|Posted on March 9, 2015 at 12:15 AM|
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It was a welcomed return to the winning feeling for the Hilderinc FC, who after a shocking run of a hat trick of defeats, found their stride once again to see off Deportivo Lions FC on a sizzling Sunday afternoon.
While still missing a considerable number of regulars, the Blacks were lifted by the inclusion of last terms’ HFC Players’ Player and Player of the Season, Karim Tabet, who made a special and final appearance for the Blacks before heading back home for good.
Though deprived late on of the services of Jonny Hill due to illness, the Blacks welcomed back the likes of Sai Ganesh, Goh Chong Wei and Alex Wong, while Tadao “Ted” Kaneda made his Hilderinc bow, along with trialist Manjit Ullal.
The opening minutes were a cagey affair as the Hilderincs sough to get in gear, giving the Lions undue optimism of causing an upset, considering the Blacks’ recent misgivings and also to somewhat avenge their 8-0 destruction at the start of the year.
But the nerves were settled and clarity restored when Hilderinc took the lead at the 12th minute mark after skipper Ian Morris pickpocketed a backpass and slotted in under the keeper for the opener.
Having taken the lead, the Blacks found composure to control the game with their passing and constant movement on and off the ball, while the defence stayed resolute to counter any response, leaving the Lions a handful to deal with.
The Blacks were given a case to be aggrieved after a seemingly genuine Mitchell Keh goal was chalked off for offside, but video replayed were to prove that the Blacks had point with their protestation.
There was, however, no denying the Blacks their second goal, after Nicholas Ledenmarks’ long freekick was superbly volleyed in by Sashikumar Mahathevan to extend the lead.
Just as it looked like that Blacks were going to run away with it, the midpoint technical water break, given by the referee due to the weather became more of disruption rather than a help for the Blacks, as it broke their flow just when they had found their rhythm.
The rest of the half, after the restart, was a display of midfield and defensive worth of the Blacks, as they held water tight against sporadic Lions attempts to break through, while Sashikumar could have added a third with a well struck shot which was parried away by the Deportivo keeper.
The second half started with contrasting fashion, with Karim Tabet scoring the third for the Blacks within a minute from the restart after obliging Ian Morris’ call for him to take on the Lions defence, which he duly adhered to, before finishing with calmly style, a trademark of the Frenchman.
However, Deportivo Lions were to get a gift, when Lim Yong Kiat misjudged the flight of the ball from the kickoff, allowing the speculative shot to drop into the net; and ironically with a two goal advantage at hand, the misdemeanour escape the wrath of the skipper.
Moving forward, it took the Hilderincs a mere five minutes to get their fourth of the day when an Ian Morris corner was intelligently flicked on by Sai Ganesh to Karim Tabet, who had a simplest of task to knock it in past the keeper for his brace, while the defender was applauded for his quick thinking assist.
The rest of the period was characterised by the Blacks trying to break fast into the Deportivo half, but found the way congested as the Lions got back in numbers to keep them at bay, though they found themselves inside the 18 yard box on multiple occasions, they denied themselves any increase of the scoreline by overplaying or seeking the prefect goal.
As it was in the first half, the midpoint water break was less welcomed by the Blacks, as they had to apply the brakes on their stride and resume the momentum thereafter.
And restarting lackadaisically, though without any creditable threat, the Blacks switch off and allowed Deportivo another gift of a goal against the run of play.
Rousing themselves again, the Blacks pushed ahead to kill off the tie and could have done so with a quick counterattacking, involving Alex Wong, Ian Morris and Sashikumar, but unfortunately, the latter scuffed his shot wide at the crucial moment.
Undeterred, the Blacks made up for the miss only seconds later when Karim Tabet intercepted a throw in, heading the ball into the path of Mitchell Keh, who made no mistake taking on a host of defenders to score his fifth of the season and the Hilderincs’ fifth of the day to secure the tie.
While it may not have been the exhibition stuff of the first encounter against Deportivo Lions, the Blacks, showed grit to get back to winning ways, though more focus will be expected of them from now till the end of the season.
Positively, the individual displays of debutant Ted Kaneda and Dan Koh were notable mentions along with the collective contribution of the rest, as all in Hilderinc Football Club thank for his contributions and wish Karim Tabet all the best for his future endeavours.
Hilderinc FC 5 : Deportivo Lions FC 2
Goals: Ian Morris, Sashikumar Mahathevan, Karim Tabet (2), Mitchell Keh
MOM: Karim Tabet
Yellow Card: Sashikumar Mahathevan
1. Leon Lee
2. Nicholas Ledenmark
3. Tadao “Ted” Kaneda
4. Dan Koh
5. David Zheng
6. Mohammad Hissham
7. Karim Tabet
8. Sashikumar Mahathevan
9. Andy Mackay
10. Ian Morris
11. Mitchell Keh
12. Lim Yong Kiat
13. Jonathon Mok
14. Goh Chong Wei
15. Manjit Ullal
16. Sai Ganesh
17. Alex Wong
Categories: Match Day