Fisher 9-1 Lydd Town - I will not be walking away from this job until I'm told otherwise, says battered Lydd Town boss Liam Smith
Fisher 9 – 1 Lydd Town
|Location||St Paul's Stadium, Salter Road, Rotherhithe, London SE16 5EF|
FISHER 9-1 LYDD TOWN
Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Saturday 18th November 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from St Paul’s Stadium
LYDD TOWN manager Liam Smith insists he will not resign following this embarrassing no-show from his battered players at Fisher.
Fisher climbed up three places into fourth-place in the First Division table with 26 points from 14 games, 14 points adrift of leaders K Sports with two games in hand, while big-spenders Punjab United remain in second-place on 38 points.
Lydd Town goalkeeper Joe Munden – the son of Mo Munden, who was on the bench as goalkeeping coach – put in a poor performance which set the tone right from the first whistle.
Fisher opened the floodgates by opening the scoring after only 33 seconds through central midfielder Luke Haidarovic, following a mistake from Munden.
Fisher raced into a 2-0 lead inside nine minutes when former Metrogas striker Toyeer Babtunde was gifted the first of his three goals following another gift from Munden.
Fisher midfielder Rob Brown then made it three after only 24 minutes, before Lydd Town, who arrived one place and one point lower than their hosts, pulled a goal back through striker Tim Sims, who slotted in his thirteenth-goal of the season to finish off the first half scoring.
Brilliant Fisher rattled in six goals during a second half as Lydd Town capitulated in embarrassing fashion.
Babatunde slotted in his second goal on the break, before Fisher scored five goals inside the final 20 minutes on a rain drenched day in Rotherhithe.
Winger Jamie Brown slotted in after Lydd’s shocking back three went missing again, before Babatunde lashed in his hat-trick after cutting into the box.
Winger Mathieu Ramsamy finished off a one-two with Babatunde before Fisher added two more at the death through Rob Brown and substitute Jack Bullock tapped in the ninth.
“First of all embarrassed, shocked, shamed of my players at the minute,” said Lydd Town boss Liam Smith afterwards.
“We were beaten by the better side clearly. Obviously mistakes happen in football but no explanation of that today. I’m hurting right now to be honest.
“I thought I’d still come out and face you because it’s the right thing to do. We’ve travelled two and a half hours for this and we’ve got to travel two and a half home to get beat 9-1.
“We train on a Wednesday, work on certain things and it doesn’t happen today, not against a superior team that had us around the throat and it could’ve been more couldn’t it?”
Fisher boss Dean Harrison said: “My thoughts are, it’s been coming! We’ve had so many performances this year when we’ve created those chances and just not been clinical enough, today’s been coming!”
Birthday boy Richie Hamill swung in the game’s first free-kick into the Lydd Town box which should have been meat and drink for any goalkeeper but Munden dropped the ball and Haidarovic hooked his shot into the centre of the goal.
“Done well, just picked the bits up. We know what Richie’s like on set-pieces, so Luke was there piking the bits up, doing what he should be doing,” said Harrison.
“It was a really good start, really positive. I’ve said to the boys in there can we start hard and fast? We did have that in mind today to get at them and get at their back line and start quickly.”
Smith said: “The first two goals, we were 2-0 down after nine minutes. Joe’s a young keeper, he’s going to make mistakes but he must’ve made five or six saves today. I can’t criticise him making mistakes. I couldn’t play in goal no better than him.
“He’s going to make mistakes, it’s how he reacts from this now isn’t it? He’s got big shoes to fill with his dad anyway and his dad is our goalkeeping coach anyway but there’s no point in me ripping shreds out of Joe now, he knows it himself if you know what I mean.”
Fisher got in behind Lydd’s poor back-three on many occasions and Ramsamy split open the recalled Ryan Smith to release Jamie Brown down the right channel and Munden came out of his box and clattered into the Fisher winger.
Referee Kevin Greenhead pulled out a yellow card – which was the right punishment – but maybe a red-card would have saved him from going on to let in nine goals.
Harrison said: “He flew out, I think the ref gave him a yellow card, it was one of them.”
Smith said: “He got booked for that rash tackle, where he could’ve been sent-off. I’m trying to calm the players down and trying to calm myself at the same time, if that makes sense.”
Lydd Town were all over the place as Fisher dominated and their passing game on a wet artificial pitch was a joy to watch.
“We’ve been playing three at the back for a while now and we thought we’d stick with it today – it didn’t work,” admitted Smith.
“I put my brother Ryan back in after he’s ban, I thought we’d shore it up a little bit more and with a side like Fisher who counter with seven or eight people at a time, even their full-backs are nearly up top, it’s very hard.
“Thirty-three seconds, nine minutes, you’re 2-0 down away from home and you’re thinking oh my god, here come the floodgates.”
Fisher’s second goal, in the ninth minute, was simply embarrassing!
Owen Kessack, who was in the centre of their woeful three man central defence, played the ball back to Munden, who failed to move and allowed the pressing Babatunde to pounce on the loose ball and slot it into the bottom right-hand corner.
“He’s been really good Toyeer. We signed him last week from (Kent County League Premier Division side) Metrogas and first half last week he was a little off the pace, second half he settled in and he’s had two good training sessions this week and I thought he was fantastic today,” said Harrison, who revealed the club must pay landlords Millwall Communuity Trust £20,000 per year to play and train at the venue.
“I said to a couple of the boys on the bench when we scored that second goal that early in the game, sometimes you think the game’s won but there’s a long, long way to go, so it’s just about keeping the boys disciplined and focused.”
“I think Joe slipped for the second goal, he said he did and it was an easy tap-in,” said Smith.
“Joe’s called for the ball, his communication is good and you can’t help slipping on a 3G pitch can you? There was a bit of rain today, maybe that’s why but I can’t knock him for that can you?”
When asked how he was feeling at that time, Smith replied: “Angry straight away! I won’t tear strips off Joe but I’m disappointed with the mistakes. He is a top, top goalkeeper, probably the top three in this league but maybe his age came into it.”
Lydd Town recovered from their set-back and created an opening following their first corner.
Left wing-back James Matthews swung in a corner from the right and Ryan Smith made space for himself to plant his header across goal and past the far post.
Referee Kevin Greenhead then failed to award Lydd Town a corner when Fisher keeper Nic Taylor made a save at his near post.
Right wing-back Mark Read delivered a deep cross towards the far post and this was knocked down by striker Gary Lockyer and Taylor dived low to his right and used a strong right-hand to turn the ball behind for a corner, only for a goal-kick to be awarded.
Ben Charlesworth’s poor backwards header from the Lydd midfield was cleared out by Munden from outside his penalty area but Ramsamy’s left-footed shot from 30-yards sailed over an empty goal.
Fisher produced a fine move that carved open Lydd Town to score their third goal, timed at 23 minutes and 2 seconds on the clock.
The impressive Hamill played the ball down the line and Babatunde shrugged off Ryan Smith, holding the ball up before feeding Ramsamy, who then played Ashley Wright on the overlap to reach the by-line. The Fisher left-back cut back the ball for Rob Brown, who poked his right-footed volley into the bottom near corner from 10-yards.
Harrison said: “It was a lovely move. I think it started somewhere round the halfway line and the way they moved the ball today in right areas was fantastic.”
Smith said: “We say to our boys all the time we haven’t seen good goals scored against us and the third goal was definitely the best goal of the game.
“It was a good move down the left, we didn’t track down the runner and I think he was the one that showed, everyone could see that and he deserved that goal. He ran, what 50 yards to get the finish, good cross and sometimes you’ve got to hold your hands up and say it was a good goal and that’s what I have to do there.”
Lydd Town went close in the 26th minute when Sims curled his right-footed free-kick around the wall and agonisingly around the diving keeper and just past the far post from a yard outside the box.
“The free-kick, I thought the goalkeeper actually saved it but it went flashing past the advertising boards,” added Smith.
Harrison said: “They’re good, they’re not a bad side Lydd. They were only a point behind us this morning. We played them down there, so we know what they’re about. They’re a big, strong, physical side so we needed to contain them.”
The busy Hamill sprinted into the penalty area before flashing his left-footed angled drive across the keeper and past the far post from the left-hand side.
Matthews cut inside Pat Geddis before playing the ball into Sims’ feet, who stroked his right-footed drive just past the foot of the left-hand post from 20-yards.
A fine goal from Sims brought Lydd Town back from the dead, scoring with 35 minutes and 22 seconds on the clock.
Matthews threw the ball into Smith, who shrugged past Haidarovic, who fed Sims, who turned Daniel Flemming inside the box, leaving the central defender on his backside, before clipping his right-footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner from 14-yards.
“He put the man on his bum, I thought it was a really good finish. At that time I thought we can stay in the game now, get to half-time like we actually did. I thought we may make a game of it,” said Smith.
“He turned his man, good finish. He put the man on his bum when he done that little bit of trickery to score past the Fisher goalkeeper, who is also a very good goalkeeper, I’m pleased for Tim for his goal there, I must admit.”
Harrison added: “He took it very well. I wasn’t pleased with our defenders. I think they could’ve got closer to him there but he took it very well. He turned and slotted it in the corner.”
Lydd Town just couldn’t deal with defending set-pieces and they failed to clear Hamill’s delivery and Flemming’s overhead kick bounced wide.
Jamie Brown whipped in a low cross from the right and Babatunde took too many touches and poked his shot towards goal, forcing Munden to get down low to his right to spill before gathering under pressure.
Munden pulled off a fine save on the stroke of half-time. Haidarovic’s cross was cleared at the near post by a diving header and Babatunde smacked a powerful left-footed angled drive from 12-yards, which was palmed over the bar by the visiting keeper.
Both managers were asked their thoughts at the break.
Harrison said: “Disappointed that the game wasn’t wrapped up in all honesty. I thought it was a game where on top of the goals we scored we had another three clear-cut chances and we should’ve gone in with five or six goals and instead we go in at 3-1 when Lydd were still in the game.
“We said we can either go out there and get at it and make it enjoyable or if they get the next goal we could have a problem, so it was all about just being focused and doing the right things in the second half.
“No, I didn’t think we’d score six but at the same time we should’ve scored six in the first. I thought we might get another two or three but one we got those two or three they collapsed a little bit so it opened up for the boys to score more.”
Smith said: “I said about the disappointing start. I tried to get Joe calmed down because he was beating himself up in there at half-time. I tried to get the message through that the next goal was really important.
“Being 3-1 down away from home is going to be disappointing but let’s make a game of it now, let’s try to mark a bit better from set-pieces. I thought their set-pieces were really good.”
Fisher took eight minutes and 54 seconds into the second half to score their fourth goal.
They hit Lydd Town on the break as Rob Brown played the ball out wide on the right to Jamie Brown, who put Babatunde through on goal and Munden dived to his left and got his left-hand to the ball but couldn’t stop the ball rolling into the bottom far corner.
Harrison said: “He took it well. I think the keeper got a touch to it and it just crept over the line but yes it was a good finish by Toyeer, he did well today.”
Smith said: “I couldn’t quite believe it wasn’t offside to be honest. We asked the linesman (David Hooker) which one played him onside and he didn’t know so that’s probably enough said about that goal, otherwise I’d get myself in trouble.”
Lydd Town were to be denied a second by the far post on the hour-mark.
Sims swept the ball out to Lockyer on the right and he drilled his right-footed shot across Taylor from 35-yards, the ball crashing against the far post.
“Gary Lockyer shoots as all forwards do and I thought it was a good move down the left. We got it inside to him. I thought it was in to be honest. I thought we may have got back into it,” said Smith.
Harrison added: “It was a good shot. I thought that was in. He hit it really, really well. It zipped off the surface and he was unlucky.”
Fisher recycled Hamill’s free-kick and the ball was played to Ramsamy, who whipped in a cross towards the far post which was met by Dwayne Agyemang’s powerful header, which bounced on top of the crossbar and over for a goal-kick, the player looking up into the dark wet sky as he ran back to take up his position beside Flemming at the heart of Fisher’s defence.
Harrison said: “He was unlucky. A lovely cross. We recycled that nicely and he got the cross in and Dwayne was unlucky there with the header.”
“We weren’t marking and from then I thought it was game over, it was game over at 4-1 obviously,” added Smith.
“But from then I didn’t think we had the desire or the effort or the stability to keep them out. It was just a question of how many then?
Hamill floated in a cross which was met by Babatunde’s free header from 14-yards, which flew past the post.
“He’s a good player Richie when he’s on his game. He can dictate games, so he did today. It’s his birthday today as well so he must’ve been excited about going out tonight because he seemed to be enjoying it out there.”
Fisher keeper Taylor was called into action, diving to his left to palm away Lockyer’s right-footed free-kick from 26-yards.
Munden used his left-hand to prevent Hamill drilling in a left-footed shot, the ball spinning towards the goal-line and Kessack showed desire to get back on his goal-line to hook the ball off the line.
Fisher scored their fifth goal, timed at 24 minutes and 43 seconds on the clock.
Rob Brown put Jamie Brown through on goal and he slotted his shot past an exposed Munden into the bottom corner.
“He took it really well, really well, he played well Jamie,” said his manager.
“It’s alright saying we’re 5-1 and the game’s done but I didn’t want them to score again. I wanted us to keep doing the right things.”
“Now you’re going to ask me about all the rest of the goals? I don’t remember,” added Smith.
“I’m going to sum the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth up. It’s a complete lack of heart and desire and we didn’t track runners, not playing a shape, doing what they wanted to do and no excuse for that!”
Alex Coyne swept in a cross from the right some 40-yards from goal and an alert Taylor watched it drop out of the sky to push the ball over his crossbar.
But for any team to score four goals in 15 minutes at this level is simply Sunday League defending and Smith has called in his players to train two nights instead of the one this week.
Babatunde cut into the box from the right and was shaping up to make a pass but he lashed his shot high over Munden’s left-shoulder to crash his shot into the top near corner from a tight angle, scoring his hat-trick with 29 minutes and 47 seconds on the clock.
Harrison said: “It was a ridiculous finish. I asked him if he scuffed it after and he had a nibble and he said no he hit it where he wanted it to go. It was a great finish. He crashed it into the roof of the net.”
Smith added: “He scored the hat-trick for his goal bonus didn’t he, like all strikers would. He just smashed it into the roof of the net, our keeper didn’t have no chance.
“I thought Babatunde was actually really good. They played sort of 4-2-3-1 but he didn’t stop running, he ran the channels all day. He came short, probably deserved his goal.”
Fisher made it seven with a good two-man move, timed at 33:09.
Ramsamy played the ball low into Babatunde’s feet, who flicked the ball around the corner for Ramsamy to pick his spot, placing his right-footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner from 16-yards.
“Toyeer set him off, we got him off after. He popped it in and Toyeer flicked it around the defender and Mathieu finished it off nice, across the keeper,” said the Fisher boss.
Smith added: “When you’re playing that badly and you’ve got players like that against you, what can you do? You’ve come against a superior Fisher side today against a very, very poor Lydd team.”
Fisher substitute Jack Bullock played in Hamill, who was denied by a brave block from Munden, before Hamill kept composure to set up Bullock, who turned and stroked his shot past the far post from 12-yards.
Fisher rattled in their eighth goal with 44:16 on the clock.
The outstanding Hamill clipped a quality through ball which split the Lydd defence and Rob Brown burst through a couple of players in the middle to latch onto the superbly weighted pass to flick his right-footed shot across the diving keeper into the far corner.
Harrison said: “I thought he was exceptional today Rob Brown. He hasn’t played the last couple of weeks because he was away for a bit and Harry Draper came in and he’s been playing. Harry was suspended today so we had a chat with Rob and I said this is your chance to keep your place. He was magnificent. He’s a very good player when he’s on it and he works in that middle and he’s very good technically.”
Smith said: “Get me out of here, when’s the final whistle?
“I took my brother Ryan and Gary (Lockyer) off because they both got booked and I didn’t want them to get sent off if they did something stupid, so I brought on a couple of players who maybe weakened the team maybe? It was damage limitation shall we say, but it wasn’t the case.
“I thought Joe had it in his grasp but obviously he didn’t and Richie Hamill has got a hell of a left-foot.”
Fisher’s ninth arrived 41 seconds into time added on when Wright fed Hamill, whose driven shot towards the bottom near corner was parried by Munden and Bullock tapped the ball over the line from close range with his right-foot.
“Jack Bullock tapped it in. I said to him when he came on just work hard for us, enjoy it and see if you can get a goal and he did. That’s what strikers do, he got his tap in, perfect.”
“That’s when it started to get a bit fuzzy for me,” admitted Smith.
“The sub, Bullock should’ve scored two, I think. He got his goal, you can see from his celebration that he doesn’t score too often.”
Smith reflected on one of Lydd Town’s darkest days in their history.
“We brought a coach up today and we’ve brought another coach for people who wanted to come and watch, even though it’s only semi-professional football I have to apologise to them and I will over the phone and over a beer tonight. It’s not good enough from my point of view, I’m really, really hurting now, really hurting.
“It was shameful if I’m honest. How do I go to my chairman, how do I say how good my job was? I haven’t done my job today. I do have to look at it, I’ve got players missing today, this team are good enough to beat Fisher today.
“It’s exactly that cliché. It’s a really bad day at the office, dust yourself off and move on but this won’t be forgotten quickly. This will be dissected privately with the players. We normally train on a Wednesday, we’ll be getting them in Tuesday and Thursday this week. I know plyers who can’t get to training due to work but something has got to happen because I’m at boiling point.
“I don’t want to say something that I’ll regret. I won’t be walking away from this job until I’m told otherwise. I’m the man for the job to take Lydd forwards.”
Fisher: Nic Taylor, Pat Geddis, Ashley Wright, Luke Haidarovic, Daniel Flemming, Dwayne Agyemang, Jamie Brown (Paulo Facchinetti 76), Rob Brown, Toyeer Baabatunde (Jack Bullock 82), Richie Hamill, Mathieu Ramsamy.
Subs: Qassim Folawiyo, Nathan Hunter
Goals: Luke Haidarovic 1, Toyeer Babatunde 9, 54, 75, Rob Brown 24, 90, Jamie Brown 70, Mathieu Ramsamy 78, Jack Bullock 90
Booked: Rob Brown 18, Richie Hamill 90
Lydd Town: Joe Munden, Mark Read, James Matthews, Owen Kessack, Alex Coyne (Mick Doyle 82), Ryan Smith (Gary Blundell 73), Martin Henry (Andre Francis 56), Ben Charlesworth, Tim Sims, Gary Lockyer, Harry Carr.
Goal: Tim Sims 36
Booked: Joe Munden 4, Mark Read 11, Ryan Smith 51, Gary Lockyer 65
Referee: Mr Kevin Greenhead (Bexleyheath)
Assistants: Mr David Hooker (Bromley) & Mr Daniel Wyatt (Orpington)
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