|Posted on February 19, 2017 at 8:05 AM|
Arousing themselves after another three week break following the latest round festivities and a league fixture postponement, Hilderinc FC returned to action on the pitch in a somewhat rebooted “pre-season” friendly, though they had amazingly kicked off their ESPZEN Saturday League campaign in the early weeks of December 2016.
Having several injuries rehabilitations to content with, a reduced Blacks were further shrunk when they were forced with three late withdrawals and a couple of no shows, leaving options a luxury, especially when Club top scorer, Rahmat Saring and Goalkeeper Liao Jincai were loaned to the opponents, who had their own travails with numbers.
With the objectives of the day focused on regaining match fitness more than anything, the Hilderinc were eased off any undue expectations, especially playing with a completely makeshift midfield of Sunny Tharidu, Nicholas Ledenmark and Ian Morris, albeit against a much deprived Tjendol FC side.
Despite the improvisation, the Blacks were still the far more settled side, and with debutants, Antonio Cervero and Matthew Yeoh fitting in like a hand in glove, the proceedings were routine.
Keeping the opponents pinned in their own half, the Hilderincs were incessant in their attempts to get the early advantage, with Sunny Tharidu, Nicholas Ledenmark and Omar Mahnin active with presence and quick thinking.
The Blacks translated their dominance with two quick-fire goals, both separated by 78 seconds of each other early in the first half.
First through Nejat Mena, who netted his first goal in the Hilderinc colours with a crispy volley in off the post after his initially shot cannoned off the woodwork following a corner.
In less than two minutes, debutant Matthew Yeoh capped an impressive bow with a well taken goal after been put through by an impressive Omar Mahnin pass.
Defensively the Blacks were well-oiled, with Denis Lobov leading the lines well with Antonio Cervero, Nejat Mena, Basil Al Barr, and the imposing Axel Blomgren in goal; concealing the fact that they barely had a half a game between themselves prior, especially considering Antonio who had just clocked about a couple of weeks in Singapore from Spain.
With obvious threat coming from no other than Rahmat Saring, the Blacks’ defence were wary of the “on loan” Hilderinc hotshot, knowing well the damage he can do when left to his own devices.
The pace of the game dropped off slightly in the second half, with the Hilderincs consolidating their position and the opponents feeling the effects of an incomplete squad.
Even then the Blacks were measured with their approach and extended their lead further within eight minutes of the restart with a thumping header from Denis Lobov off an Ian Morris corner.
However, the Hilderincs were critically forced into replacing the effective central defensive pairing of Antonio Cervero and Denis Lobov within minutes of each other, leaving the already patchworked midfield sparse as Sunny Tharidu and Nicholas Ledenmark reverting to their usual defensive duties, while the usually offensive Ian Morris sat deep in the heart of the midfield with Nejat Mena.
Despite the changes, the momentum was with the Hilderincs as they kept possession well, while trying to add to their tally.
However, it was Tjendol FC who went on the score after a quick counterattack which left the Blacks exposed for the first time in the game.
The Hilderincs could have added a fourth late in the game but Omar Mahnin’s shot after a goalmouth melee was inadvertently kept out by the unsuspecting Matthew Yeoh on the goal line.
In the grand scheme of things, it was a positive outing for the Hilderincs as they prepare to pick up the pace in the league with effect from March.
Hilderinc FC 3 : Tjendol FC 1
Goals: Nejat Mena, Matthew Yeoh, Denis Lobov
Yellow Card: Sunny Tharidu
Starting Line Up
1. Axel Blomgren
2. Basil Al Barr
3. Denis Lobov
4. Antonio Cervero
5. Nejat Mena
6. Sunny Tharidu
7. Nicholas Ledenmark
8. Ian Morris
9. Matthew Yeoh
10. Omar Mahnin
11. Mathew Joseph
12. Logaraj Sundram
13. Kumaresan Maniam
Categories: Match Day