Fisher 1-10 Barnet - My bigger and better players didn't show up tonight, admits Perry Hanifan

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

The FA Youth Cup Third Qualifying Round
Wednesday 22nd October 2014
Stephen McCartney reports from Champion Hill Stadium

FISHER manager Perry Hanifan admitted Barnet were just too good for his side after being outclassed by professional opposition in the last qualifying round of The FA Youth Cup.

Barnet’s first team sit proudly at the summit of the Vanarama Conference and there are 109 teams other teams separating them and Southern Counties East Football League club Fisher in the non-league pecking order.

However, Barnet’s Academy side, managed by Henry Newman, also sit proudly at the top of The Football League Youth Alliance South East Division and breezed through to the First Round and will host Ryman Premier League club Metropolitan Police.

Fisher defeated Ware (5-3) and Concord Rangers (2-0) on the road en-route to facing a high-quality Barnet side, who beat Tilbury (3-1) before dishing out an 11-1 thrashing on FC Clacton in the last round.

Fisher goalkeeper Freddie Filce, 17, pulled off ten saves to ensure Barnet didn’t rattle in twenty goals and was the home side’s best player, while his team-mates out on the pitch failed to keep possession of the ball as they were painfully stung by the Bees.

The result will haunt Fish fans, who recall Fisher Athletic suffering their largest defeat (8-1) to Barnet in the GM Vauxhall Conference back in 1990.

The Bees took seventeen minutes to open the floodgates when winger Nana Emmanuel-Keyi slotted home a penalty, before Fisher grabbed an equaliser within four minutes from the penalty spot through Joshua Robinson, 17.

Fisher were on level terms for 20 minutes before Matthew Stevens scored the first of his three goals four minutes before half-time, before it all went horribly wrong for the hosts during the second half.

Barnet striker Ryan Gondoh killed the game off in the 51st minute before Stevens (twice) and Keyi made it 6-1.

Fisher were reduced to ten-men with ten minutes left when Robinson was forced off in agony with a dislocated shoulder before Barnet rattled in four goals in the final ten minutes through Jack Taylor, substitute pair Carlito Lanton and Daniel Cheema before Rupert Cole scored an own-goal with the last kick of the game.

“Barnet are a very decent side,” said Hanifan.

“They’re playing, practising every day of the week. They’re a very good Academy side and at 2-1 at half-time I thought we’ve done very well, but obviously the floodgates opened in the second half.

“They were knocking it out wide and getting in behind us all night long and we just couldn’t stop that.”

Barnet’s first opportunity arrived after only 99 seconds and was a sign of things to come.

Jack Taylor sprinted forward on a 30-yard run before playing the ball out to Elliot Harris and the right winger’s angled drive sailed just over.

Keyi played a fine diagonal pass to Harris who flashed his right-footed angled drive across the face of goal and past the far post despite a couple of his team-mates sliding in.

Keyi played the ball through for Stevens, but Fisher got bodies back and his right-footed drive from 25-yards forced Filce to dive full length to his left to make a fine save.

Fisher’s goal was leading a charmed life and Barnet opened the scoring from the spot after Cole brought down Keyi inside the box.

Keyi stepped up and sent Filce the wrong way, slotting his right-footed penalty into the bottom right-hand corner.

Barnet left-back Keir Dickson played the ball into midfielder Jack Taylor, who played in Gondoh in behind the Fisher defence but Filce made another fine save low to his right and watched the ball roll narrowly past the foot of the post for a corner.

Fisher ventured forward for the first time and were rewarded when referee Abiodun Abraham pointed to the spot after Barnet defender Joe Gater raised his hand to block Leonard Tare’s shot.

Robinson – who scored a 40-yard screamer against Vanarama Conference South club Concord Rangers in the last round – kept his composure to send Kia McKenzie-Lyle the wrong way from the spot, the ball nestling into the bottom right-hand corner.

Hanifan added: “I think it was the first goalcoring attack we had and it came into the box, handball and unfortunately the boy who scored the goal dislocated his shoulder so it’s one good thing for him but obviously terrible thing for him to have a dislocated shoulder at the end.”

But despite being on level terms, Barnet were on another planet, compared to their Kent Youth League opponents.

Fisher’s second and last attempt on target came in the shape of a speculative right-footed shot from inside the centre circle by Tare, which was easily gathered by the Barnet keeper.

Barnet went close to taking the lead when Harris played a short corner and Jack Taylor and right-back Harry Taylor fed Harris, who cut in from the right and his right-footed angled drive was saved by Filce at his near post.

But Fisher failed to keep hold of the ball throughout this one-sided contest and the threats down the right flank were intense.

Harry Taylor clipped the ball down the right-channel to release Jack Taylor, who cut the ball back for Stevens, whose right-footed drive was beaten away by Filce at his near post.

Jack Taylor then released Stevens galloping down the right channel before drilling his right-footed shot sailing harmlessly over.

But Hanifan said he was disappointed when Barnet regained the lead with four minutes to go before the break when Stevens stroked his right-footed shot past the stranded Filce.

“Disappointed.  I think it came from a corner when they put two men out there, took a short corner. We warned the boys about that but we didn’t react quick enough.

“It was very disappointing to lose a goal just before half-time. I was hoping to keep it to one-all at half-time.”

Gondoh wasted a couple of chances after he was put through by Stevens and then by Jack Taylor just before the break, which both attempts were comfortably saved by Filce.

Fisher, somehow, went into the half-time break only 2-1 down, but they capitulated in embarrassing fashion during the second half.

When asked about the lack of quality in keeping the ball for more than five seconds, Hanifan replied: “We tried to address that at half-time.  We tried to change the shape at half-time in all honesty.  Perhaps we shouldn’t have done because we was hoping to get through the first ten minutes without conceding and we didn’t so that was disappointing.

“Maybe the management have to look at ourselves but it was what we all thought, what people were telling us who was watching the game from the stands, that we needed to adjust.

“We did make a change at half-time but it just didn’t work for us and they were too good for us in all honesty.”

Barnet’s first chance arrived inside the opening four minutes when Keyi’s lay-off found Stevens in space and his right-footed shot from fifteen-yards was saved by the diving Filce to his left and an unmarked Harris stabbed his shot just past the foot of the post from six-yards.

But Barnet’s third goal arrived in the 51st minute.

Central midfielder Wesley Fonguck played a sublime through ball to release Gondoh through the middle but he couldn’t finish it off and the ball came out to Harris down the right who swept the ball towards the far post where Gondoh ghosted in to volley his shot into the roof of the net from six-yards.

Jack Taylor then released Harris down the right again and his cut back was hit first time by Gondoh, but Filce made yet another fine block.

Dickson was allowed to cut in from the left towards the edge of the penalty area but his shot lacked power and the Fisher keeper had the easiest task of picking up the ball.

Barnet made it 4-1 in the 56th minute when Gondoh was released down the left and his cross was met by Stevens’ diving header from two-yards.

Barnet made it five just 119 seconds later when Fonguck released Gondoh and the ball wriggled through to Keyi, who was given time to drill a low right-footed shot past Filce from 12-yards.

Fisher reached the hour-mark having restricted Barnet to five goals.

Midfield play-maker Jack Taylor played a fine diagonal pass to release substitute Brendan Ocran down the right but Stevens shot deflected over the Fisher crossbar.

Jack Taylor then delivered a right-wing corner out towards the edge of the penalty area for Fonguck to bring the ball down under his spell before stroking a low right-footed drive which forced Filce to make another smart save, low to his right.

Barnet’s sixth goal, however, arrived in the 64th minute when Gondoh’s cross from the left found Stevens, who drilled his right-footed shot into the bottom far corner.

Fisher then opted to play six men in defence but they failed to stop a rampant, quality Barnet side attack them at will.

Harris played in substitute Cheema through on goal but Filce did well to hold a low right-footed drive in the 75th minute.

Six-one down, Fisher capitulated when they were reduced to ten-men for the final ten minutes when Robinson went off in agony with a dislocated shoulder, helped off by physio Emily Sawyer, who was on loan from Cray Valley for the night.

The ambulance finally pulled up at the ground at ten minutes to ten.

Hanifan said at the time of the interview, “He’s in a hell of a lot of pain and we’re just waiting for the ambulance. They told us an hour.”

This was a sign for Barnet to open the floodgates, something that Hanifan did not appreciate.

He said: “It’s quite a lonely place to be when the goals are going in.  I did have that 11-1 scoreline in my mind to be honest.

“I made my substitutes and when we went down to ten-men I was really fearful that the floodgates would open but we kept it to 10 at least!”

Jack Taylor capped off an impressive performance by running through the Fisher defence before drilling a low shot across Filce to find the bottom far corner from 12-yards after 82 minutes.

Goal number eight arrived just 101 seconds later when the impressive Harris got in behind the Fisher defence again and floated over a cross towards the far post where substitute Lanton scored from close range as the ball bounced off his chest and into the net.

Barnet’s ninth goal arrived with three minutes of normal time remaining when Jack Taylor’s sublime diagonal pass released substitute Brendan Ocran down the right and he cut the ball towards the near post and Cheema slid in to roll his shot across Filce to find the bottom far corner.

And with the last kick of the game Fonguck released Harris, who reached the by-line again to cut the ball back and Filce failed to gather at his near post and the ball ricochet off the unfortunate Cole and nestled inside the bottom corner for an own-goal.

The only positive was the heroic goalkeeping performance from Filce and first team manager Billy Walton should sign him on Southern Counties East Football League forms as soon as possible.

Hanifan said: “He played superb. To be quite honest 10-1 probably flattered us a bit to be perfectly honest but Freddie dde keep us in it for long periods of the game.

“Freddie was outstanding.  I don’t know if the first team manager was here but he might ask him to come along (to first team training), I don’t know, but he did very well.”

“There’s not many positives at the moment. I’ll have a think about it, maybe one or two.

“I’m disappointed with one or two of my players, my bigger players, my better players didn’t show up tonight and gave away the ball far too much.

“There’s no positives I can see at the moment.”

But there was a glimmer of good news for Fisher supporters that came pre-match from club secretary Dan York from inside his programme notes.

“Many of you will be aware that we are campaigning to Bring Fisher Home to Rotherhithe and we have planning permission to regenerate a disused pitch on Salter Road SE16.

“If we are successful with grant funding applications, we hope to be able to move home within 12 months.

“The new ground is not just for the first team, however, it will allow us to finally provide our youth teams with the match and training facilities that they deserve.

“A 3G pitch will allow us to grow our youth section and we hope to be able to add girls’ teams over the coming years.

“The achievements of Perry Hanifan’s side should not be underestimated. Like our senior team, the Fisher youth sides are currently without a permanent home. They play and train in Bromley and rely on generosity of sponsors, coaches and parents to keep going and to pay the costs of running the sides.

“Inexplicably placed in the north London and Essex section of the draw, the Fisher boys went on long midweek trips to two better-resourced clubs and beat them both.”

Fisher: Freddie Filce, Reece Lockett, Cormac Hanifan, Joshua Dowding, Tyler Foster, Rupert Cole, Joshua Robinson, Sharif Mwanja (Oliver Salt 61), Rio Connor-Baker, Leonard Tare (Lamar Wojtczak 73), Alfie Cue (Armando Syla 46).
Subs: Harry Barham, Zion Mensah

Goal: Joshua Robinson 21 (penalty)

Barnet: Kia McKenzie-Lyle, Harry Taylor (Brendan Ocran 61), Keir Dickson, Wesley Fonguck (Carlito Lanton 66), Joe Gater, Charlie Kennedy, Elliot Harris, Jack Taylor, Ryan Gondoh (Daniel Cheema 66), Matthew Stevens, Nana Emmanuel-Keyi.
Sub: Fumnaya Shomoton, Shane Cojocarel

Goals: Nana Emmanuel Keyi 17 (penalty), 58,  Matthew Stevens 41, 56, 64, Ryan Gondoh 51, Jack Taylor 82, Carlito Lanton 83, Daniel Cheema 87, Rupert Cole 90 (own goal)

Attendance: 83
Referee: Mr Abiodun Abraham (Edmonton, London E9)
Assistants: Mr Raddius Reynolds (Acton, London W3) and Mr Mike Flack (South Woodford, London E18)