Title Chasers Fisher Defeat City at Home
By Kevin Olver
Single goal settles scrappiest of matches.
Canterbury City 0 Fisher FC 1
An unexciting and poor game that will only be memorable for the shortest of moments and for the three points it gained Fisher in their quest for the league title when they scored from just about the only shot on target in the whole match.
It was littered with fouls, stoppages and irritations as well as lectures and ambiguous decisions from the referee. All that, plus the fact that both sides refused to give an inch and fought and battled every minute meant it was difficult to make out whether it was all the cause of or the product of the scrappiest of matches.
An early City free-kick was easily cleared by Fisher while shortly after, Kyron Lightfoot twisted and turned on the edge of the box before firing wide for the home side. Fisher responded with a free-kick of their own and an attacking cross that were both well over-hit while City keeper Jack Delo did well to take a Ritchie Hamill free-kick curled around City's defensive wall.
Fouls equal free-kicks and there were plenty of them. Fisher launched one forward that went straight to Delo, while another from Lightfoot bounced high and through to his counterpart in the Fisher goal, Dan Wheeler.
On twenty-one minutes, Fisher took the lead. A good piece of work down by the right corner flag left Trey Small free and his cross along the edge of the six-yard box bypassed everybody but found Chandler Kasai unmarked at the far post and he turned and prodded it home from close range for 0-1.
Another free-kick from Lightfoot was then stifled by Fisher while Rob Brown fired one in for them that was simply kicked away by City. Ollie Lee made an important interception for City to halt an attack from the visitors, while Danny Lawrence then saw his shot charged down as he broke into the Fisher box.
The visitors should have doubled their lead on thirty-nine minutes when Andy Mott broke at speed and laid the ball off to Small, but through and with just Delo to beat, he rolled the ball across the keeper but also wide of the far post.
Adam Woollcott then saw his free-kick come to nothing for City as a half devoid of chances and goal-mouth action petered out with the visitors the only goal ahead.
Unfortunately the second-half proved to be of little better fare for the supporters. Five minutes in and Lightfoot's twenty-yard shot failed to curl towards goal and drifted wide, while the referee - still on his lecture tour - then showed various players yellow cards but it wasn't always clear from the stand who he was showing them to and all this did was allow the game to play into Fisher's hands as they sought every opportunity to wind the clock down while still hanging onto their precious one goal lead.
Another Fisher free-kick simply cannoned off the City wall and when the ball ran loose along the edge of the box, Brown woefully and wastefully scooped it well over the City bar. Dean Grant then broke down the left for City and found Lightfoot in the box but despite several twists and turns he just couldn't find the space or the angle for a shot and the chance was lost. Minutes later a similar break down the same side by Grant again saw him cross into the box looking for Lightfoot, but the City man was grossly out-numbered by five defenders and the keeper and another possible opportunity disappeared.
Lightfoot then volleyed well over the stand behind the Fisher goal before the visitors saw another golden opportunity pass them by when Kushak Campbell-Palmer swooped onto a loose ball in the City midfield and broke into the box but with just Delo to beat, his shot was weak and tame thus allowing the keeper a far more comfortable save than he should have had.
City had two or three lucky escapes at the back - problems mainly of their own making - which Fisher should really have done more to punish them for but with City introducing Joe Nelder and debutant Owen Fitt into the fray, they never looked like getting on terms.
A last minute corner from Lightfoot was swung in and if City had grabbed anything from it, it would have been a steal - but although it was sent in right on the danger spot, Wheeler wasn't yielding and he made a very good, acrobatic, clean catch under pressure bringing proceedings to a close as the final whistle blew when he cleared upfield.
A scruffy and scrappy game, but City did have several players missing and they do have a very tough run-in to the end of the season which they will have to carefully manage while for Fisher understandably, it clearly was a case of 'it's the points that count' and not the 'how you get them' that matters.....
Final score: Canterbury City 0 Fisher FC 1
City: Jack Delo, Michael Turner, Gary Sayer, Adam Woollcott, Phil Starkey, Ollie Lee, Rob Lawrence (Owen Fitt), Chris Saunders (Joe Nelder), Dean Grant, Kyron Lightfoot, Danny Lawrence
Unused Subs: James Nurden, Dan Keyte, Ryan Cooper