City Beaten by In Form Fisher
By Martyn Sexton
Canterbury City succumbed to their sixth straight League defeat on a filthy night in South London, writes Eddie Allcorn
Had the pitch at the St Paul’s Stadium not been artificial the game would have been in doubt such was the autumnal evening deluge.
In the end the 3-1 final score flattered Fisher and was harsh on a City side that were poor for the opening 25 minutes, but thereafter more than matched their ambitious hosts who went top of the table with the win. The clinching goal came deep into added time, a soft penalty which added insult to injury for Canterbury following on from the freak nature of Fisher’s second goal.
It was my first visit to Fisher’s shiny new home on Salter Road and the welcome was warm and genuine and City went with a virtually full-strength side against an inform Fish. It was never going to be an easy fixture, but City didn’t help themselves with an erratic start. Fisher took the lead inside three minutes with a flashing drive from the edge of the box. Ramsamy teed it up but the first time shot by Mott was a scorcher.
Campbell-Palmer then found the side netting when he should have forced Delo into action. Pilcher then flashed a snap shot wide inside the ten-minute mark, but it was the hosts that looked the more likely to score in a hectic opening. The vocal City fans feared the worst when the ball was crossed to Campbell-Palmer but he contrived to shank his effort wide. Sayer was then forced to head the ball off the line to keep City afloat.
Thankfully City then seemed to settled down into the match as the initial Fisher surge abated. They got some control in midfield and began to make chances of their own. Lee should have done better with a free header from a Lawrence header but it was straight at keeper Wheeler.
City equalised on the half hour, a long free-kick by Delo into the area found Harvey, he headed it back into the path of Lawrence to steer home with a flourish. They also saw a free kick blocked and a corner smuggled over the bar but at the other end calamity.
On 36 minutes the ball ended up in the City net. It was credited to Mott, it appeared that the free-kick in from the left found him, was blocked on the line by a City body but rebounded freakishly in via part of Mott’s anatomy for 2-1. It summed up the wretched luck City are enjoying at the moment.
Fisher nearly added a third right on half-time but Delo saved brilliantly with his legs in a one-on-one with Ramsamy after a long ball by Geddis.
City then missed the first chance of the second half, but Lawrence’s deft shot following good work by Ince drifted wide of the post. The second half was closer than the first, more nip and tuck, tighter with fewer genuine chances for either side. Casey put a free-kick well over whilst at the other end Mott put a low shot wide.
The problem for City was a lack of quality in the final third when it came to the final ball in, it just would not fall for them whilst at the other end Fisher thumped one low effort against the foot of the post with Delo flat footed on 73 but Campbell-Palmer’s effort was subsequently cleared.
City could have equalised on 80 twice, but the header from a fine near post free-kick was headed over and another set piece saw the ball nodded towards goal but hooked off the line by Wanogho. It was destined to be “one of those nights” and so it proved. In the last minute of normal time McCallum’s fine downward header looked perfect but agonisingly went inches wide.
Inevitably with City pressing incessantly for a goal, a tackle by Quinn on Campbell-Palmer six minutes into added time saw him tumble on the break. It was soft but referee Friar, who had been oblivious to Fisher’s cynical time-wasting and blatant and continual kicking the ball away, pointed to the spot. Hamill smashed it high and hard into the net. Game over 3-1.
The home fans sang “You’ve been battered by the Fish” which was amusing but inaccurate. There had been plenty of positives to take from a tough game in horrible conditions in which they had deserved a point and even a Fisher player admitted to City fan Dave M as they trooped off that he had “bought” the penalty.
The team will now have to regroup for their Kent Senior Trophy game on Sunday against Chatham at Faversham before the big Vase game vs Southall where a change in luck would be much appreciated.
Fisher: Dan Wheeler, Harvey Brinkley (Jacob Skelly 83), Ritchie Hamill, Pat Geddis, Mudiagha Wanogho, Harry Tobin, Trey Small (Chandler Kasai 69), Andrew Mott, Rob Brown, Kushal Campbell-Palmer, Matthieu Ramsamy (Alilabi Soyemi-Oloade 90).
Subs: Jamie Brown, Tim Moffatt
Goals: Andrew Mott 3, 36, Ritchie Hamill 90+6 (penalty)
Booked: Pat Geddis 55, Mathieu Ramsamy 76
Canterbury City: Jack Delo, Michael Turner, Gary Sayer (Dan Keyte 90), Liam Quinn, Laurence Harvey, Josh McCallum, Rob Lawrence, Ollie Lee (James Turner 77), Jordan Casey, Brett Ince, Dave Pilcher.
Subs: Josh Froggatt, Kane Phillip, James Nurden
Goal: Rob Lawrence 30
Referee: Mr Daniel Friar
Assistants: Mr Ashley Barnes & Mr Lanray Alapafujah