|Posted on February 1, 2020 at 7:20 AM|
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Hilderinc FC’s enigmatic campaign added another mystifying ending when they failed to make their chances count after they were held by Mariners11 FC in the ESPZEN Saturday Division 1 clash, which despite the stalemate, stood on the edge of producing an avalanche of goals, especially the Blacks who were denied by the woodwork no more than three times in the course of the tie.
With the festive break coming at the wrong time for the Hilderincs, who had to take a recess from their win against Athletic Uncles a fortnight ago, the week-long inaction left them looking rusty and un-synergised for good periods, though a more consistent lineup in recent times will be welcomed positive to consider.
Despite being warned of complacency ahead of kickoff, it was a sluggish start for the Hilderincs, and they had Dionisis Kolokotsas to thank for when he cleared the ball off the line with just six minutes gone.
Billed as the battle of the basement dwellers, the two sides who last met back in 2017 in Division 2, the re-acquaintance was scrappy affair in the middle of the park, with the Mariners showing a little more hunger as far as winning the second balls were concerned, but the Blacks would feel aggrieved that the referee missed a blatant use of the arm in box, denying them a penalty.
The best chance for the Hilderincs, however, fell moments later when Ian Morris, setup by Adi Ravikumar, saw his attempt drift inches wide of the face of goal with the keeper taken out.
The Blacks improved after the midpoint water break, but their endevours, while intensified, lacked the bite to hurt the Mariners, as both sides went into the break dead even.
It was an alternated formation for the Hilderincs in the second half as they tried to make inroads with a more offensive stance, but in doing so, they allowed themselves to be susceptible to countering attention at the defending end, but it was a calculated risk with important points at stake for the Blacks in their attempt to claw themselves out of the relegation fight.
With focus towards the attacking end, Kelvin Lee, making his debut for the Blacks, made himself an instant hero when he pulled off two sensational saves to avert the unthinkable, something that would have been almost impossible to reverse had it been otherwise.
Having let off the hook, the Hilderincs wasted little time to make their intentions clear again and Dionisis Kolokotsas, along with everyone on the ground, thought he scored a goal of the season contender when his freekick looked to have beaten the Mariners keeper but only to smack the underside of the crossbar and bounce away from relative danger.
During the purple patch, the Blacks, just after a couple of minutes of striking the woodwork, were presented another opportunity when following a good build up play, Ian Morris picked out Samuel Lalramnghaka with a pinpoint cross, and with the midfielder connecting perfectly with a well-placed header, the ball somehow got stuck under the goalkeeper on the goalline.
Relentless, the Hilderincs swore they had finally broken the deadlock when Diogo Baptista, through on goal, coolly lifted the ball over the onrushing custodian with the ball destined to drop into the back of the net, but astonishingly the crossbar would deny another certain goal.
Considering the Hilderincs could have been 3-0 up in an eight minutes spell, leaving them to wonder if this would even be their day.
With the game petering to an unconvincing end, the draw leaves the Hilderincs in a precarious situation, and it was no doubt that it would have felt more than a loss than a point gained, especially against a dogged Mariners who despite the deficiency in numbers, and having played with ten men for much of the second half after an unnecessary red card for a deliberate handball, put in a disciplined effort, but the Blacks will be culpable of contributing to their own misstep, though on another day, one of the four dead rubber attempts would have gone in.
Running out of games to save themselves from the trapdoor, the Hilderincs will have to bounce back quickly, starting with an on form Club M next Saturday.
Hilderinc FC 0 : Mariners11 FC
MOM: Kelvin Lee
1. Moncef Loukili
2. Sergey Darovskikh
3. Nicholas Ledenmark
4. Dionisis Kolokotsas
5. Adi Ravikumar
6. Sam Bignell
7. Diogo Baptista
8. Koh Kah Hoong
9. Gabriel Magalhães
10. Ian Morris
11. Fahmy Barker
12. Kevin Lee
13. James Ryall
14. Samuel Lalramnghaka
15. Sunny Tharidu
Categories: Match Day