|Posted on January 18, 2015 at 9:45 AM|
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Hilderinc FC missed the chance to stay closer to league leaders of Division 5, Singapore Panthers, when they were held to a 1-1 draw by PokeManrid FC in a keenly contested encounter.
In what was their 100th league game in the ESPZEN Sunday League, the Blacks put out one of their most uncharacteristic performance where they did not have their normally high possession count, though they looked to run riot immediately from kickoff.
Welcoming back last campaign’s Player of the Season, Karim Tabet, who will be playing his final game for the Hilderincs next Sunday before he leaves for home in France, and Alex Wong, the Blacks started the game with much swagger when they took the lead in the first minute.
Ian Morris’ dexterous through ball behind the defence was well controlled and finished by Sashikumar Mathavan for a dream start for the Blacks who were keen to keep their 100% win record at their Home ground going as much as the three points that comes along with it.
However, though having taken the lead, and having done so in a sumptuous manner, the Blacks’ momentum went aberrant, allowing PokeManrid to get back into the game with less than usual lack of considerable resistance.
The Hilderincs had their defensive stalwarts, Azman Azmi, Nick O’Sullivan, Nicholas Ledenmark, Alex Wong, Sunny Tharidu and goalkeeper Gopal Peethambaran to thank; especially the latter who pulled off no less than three fine saves to keep their lead intact.
While the game wore on, the battle was more focused on the middle of the pitch, as both teams tried to muscle the other with little headway going forward.
Mitchell Keh did pounce of couple of opportunities but was left frustrated by last ditch challenges or soft offside calls by the referee.
The second half followed the pattern of the first, however with a change of formation and personnel, the Blacks threaten a bit more, but mostly through corners rather than any significant game play, though they came close with efforts from Mitchell Keh and Ian Morris.
As the midfield battle raged on, and the game into the final third, a long speculative ball into the Hilderinc box was let slip by and the consequential indecisiveness was punished by PokeManrid’s main player, Bryden Yong, who incidentally, was a player the Blacks tirelessly tried to sign in the close season.
For some unexplainable reasons, it was only the last ten minutes of the game that the Blacks finally sparked into life, perhaps in a hope of repeating last week’s heroics and they very nearly did so with Mitchell Keh in the heart of the action again, coming within a whisker, twice, for another late winner.
While the loss of two points will be hard for the Blacks to take, a draw was a fair result for both teams who will hope to be in the mix come end of the season.
The Hilderincs will now have to let this game pass their system and focus on the robust Predators FC who will be next to visit them next Sunday.
PokeManrid FC 1 : Hilderinc FC 1
Goal: Sashikumar Mathavan
MOM: Nick O’Sullivan
Starting Line Up
1. Gopal Peethambaran
2. Azman Azmi
3. Nick O’Sullivan
4. Nicholas Ledenmark
5. Alex Wong
6. Sunny Tharidu
7. Karim Tabet
8. Rama Witjaksono
9. Sashikumar Mathavan
10. Ian Morris
11. Mitchell Keh
12. Leon Lee
13. Takashi Ito
14. Guy Heskins
15. Chua Yuxuan
16. Manli Tabet
17. Jack Fleet
18. David Zheng
19. Melvin Ng
20. Nicolas Scribe
Categories: Match Day