|Posted on August 17, 2015 at 12:40 AM|
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After opening the season with consecutive defeats, the Hilderincs arrested the trend with a resolute display, earning a laudable draw in difficult circumstances, especially playing the final quarter down to ten men.
The task of taking on experienced campaigners in Central Park FC, was made formidable when a well-stocked lineup was reduced to limited resources after no less than four players pulled out in a sixteen hour period prior to kickoff, leaving the Blacks significantly reedy, considering the match day squad consisted of only one fully fit outfield player in their ranks.
Still without a majority of the regulars, specifically in midfield, which has been their Achilles’ heel since the start of the new campaign, the Blacks were forced to play Azman Azmi in the heart of the park with Rama Witjaksono, their fourth permutation in as many games.
The inclusion of Nicholas Ledenmark from suspension added some cheer, along with Kumaresan Maniam, who returned to the fold after a lengthy absence.
The Blacks, who have were lacking their usual swagger in recent weeks, altered their formation a tad, in order to return their known high intensity game, with Ian Morris ahead of attacking trio of Logaraj Sundram, Gabir Nabil and Sashikumar Mahathevan.
The initiative had an impact on the early proceedings as the Hilderincs started brighter of the two, taking the game to their opponents, who looked for answers for their sluggish start.
Gabir Nabil was first to have a go at goal, narrowly missing the mark with his well taken effort, while Logaraj Sundram, Ian Morris were to follow with their own exertions.
However, despite their possession and control, as it was in the previous eight occasions in the last two league games, an unforced error inadvertently gifted the opponent a stress-free goal, much against the run of play, and with a frustrated sense of déjà vu going into the break a goal behind.
Seeking an immediate response from the restart, the Hilderincs wasted no time in going for the jugular, with Sashikumar coming close with an effort in the opening minutes.
Keeping the pressure on the Sharks, the Blacks forced the issue for an equaliser with their variant display of pass and move football.
After several opportunities, the rampart was finally breached after a pinpoint freekick by Alex Wong was tucked away deftly by Gabir Nabil, while the Sharks were distracted by an offside claim.
Having got back into the game and with the edge over their opponents, the Blacks poured forth for the winner.
While the defensive quarter were spotless, the Blacks were let off the hook when Central Park FC were only meters away from hitting the back of the net, if not for the horrendous finishing by their forward, though Man of Match, Denis Lobov, played an important part by throwing himself in the line of fire before the trigger was pulled.
The Hilderincs industry was abbreviated when they yet again saw red after Alex Wong was penalised for a handball inside the Central Park penalty box.
Having received an earlier caution, the fullback was sent off after the referee, hesitate at first, bowed to the Sharks’ clamour, and showed him a second yellow card.
Down to ten men and several players unable to carry on with niggling injuries taking their toll, the Blacks resisted the temptation of playing Philip Vahn, who had gone more than 24hours without sleep, though the presence of the midfield for the cause of the team was highly commendable.
Labouring to hang on for the remaining minutes of the game, the Hilderincs showed great courage in the face of the Sharks, who were keen to exploit their numerical advantage.
However, it was a victory of moral for the Hilderincs as they held onto the claim their first point of the infant season, though they still remain at the bottom of the Division 4 table, having tied over for their negative one point after they were penalised for the incident in the opening league game.
Moving quickly from this hard earned point, the Black’s eyes are firmly fixed on preparing for next Sunday, when they take on TBT FC, with a point to prove.
Hilderinc FC 1 : Central Park FC 1
Goal: Gabir Nabil
MOM: Denis Lobov
Yellow Cards: Alex Wong (2)
Red Card: Alex Wong
Starting Line Up
1. Gopal Peethambaran
2. Kumaresan Maniam
3. Denis Lobov
4. Nicholas Ledenmark
5. Alex Wong
6. Rama Witjaksono
7. Azman Azmi
8. Sashikumar Mahathevan
9. Logaraj Sundram
10. Ian Morris
11. Gabir Nabil
12. Leon Lee
13. Sai Ganesh
14. Shuichi Narita
15. Philip Vahn
Categories: Match Day