|Posted on September 19, 2022 at 12:10 AM|
It was never imagined that the Hilderincs’ entry into the Equatorial Football League would be a walk in the park, but after a weekend of drubbing, both on Saturday and Sunday, the Blacks were awakened to the lessons that they need to learn, and learn quickly, if they were to finish the season not mortally scarred.
Though such pessimistic feelings after only the opening weekend might be melancholic, but on the contrary, will offer a healthy perspective as they look to reverse the fortunes with a whole to season ahead to complete in, but are realistic to acknowledge that they will have to endure similarly painful growing pains from now to the end of the campaign, but will look to manage the travails with preventive measures against self-inflicting blunders.
If the absence of half a dozen and one regulars due to injuries and travels, a similar plight besetting both the Hilderinc sides, is an excuse, it would have to be the most convincing justification, though, as aforesaid, the penchant for highly needless gaffes are the primary source of the current quandary.
Uncharacteristic sluggishness in opening minutes of games have been a perplexing question of late, and it repeated its acquaint when the Blacks went behind in the opening 5mins, even before they had a chance to settle.
Rattled by the opener, the Hilderincs were far from their level best, as they struggled to match with the early intensity of the Rangers, who were bent on making a statement with each foray into the Blacks’ half.
Much of the frustration can be levelled at the revert to the ugly and ineffective punt and go football which the Club had worked hard to eradicate over the past couple of years, but unwelcomely returned for a stay, leaving the Hilderincs confused and directionless, spending extended periods chasing shadows than anything meaningful.
More importantly, having to shuffle the centreback pairing no less than four times in the space of the first 45mins due to injuries was virgin territory even for a Club with a 22-year history.
However, it was not the repeated moving players to pluck the gap that did the Hilderincs, but it was a 20min spell before the break that did considerable damage to the Hilderincs’ resolve when they were hit for three in extremely infuriating circumstances, especially when the first two were bread and butter for someone in that position.
Excruciatingly, when the Blacks did play the way they have been drilled in training, they were a different proposition, and they duly pulled a goal back in a sporadic period through an Aqil Shah freekick just before the break to giving a glimmer of hope for a better show in the second half.
The restart brought better synergy to the Hilderincs, and they provided a better contest to the Rangers, but were repeatedly hamstrung by injuries and fatigue, resulting in a complete makeshift in the heart of defence, if not the wider back four, with two midfielders ending the game as centrebacks.
With an avalanche ensuing, the heroics of Jose Kasijo between the sticks prevented a record defeat, while Aqil Shah scored with a goal of the season contender, but it was more of a defiant last stand rather than effecting the game in any redemptive manner.
However, in all that was happening, even in the face of a heavy defeat, the involvement of Lauren Larkin, who deputised in defence in her debut, becoming the first Hilderinc Lady to play alongside the men in a competitive league since Kaisa Miettinen in 2019, and significantly was named the HILDERINC PLAYER OF THE MATCH, and thus becoming the first ever lady to have done so, after she was voted in by the boys!
In that moment, despite that fact that we might face even greater trepidation and tribulation as a Club, our steadfast vision of being an all-inclusive football club with revolutionary steel flowing through the veins, makes us a giant, and no trophies, medals, league standings and points will be worth the exchange, because we do not just come play, and go back to our lives, but we make a change, and that we are DIFFERENT!
Hilderinc Twā 2 : Cream Park Rangers 9
Goals: Aqil Shah 63’, 81’
POM: Lauren Larkin
Yellow Card: Fahmy "Ollie" Barker
1. Jose Kasijo
2. Fahmy “Ollie” Barker
3. Uwais Yahya
4. Kavin Singh
5. Ong Ji Kai
6. Lim Yang Shan
7. Hafiz Khir
8. Aqil Shah
9. Anthony Ferraccu
10. Sam Lindley
11. Alex Beazley
12. Simon Khaw (GK)
13. Daryl Wong
14. Florent Zhu
15. Lauren Larkin
16. Neo Yao Sheng
17. Sean Rajah
A HFC Media Online Publication
Categories: Match Day