|Posted on September 25, 2011 at 5:30 AM|
Harvester Football Club’s return to the venue of their first ever game eleven years later turned out to be less than memorable as they went down 1-0 to Andernese Football Club in an evenly matched game which was ultimately decided by an own goal.
Playing in their first 11 am game, HFC knew that the heat would be their greatest obstacle as they sought to overcome a more experienced team who were six divisions above them.
With the League Cup not their main goal this season, the Blacks took to the field with a much changed team from that which won 6-0 last week.
Tobias Leong was brought in to make his debut as he replaced first choice keeper Gopal who was unavailable for selection. Stanley Goh who captained the team for the first time was partnered with Vincent Chia as returning full backs Sai Tiong Seng and Khairul Mohamed played on the right and left respectively. Shah who missed the last game was recalled to the midfield alongside Mohana Raj with Jason Lu and debutant Andrew Chew supported Ranjeet Ram and Sashikumar.
The Blacks were struggling with the atrocious heat right from the word go and as a result, they made the mistake of allowing Andernese FC to pin them back as soon the game started.
The opening minutes were littered with unforced errors as Andernese took the opportunity to pressure the Blacks with the time and space allotted to them.
Not much constructive was going for HFC as they tried hard to get a grip of the proceedings in heat and in the face of an opponent who were ready to make most of the advantage presented to them.
It was not long before that HFC were forced into making a change as Vincent who was clearly not a fan of the sun was unable to continue and was replaced by Kavin Singh. No one would have blamed him in such an unbearable circumstance. The Blacks took the opportunity to make another change, taking off Sai and replacing him with Henry Neo.
The changes seem to have some effect as slowly but surely the Blacks pushed themselves out of the own half till that point they were made to encamp in.
Jason and Andrew were working their socks off as they tried to involve Ranjeet and Sashi in the game.
The first clear chance fell to Sashi after some good work by Raj and Andrew which released the big man to run clear unto goal. However, his attempted shot was very saved by the Andernese goalkeeper who read the intentions of the striker.
Despite the constant barge of attacks, the Blacks defence held their ground well with well-timed offside traps that worked to perfection.
In the run of play, the Blacks saw themselves concede an own goal that would change the outcome of the game. A seemly harmless ball was launched at the Blacks goal and with no pressure at all, the debutant stand in keeper Tobias who with all the time in the world and with no one around him pushed the ball into this own net when the easiest option would have been to do anything else but just that.
The Blacks had no time to wallow in self-pity as they tried to get themselves back into the game after the howler. Tobias did try to redeem himself when he brilliantly tipped over a stinging long range shot.
Further changes were forced upon the team in black as Shah and Andrew were replaced in favour of Azman Azmi and Dominic Chan.
The referee soon brought the half to an end as both team were clearly struggling in the noon sun.
Kumarasen, Wisely Chan and Ian Morris were introduced to in second half as the Blacks went for broke in the second half and threw in all they had to change the course of the game.
It proved to add the impetus they so lacked in the first half. There was more purpose to the play and their passing and running off the ball was a lot more constructive rather than hopeful.
Much of the second half was played in the Andernese’s half but the Blacks lacked the final killer touch to draw level.
There were few anxious moments when Andernese tried to put the tie beyond any doubt but good defending coupled with good goalkeeping kept HFC in the game.
The Blacks came close on several occasions especially with Ian’s freekick but the Andernese defence remained resolute as they defended their slim one goal advantage.
With time fast edging away from the grasp of Harvester FC, they threw everything they had to force extra time. In a final throw of the dice, the Blacks virtually had everyone in the opponents’ box as they attacked a corner only to see Stanley’s header go agonisingly close.
The game ended 1-0 as it was for much of the game but despite the defeat, the Blacks will know that they had given a good account of themselves especially in the second half and will very well know that they will be ready for next Sunday when they will returned to league action.
HFC 0 : Andernese FC 1
Tobias Leong (Own Goal)
Man of the Match: Stanley Goh
1. Tobias Leong
2. Stanley Goh
3. Vincent Chai
4. Sai Tiong Seng
5. Khairul Mohamed
6. Shahreen Sofan
7. Mohana Raj
8. Jason Lu
9. Andrew Chew
10. Ranjeet Ram
12. Henry Neo
13. Dominic Chan
14. Wisely Chan
15. Azman Azmi
16. Kavin Singh
18. Ian Morris
19. Simon Khaw
A HFC Online Publication
Categories: Match Day