First Team 2 Fisher 0

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Stand-in goalkeeper Tom Ripley was the hero as Sevenoaks Town beat Fisher 2-0 at Greatness Park on Saturday.


Ripley stepped in between the posts after Rob French suffered a groin problem in the warm-up, but produced a fine display - as Billy Bennett's two second half goals won the game and confirm bottom club Fisher's relegation to Southern Counties Eastern Football League Division 1.


Ripley who made club history at the other end of the pitch earlier this season becoming the club's first defender to score a hat-trick said: "I used to play in goal in a five-a-side team ten years ago. At training a few months back, we were playing around and I went in goal, did ok, and ended up as back-up keeper. I never thought I would play there in a game though!"


Ripley looked the part, punching the ball clear under pressure and getting down to make some important stops, before preserving his memorable shut out by denying Fisher striker Trey Williams in a one-on-one late on.


Boss Micky Collins said: "Rob suffered a little tweak and we decided the best thing was to rest him, and avoid aggravating it. Tom came in and was just quality, made a couple of good saves - and kept a clean sheet, which is just want you want from your centre half."


"He earned it as well, it wasn't a case of us defending everything in front of him. Their lad had time to slot it, but Tom has made himself big, and saved with his legs. If Frenchy had done that we would have been chuffed for him, Tom is just immense, we take him for granted a bit, but to come in and give an eight out of ten performance is fantastic."


Collins added: "Tom has just committed himself to the club next season, we have had that chat. He has come back from a horror injury, got his mojo back and is back to playing his best football. He is a great clubman, and he proves that every time he goes on the pitch."


Marvin Okundalaiye drafted in after Ripley took over in goal, was forced off with injury ten minutes before half-time, and Jack Miles also picked up a recurrence of an ankle injury and was replaced at half-time by new-boy Brett Ince.


Fisher made Town work hard in the first half, and Ripley was kept busy including pushing away Ritchie Hamill's free-kick.


Bennett broke the deadlock six minutes after half-time - making the most of a mix-up between goalkeeper Nic Taylor and a defender. Luke Haidarovic went close, before Bennett then got the second stabbing the ball home from close-range 19 minutes from time.

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