|Posted on May 21, 2022 at 10:45 AM|
The incredible wait to return to playing was finally put to rest when an inexperienced and exploratory Hilderinc FC took on familiar opponents, Mariners FC in a friendly game to kick start life after the two-year upheaval.
Though having pivoted to make training the cornerstone since June 2020, the recommencement of playing after the lengthy recess had the inexperience Blacks getting off the blocks very sluggishly, which unbelievably had Nicholas Ledenmark, Fahmy Barker and Ian Morris, the only three players in the lineup who last played in the ESPZEN Saturday Division 1 fixture back in March 2020.
In fact, only four others had actually played for the Hilderincs prior to this friendly, with nine others were making their debuts in the colours, many after they were brought into the squad less than three weeks ago, following a disruptive period which needed annoying changes to personnel, along with injuries taking a toll on seasoned regulars.
With a largely untested starting eleven, the Blacks found the opening minutes a task as they were pegged back with several unforced errors of their own making, and unfortunately, with one too many, soon found themselves two goals adrift even before they got any fluency.
The challenge was made trickier when one half of the maiden centreback pairing was disrupted when Calvin Teo was forced to withdraw with a foot injury, prompting an early reshuffle.
However, the inconvenience prompted a swift response from the Blacks, who created themselves no less than five or six genuine goal scoring opportunities, with the front three guilty of missing their chances, though Ian Morris and Div Peiris had had their attempts agonisingly cleared off the line with just centimeters the difference.
In truth, the Hilderincs could have been comfortably gone into the break, if their endeavours had the desired outcome.
The second period started as the first ended, with their Blacks on the front foot, pressing higher, and winning the ball in the attacking third.
Their persistence finally paid off when Fahmy Barker found himself in a perfect position and made no mistake in slotting the ball into the back off the net.
Continuing to see more of the ball, and controlling the play, the Blacks were unlucky to fall further behind when a swift counterattack restored the Mariners’ two-goal advantage.
Even at this stage, the Hilderincs were forcing the issue, but rustiness in front of goal proved too costly as they were unable to claw their way back as far as the result was concerned.
However, as objectives were spelt out before the game, the friendly was more about bedding players in, and progression into playing the Hilderinc way, more than the outcome, and there were indeed, plenty of positives to draw from the outing as several partnerships were formed and looked promising, and with the return to training next week, it will certainly give an opportunity to refine and get these working better before the next game.
Hilderinc FC 1 : Mariners FC 3
Goal: Fahmy Barker
1. Gowtham Durai
2. Tan Eu Ren
3. Ken Yap
4. Calvin Teo
5. Basil Al Barr
6. Aitor Fernandez
7. Muhammad “Mo” Iqbal
8. Basil Chai
9. Divanka “Div” Peiris
10. Ian Morris
11. Fahmy “Ollie” Barker
12. Noel Phua
13. Aamir Fikri
14. Chua Yuxuan
15. Danzal Han
16. Nicholas Ledenmark