|Posted on October 26, 2015 at 1:30 AM|
HFC Media File Picture
After the elation of last week’s outstanding come from behind win against quality side, Playground Rivals FC, Hilderinc FC were brought back to earth in a laboured win against a young Christ Methodist Church team.
Renewing an acquaintance dating back to the Blacks’ Agape Cup tournament days, the Hilderincs would certainly count themselves mighty fortunate to come away with a win against a team they last played in a 2-0 win back in 2010.
If the Hilderincs had plans to build on last Sunday’s chic performance, they grossly failed to translate the intention to any meaningful groundwork with their uncharacteristic start to the game.
Drawing pressure from the home side, largely due to their ineptness, the Blacks had the crossbar to thank for in the opening seconds after CMC rocked the woodwork with a crashing strike.
Looking nervy and unsure, void of their usual fluidity, the Blacks looked choppy as they tried to resist a youthful side, eager to embarrass their more “illustrious” opponents at every opportunity.
Coming to terms that it was not going to be a stroll in the park against a determined outfit, the Blacks got their acts together and regain composure.
It took almost ten minutes for the Blacks to hit a period of purple patch which saw the Hilderincs return to their celebrated pass and move football, turning the tide of the game, though not at their full potential.
Alex Wong, last weekend’s assist maestro was at his finest yet again when his trademark through ball found the run of Sashikumar Mahathevan, who took the ball in his stride before picking his spot to give the Blacks the lead.
It did not take the Hilderincs long to double their advantage when another impressive interplay resulted in Mohamed Al Hosani matching Alex Wong with another glorious through ball, which Sashikumar Mahathevan, in an almost carbon copy of his first, finished off with an aplomb.
David Zheng, Sashikumar, Ian Morris and Gabir Nabil would come close to increasing the lead, with the Egyptian coming closest with a fine strike, drawing a save from the CMC keeper.
However, against the run of play, and against the relative dominance of the Blacks, CMC were presented with the easiest chance to pull a goal back after HFC were caught napping and out of position from a counterattack.
As the half progressed the Hilderincs were much aggrieved by the referee’s selective handling of the game, in what was perceived to be in favour of the home side as the Blacks were denied several stone-cast decisions, and not to mention the phantom cards that were flashed indiscriminately, and only to be comically rescinded seconds later.
Irked by the proceedings, skipper Ian Morris’ rare petulance and impulsive ill-discipline cost the Hilderincs a needless penalty.
Despite Leon Lee’s brave attempt, he was mere inches away from reproducing one his many penalty saves after he managed to get his fingertips to the ball but was unable to keep it out.
Level at the midway point, the Blacks started the second half brighter of the two sides, a mark difference from the first period but though they pressed more, they were hampered but gross collective indecisive decisions, denying them of any considerable sustained flow.
Living on the edge, the Blacks had a bagful of unforced errors, alarmingly in their own half, giving countless charitable opportunities to the CMC side, who were just a level short of experience to punish the Hilderincs.
Even after the home side hit the post for the second time in the game, the Blacks failed to realise their precarious approach to the game.
The alertness of Leon Lee in goal was all that stood between the Hilderincs and an embarrassing defeat, which in any other circumstances would have been the stark reality.
In a half best remembered for the Hilderincs self-inflicted toil at the defensive end and jerky overall display, the saving grace was providing by Jeevan whose header from an Ian Morris corner put them back in the lead.
A Logaraj Sundram attempt and an Ian Morris cheeky try direct from a cornerkick were the closest the Hilderinc would come to finishing off the game, but it was their survival against their own indiscretion that brought great relief rather than satisfaction with the win.
With the Blacks returning to league action next week, lessons from their flawed victory must be learnt and applied if they were to avoid any pitfalls as they look to gear up their season where they will not be afforded any such generosity they enjoyed from CMC.
Christ Methodist Church 2 : Hilderinc FC 3
Goals: Sashikumar Mahathevan (2), Jeevan T Kannu
Starting Line Up
1. Leon Lee
2. Parthiban Aruchamy
3. Nicholas Ledenmark
4. Leslie Eng
5. Alex Wong
6. Mohamed Al Hosani
7. Serhat Dalbeyler
8. Sashikumar Mahathevan
9. Gabir Nabil
10. Ian Morris
11. David Zheng
12. Gopal Peethambaran
13. Azman Azmi
14. Peter Wang
15. Jeevan T Kannu
16. Kumaresan Maniam
17. Logaraj Sundram
18. Rama Witjaksono
19. Banjo Tasning
20. Basil Al Barr
Categories: Match Day