|Posted on December 2, 2012 at 10:35 AM|
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Undeterred by a paper thin squad, Harvester FC produced one of their best performances this season, more so against Goodanx Brigade FC, a team laying third in Division 4 in their ESPZEN FA Cup debut.
Hit by several pull outs and no show, the Blacks were forced to rethink their formation at the eleventh hour, especially in the defence.
Fullback Ravin Rajiv was thrown into the deep end as a makeshift centre back along with Leslie Eng and Jit Singh and Kumaresan as the fullbacks.
With Benny Ng and Ho Eng Lee controlling the midfield, Leonard Chua and Ian Morris were left to ply the flanks as the new pairing of Logaraj Sundram and Momin Saifie formed the attack options.
Despite the presence of a handful of unauthorised S League players in the opponents’ line up, the Blacks looked determined to prove their worth and not to be intimidated by status.
It was no surprised then that the first shot of the game fell to the Blacks after some good around the pitch.
Though the Blacks were forced to defend for much of the game, the Harvester defenders rose above themselves to show that they were more than able to step up and take the challenge.
Their reading of the game was second to none as they caught Goodanx offside very smartly throughout the game.
Playing as a complete unit, midfielders Benny Ng and Oh Eng Lee were having a game of their lives as their never stopped running and dealing with the attacks of the eager opponents.
Leonard Chua linking up with Logaraj Sundram and Momin Saifie were constant menace to the Goodanx with their prodding runs and their willingness to stretch every muscle.
For all their good work, the Blacks found themselves two goals down after a lapse in concentration allowed the Division 4 team to take advantage of.
However, there was no finger pointing, no bickering but collective positive response to the set back.
As a team, the Blacks carried on with their task at hand, playing for each other and not for themselves.
While the opponents made the changes frivolously, with limited resources, the Blacks brought on Ng Wei Xian in goal and Wisely Chan, playing his first game in over two months for the second period.
The Blacks slowed the pace down as they tried to ease their overworked legs gently back into action and slowly but surely the Blacks started to find their way into the attacking third, troubling the Goodanx backline.
With the Blacks’ defence holding the fort heroically, chances for the Division 4 side with their professional players were few and far between.
After a well-deserved rest, Benny Ng was brought on and did not waste much time when he pulled a goal back for the Blacks with a well taken drive into the bottom left corner of the Goodanx net, scoring Harvester FC’s first ever ESPZEN FA Cup goal.
It was a prefect boost for the Blacks as with a 0.5 goal handicap given to them as a lower division team playing against a higher one; a draw would have been enough to see them through to the next round.
It was all HFC then on as they sought the equaliser against all odds to cause a major upset in the ESPZEN Round One.
The best chance fell to Logaraj Sundram who was put through by Kumaresan after a wonderful interplay with Leonard Chua.
The hotshot beating the backline was unfortunate to see his shot lack the power that could have re-written the form books.
However there was no fairytale ending for the Blacks as towards the end of the game, they were undone by a goalkeeping error which gifted Goodanx Brigade FC the goal and the game.
The defeat will not be the beginning and the end for the Blacks as with them going into the pot for the ESPZEN FA Cup Plate now, the Cup adventure will continue.
From this team’s display, the Blacks do have players who know what it means to play for the team and play as a team, and that could very well lay the foundation for the remaining games in ESPZEN Sunday League 18 Division 8.
HFC 1 : Goodanx Brigades FC 3
Goals: Benny Ng
MOM: Ho Eng Lee
Starting Line Up
1. Lim Yong Kiat
2. Ravin Rajiv
3. Leslie Eng
4. Jit Singh
6. Ho Eng Lee
7. Benny Ng
8. Leonard hua
9. Momin Essa Saifie
10. Ian Morris
11. Logaraj Sundram
12. Ng Wei Xian
13. Simon Khaw
14. Wisely Chan
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Categories: Match Day