|Posted on January 27, 2018 at 10:55 AM|
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Hilderinc FC’s return to league duties after a lengthy eight week absence mirrored a puzzling theme as they fell to another self-induced late goal against Snipers FC, another similar occurrence from the reverse fixture, which incidentally started the Blacks’ current horrendous run.
Despite a productive preparatory programme leading up to the ESPZEN Saturday League 18 Division 3 outing, the HFC’s well-oiled plans were dealt a blow when several players who were primed for this important game in key positions were made unavailable, forcing a rethink with limited options, so much so that they had to mobilise Kumaresan Maniam and Darren Tan, from Hilderinc Twā FC, the Blacks’ Sunday side, along with Mohammed Afiq, to provide a creditable challenge against the rampant league leaders.
Though the quality at disposal was still praiseworthy, it was a tentative start for the Hilderincs, who looked uncertain of their own abilities against an eager opponent who had them on the back-foot in the opening minutes.
While the Blacks soon grew into the game and were on equal footing, a highly reprimand-able choice of decision, in unforced circumstances, opened themselves to the Snipers’ attack, and left Sunny Tharidu picking the ball out of his net, himself a victim of undeserved consequence of actions further front of him.
Incensed, the Hilderincs response was unsympathetic in more than one ways, as they took to a change of personnel to remedy themselves, as Kumaresan Maniam and Basil Al Barr were introduced in response during the mid-point water break, one tactical, and latter for game management reasons.
The reply to the alteration was almost instant as the Blacks drew level within minutes of the restart, with Basil playing the ball to Diogo Baptista, who in turn found Kumar with a good pick.
The fullback turned midfielder, who has been vital to the Sunday Hilderincs, carried on with his purple patch of finding the back of the net with a well taken strike to equalise.
With parity restored, both teams had to slough in the intense heat to outdo each other, though the greater battle was with the elements rather than the football.
The second half was a mark contrast to the way the Blacks started the first, as they took on a more focused and fluid approach, playing their usual pass and move football, the overall play diverted to the Snipers’ end as supposed to the flow earlier in the game, while the opponents sought for counterattacks as a way to find their own advantage.
While the different approaches from both teams opened the game to a good spectacle, clear opportunities were limited, though couple of Travis Fujii attempts on goal gave promise, the Snipers were more dangerous with their chances.
Just as the game looked to be heading to a merited draw, and despite repeated warnings to keep things simple and safe, another sloppy dealing of the ball was punished, and the Hilderincs found themselves a goal down of their own ruination for the second time in the game.
Despite the late rally with Ian Morris and Diogo Baptista coming close, the latter mere inches from finding the back of the net, the day would end in frustration for the Blacks, who wonder what they need to do to break this almost cursed-like run which has seen them lose five games in a row, all without playing anywhere deserving of the end result, though the common recurrence of unavailable players in key positions for league games has undeniably has had its hands in all these unmerited defeats.
Alarmingly, with only one game left in their fixture list, the Hilderincs now stare down the barrel as their campaign gets out of their own hands, and perhaps a supplication to Lady Luck and the footballing gods be their only recourse now.
Snipers FC 2 : Hilderinc FC 1
Goal: Kumaresan Maniam
Man of the Match: Dionisis Kolokotsas
Yellow Card: Diogo Baptista
1. Sunny Tharidu
2. Mohammed Afiq
3. Goh Heng Kiat
4. Dionisis Kolokotsas
5. Mike De Bear
6. Adib Alias
7. Diogo Baptista
8. Nicholas Ledenmark
9. Danish Saarin
10. Ian Morris
11. Travis Fujii
12. Nabil Zahrif
13. Basil Al Barr
14. Kumaresan Maniam
15. Darren Tan
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