|Posted on November 20, 2016 at 3:10 AM|
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Having made the transition from a Sunday League side to a full-fledged Saturday team, the culmination of a very purposeful nine week pre-season programme concluded with a magnificent finale for Hilderinc FC, as they produced one of their most noteworthy performance in recent months to overcome Team Rezzo, ahead of their debut in the ESPZEN Saturday League.
With their league campaign scheduled to begin next weekend, and with the recent strategy of not introducing new players in competitive games, the Hilderincs took the opportunity to give debuts to no less than six players, the most in recent times, but true to the notion of saving the best for the last, the recruitment looked to be the prefect final pieces of the jigsaw in the Blacks’ ambitions.
Accompanying what is now shaping as the team’s core, the Hilderincs handed four players their starting berth, along with Michael De-Bear, who looked to reprise his impressive debut from last week.
If there were any lingering doubts to judgement of acquainting a completely unfamiliar backline, it was quickly dispelled as the debutants took to the stride like a duck to water, complementing the regular cast.
After prodding the Rezzo’s steadfastness in the opening exchanges, the Hilderincs took the lead with a well worked team goal, with Sam Thorley, Mike Rooke, Ian Morris, and Rama Witjaksono playing their part, the latter with a killer cross for Khaled Harnavin to head in the opener for an impressive bow inside eleven minutes.
While the Blacks had to wait a little longer for their second goal, there was no lack of industry all around the pitch in between; with the ball worked from the back, kept on the ground, passed and moved like an orchestra, very much in tune to the Hilderincs’ famed past.
When the advantage was doubled, it was done so with another entertaining passage of play involving Omar Mahnin, who within minutes of his introduction, controlled an Ian Morris header with a deft touch unto Khaled Harnavin, who returned the compliment with one touch pass back for Omar to touch it into the path of Mike Rooke, who swept the ball into the net with perfection.
Though the Blacks held a two-goal lead into the break, in fairness, they could have seen the tie off in the opening half with their positive display.
Stocked to the brim with adequate options, the Hilderincs replaced the entire team, save for the exceptional debutant Jorn Van Der Bruggen and the ever influential, Rama Witjaksono, while changing the formation, reflecting the strength of the incoming Blacks.
There was even a complimentary five minute cameo by Lim Yong Kiat in goal for all his enthusiasm.
While the dynamics were different in the restart, the Blacks were dogged in their defensive intent against a Rezzo side which increased their tempo in the restart, though Sunny Tharidu, Joh Loh and Omar Mahnin were industrious going forward.
However, as the game progressed, the Hilderincs reasserted themselves again, taking full control of the game.
It was then fitting that they added the third midway through the second half, with Kavin Singh classic long throw setting Sunny Tharidu through on goal, and with only the keeper in his way, the defender playing in an advance role, calmly lifted the ball over him and into the net.
Though it was initially thought that it was his first ever goal in over one hundred games for the Hilderincs, records have confirmed that he had netted twice before, but nothing can be taken away from the hardworking Black and his “striker’s” goal.
The opponents did get a controversial goal back with the referee failing to spot a blatant handball before the player scored from a rebound off the crossbar, but though hard-done, it proved only a consolation as the Blacks comfortably held on for their deserved win.
In truth, the Hilderincs will face tougher sides in the coming weeks and months, but the final pre-season game has certainly lifted the Blacks spirits, knowing that they have resembled a formidable side, adding depth, nothing only in numbers but quality alike, and with passion renewed.
Hilderinc FC 3 : Team Rezzo 1
Goals: Khaled Harnavin, Mike Rooke, Sunny Tharidu
Yellow Card: Parthiban Aruchamy, Sunny Tharidu
Starting Line Up
1. Chris Soh
2. Justin Hubbard
3. Jorn Van Der Bruggen
4. Wong Yih-Khai
5. Michael De-Bear
6. Sam Thorley
7. Rama Witjaksono
8. Sashikumar Mahathevan
9. Michael Rooke
10. Ian Morris
11. Khaled Harnavin
12. Liao Jincai
13. Parthiban Aruchamy
14. Azman Azmi
15. Omar Mahnin
16. Kavin Singh
17. Sunny Tharidu
18. Mathew Joseph
19. Steve Tan
20. Marcus Han
21. Basil Al Barr
22. Jon Loh
23. Lim Yong Kiat
Categories: Match Day