a lead that was just about deserved considering all the changes the Crows had to make and the subsequent reshuffling of the side.
Eventually, after a 50 minute first half due to the injuries and substitutions, the players left the field at half time with the Crows 1-0 up but there were enough indications that the game was far from over for either side.
Fisher made a substitution at half time, Dalling being replaced by Ekpiteta and after 47 minutes the score became 1-1, McKone firing in from close range after the Crows failed to clear the ball.
The away side started to have more possession of the ball at this point but their chances were few and far between as a Crows rear-guard action kept them at bay, however, as the half went on the Crows started to look more threatening and in the 61st minute Carrington had an effort blocked on the line.
Shea then saw yellow in the 62nd minute for a tackle then Rich shoots from distance following a cross into the penalty area unfortunately, it goes very high and very wide, unlike last week.
In an effort to get all three points Fisher made their second substitution, goal scorer McKone going off to be replaced by Quan in the 66th minute and in the 75th minute their final substitution saw Haidarovic going off to be replaced by Gooden.
The fresh legs Fisher were able to put on once again gave them the impetus and they took the lead in the 78th minute, Quan taking advantage of a mistake in the defence of the Crows as he riffled the ball past Faith in the Crows goal.
Once Fisher were in front, the dynamic of the game changed once again, they seemed to sit back, trying to keep the score at 2-1, whilst the Crows lifted their tempo as they tried to find an equaliser.
The Crows dominated the rest of the game and put the away defence under considerable pressure which resulted in some desperate defending at times, Biddlecombe bringing out the best in Hannington with a tremendous effort from some twenty five yards out.
Eventually, the pressure told, a great ball by debutant Hyslop sent Biddlecombe free down the right and his accurate cross found Carrington at the back post to bundle the ball home in the 86th minute to make it 2-2.
In the end a draw was a fair result, Fisher had been on a good run of form of late and when you consider the enforced changes the Crows had to make, then whilst three points would have been favourable, one in the end doesn’t seem too bad.
Read more here: http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/crowboroughathletic/teams/11461/match-centre/1-1940468
Photos courtesy: Malcolm Boyes (Crowborough Athletic website) – see full match photos here:
- Previous Fisher match reports
- Fisher’s coming home – bringing football back to Bermondsey
- Finding the heart of football: Fisher FC – An underdog story