|Posted on November 27, 2016 at 2:05 AM|
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Contrary to expectations, Hilderinc FC were made to wait a little longer to make their ESPZEN Saturday League debut, as the season opener was delayed due to several backlogged fixtures of the current campaign, leaving the Blacks to extend their pre-season for one more week.
Adding to the alterations to their agenda, the typically well-organised Blacks were handed another irritant when their originally arranged friendly was moved to the 5pm time slot with a different opponent, leaving several players, with no fault of their own, withdrawing due to various commitments.
However, though reduced in numbers, the Hilderincs, with a settled core, were well positioned to take on Perry United, a side they were left frustrated by in an earlier meeting when they were held to a 1-1 draw despite registering more than a dozen shots on goal.
While the change in the kickoff time proved to be a blessing in disguise in view of the prior thunderstorm, the resultant pitch condition did contribute to some early discomfort as the Blacks worked through the slick surface.
Also, unaided by an oddly feisty opponent, who for some reason decided to up the ante with their physical approach and their constant badgering, contrasting the niceties enjoyed in the first encounter, the Hilderincs looked distracted and lacking their usual poise, while further annoyance was provided by a curious referee, who looked one or two steps off with everything that was going around him.
The first point of contention came as early as the sixth minute when Michael Rooke’s goal was debatably chalked off for offside when he had put the ball into the back of the net following a fine move from Omar Mahnin and Sashikumar Mahathevan.
Undeterred, the Hilderincs response was swift, as within a minute they were rightly in front as there were no doubts about Omar Mahnin turn and finish after he was picked out in the box by Khaled Harnavin.
The Blacks could have added another moments later but were let down by lack of composure in front of goal.
Although for long periods the Blacks were the dominant side with United doing nothing significant to trouble the well marshalled defensive line of Sunny Tharidu, Wong Yih-Khai, Steve Tan and Michael De-Bear, makeshift goalkeeper Parthiban Aruchamy did have to pick the ball out of the net when he was beaten, undeservedly, by a speculative header against the run of play.
The rest of the half was pretty much a show for dubious refereeing decisions against the Hilderincs’ cause, as both teams headed for the break somehow level.
The Blacks started the second period with increased vigour, keen to set an order to the proceedings by removing any confidence Perry United had for an upset.
It took about seven minutes into the restart for the Hilderincs to regain their lead, and it was through a fortuitous own goal by a United defender who put Satoki Yoshida’s crisp cross pass this own goalkeeper.
It was a little waste of time for the Hilderincs from then on as they took the game by the scruff of the neck, extending their advantage six minutes later when Khaled Harnavin met an Ian Morris corner with a towering header for an impressive start to his HFC tenure with two goals in as many games.
Having broken the United resolve, it was one-way traffic with the Blacks marauding down at will and they added their fourth after Omar Mahnin turned provider with a low drive that alluded the keeper for Satoki Yoshida to sweep in the goal on his return.
Inspiring Omar Mahnin hit the final nail when he responded the quickest to put the ball away after Wong Yih-Khai’s header bounced off the crossbar following the opponent’s keeper made a decent save, keeping the initial Basil Al Barr cross from sneaking in.
In fact it was the Perry United custodian who all but stood between the Blacks and a larger scoreline as he kept Sam Thorley from scoring no less than three times with insane saves in the closing minutes of the game.
In the final analysis, it was a resolute response from Hilderinc FC, who prevailed against uncomfortable circumstances to see out a praiseworthy win, something they will need in a tough Division 2 in the coming league season.
Perry United 1 : Hilderinc FC 5
Goals: Omar Mahnin (2), Khaled Harnavin, Satoki Yoshida, O.G
Starting Line Up
1. Parthiban Aruchamy
2. Steve Tan
3. Sunny Tharidu
4. Wong Yih-Khai
5. Michael De-Bear
6. Sam Thorley
7. Michael Rooke
8. Sashikumar Mahathevan
9. Omar Mahnin
10. Ian Morris
11. Khaled Harnavin
12. Basil Al Barr
13. Jon Loh
14. Satoki Yoshida
Categories: Match Day