Tuesday 20th September 2016 ko 19.45
Southern Counties East League- Premier Division
FISHER FC 0
CRAY VALLEY PAPER MILLS 3 (Jeffrey 43 Gayle 88 Bremner 90)
In non-league there are all too few happy endings, so when the old Fisher Athletic lost the Surrey Quays Stadium in 2004 you wondered how long the club could last exiled 5 miles away at Dulwich Hamlet. The answer turned out to be 5 years, but their eventual demise proved to be more about financial wrongdoing than anything else. A fan owned club was quickly established to replace the old club and continued to play at Champion Hill but a return to Rotherhithe looked a distant dream.
There was the odd friendly played at Bacons College a hundred or so yards from the old ground, and salvation came a short distance away, along Salter Road. St Paul’s Sports Ground was a run-down council facility, but with a club keen to be anchor tenants, there was reason enough for Southwark Council to redevelop the place. And therein lies the potential issue…
The stadium is still council owned and Southwark council has put the tenancy up for open tender, therefore risking the club being in the position where they could be very little better off than they were at Dulwich Hamlet. As anchor tenants they’d be in receipt of the site’s revenue, if not then they’d be doing little more than renting a pitch. All of a sudden the lack of any sort of club branding on the stadium made sense, and the more you ponder the situation the more it worries. I’m told Millwall Lionesses are looking for a new ground….
But it was good to see the club playing in front of the Canary Wharf skyline again, and although Cray Valley were frankly straightforward winners it was good to see Fisher playing their first game back home under lights. Hopefully they’ll get the news they’re looking for.