|Posted on December 3, 2022 at 9:30 AM|
After months of ludicrous luck dealing with unrelenting injury crisis and unavailabilities induced performances, riddled with uncharacteristic and highly bizarre spade of critical blunders, Hilderinc FC, tardily exhibited the famous Hilderinc spirit against title chasing Fighting Cocks FC.
At times playing with 10-men after injuries continued to decimate what was already slender bench, the result provided no favours, failing to reward them for their heroic endeaours, after almost everyone, apart from Player of the Match, keeper Gowtham Durai, finished in the position he started the game in.
Ironically, it was the thumping at the hand of the Vietnamese in September in the MSC Summer Cup that set the Blacks in a slide they have yet to recover from, but they were a different proposition this time around.
Still without a slew of players, the Blacks were forced to take the risk with couple of Hilderinc Socials, who were drafted in to the matchday squad with nothing more than their sincere desire to step up into competitive football, with no prior experience of playing league football at this level or even had an opportunity to have a scouting report done on them.
Such was the lack, that Bryan Tan and Dennis Lee were thrusted into a ¾ crude backline, which also included an offensive-minded Nabil Zahrif in rightback, leaving Nicholas Ledenmark as the only true defender playing in his natural position, with Sean Rajah left on the bench from the start after he volunteered to play even after receiving his COVID-19 booster shot just a few days ago.
So, it raised little eyebrow when skipper Ian Morris had attendance in defensive midfield once again, with Tan Euren plying as a “defensive winger”, a position specially created for him; and although the return of Omar Mahnin was greatly loved, the fact was that the Dutchman last played in Singapore more than 3 years old.
With the highly make-do setup, it was understandable that the Hilderincs discarded their usual bravado and employed a more pragmatic approach, sitting deep and content to break up the opponents’ play rather than taking them on, especially with razor-thin numbers as supposed to a well-stocked bench of the Cocks.
However, the Blacks progressively inched forward into the opponents’ half, making tangible forays, but their plan to play on the counter, unwittingly had the Vietnamese on a cautious footing themselves.
But as the script has been the whole season yet, the Hilderincs were stripped of much needed numbers when Ian Morris, Nicholas Ledenmark and Danzal Han were all withdrawn at important phases of the game, with the latter two even trying to play pass the pain barrier, but to no avail though their spirit was willing.
Left with just the playing eleven without any respite, the Blacks showed tremendous courage beyond their circumstances, not just to hang, but take the game to their highflying opponents, playing for each other from start to finish.
While two quick goals in a space of ten minute was harsh and regretful, the Hilderincs had enough chances to actually win the game, with debutant, Mohd Hadi’s freekick bouncing off the crossbar, and an obvious penalty denied by the referee, who apologised after the game for his error in not giving it, but the best of the pick could have been Tan Euren’s audacious attempt with his outside of his foot, which could have been a goal of the season contender, had the keeper not kept it out.
With the pre-match Instagram post alluding to the fact that the mental state of players would be key to any upswing in fortune, the Blacks proved it right, and though it was not the result they were due, they certainly demonstrated the spirit and defiance that is needed to make it happen soon.
Equatorial Football League QD 1
Hilderinc FC 0 : Fighting Cocks FC 2
POM: Gowtham Durai
1. Gowtham Durai
2. Nabil Zahrif
3. Nicholas Ledenmark
4. Bryan Tan
5. Dennis Lee
6. Fahmy “Ollie” Barker
7. Al Shafiq Bakhitar
8. Danzal Han
9. Omar Mahnin
10. Ian Morris
11. Tan Euren
12. Basil Al Barr
13. Sean Rajah
14. Mohd Hadi
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Categories: Match Day