I came to this game, with my son, on a wet warm Saturday August afternoon. The St Paul’s Stadium sits up against the River Thames in Rotherhithe, South London. There is free local parking on side streets if you check carefully.
The ground is approached off Salter Street and has a welcoming feel. Once through the turnstiles, there was a matchday programme, small club shop stand and then a decent clubhouse, changing facilities and refreshment stand. The tea was good and this is a friendly and welcoming club set in a unique location for the SCEFL. It is well worth a visit!!
While the players warmed up, we were treated to loud music from the Fisher dressing room, reminiscent of the Crazy Gang at Wimbledon FC, circa 1980’s.
The seated and covered stand alongside the 3G pitch, holds around 250 and then there is a covered terraced stand, behind the goal. Views from the ground are incredible… with the Canary Wharf skyline right behind the stadium, even visible on a grey, cloudy and wet afternoon.
The team sheets showed that Lee Weemes, who had scored three goals, in the first two league games for Fisher, was absent. Dennis Asante stepped up, to fill the gap at Number 9. Manager Ajay Ashanike was hoping they would bounce back to lift themselves back up the table, after the defeat away at front-runners Sheppey United, last Saturday.
Welling Town have only played once in the league so far this season, securing a 2-2 draw. Manager Kevin Oakes was able to field a full strength side.
Fisher started well, a neatly chipped lob clipping the bar, courtesy of their lively number 11, Courtney Swaby, on ten minutes. Welling Town’s number 14, Carl Oblitey, failed to connect with a header which would have been a certain goal, on fifteen minutes, despite a valiant dive.
After some extensive Fisher pressure, on 30 minutes the Fisher number ten, Malaki Coker, fired just wide. As in many games I have seen this season, it felt as if the failure to convert such a lot of pressure into a goal, may come back to haunt Fisher.
On 44 minutes, Welling Town broke against the run of play and the Number 14, Carl Oblitey, scored with with a clinical finish, after forcing his way in from the right to the edge of the six yard box.
The second half was closely contested when, out of the blue, a Welling defender handled in the box under pressure from a corner. The Fisher number 12, Rob Brown, despatched the penalty to make it 1-1 after 58 minutes.
On 88 minutes Fisher conceded a penalty, when the Welling striker, Ryan Golding, was tripped in the box. Golding immediately converted the penalty to put Welling ahead 1-2.
Fisher, backed by vocal support from the home fans, seemed to sense they were better than the defeat they were facing. When a great free kick by Katonia was tipped over the bar, by the Welling goalkeeper, Mamas, Fisher FC scored from the resulting corner, through a fine header by Joe Adewunmi.
At the final whistle both sides had clearly given all and the 2-2 score line reflected a tough and entertaining match.
Man of the match, for me today, was the Fisher FC number 8, Jacob Katonia, for his long through balls, accurate passing and continual hard work.