Seventh Successive Season
Grilled's lukewarm eighth S-League campaign concluded with a convincing 5-0 dismissal of Division Two challengers Apostate on home ground - a recent 3-0 victory over Codingin Football Club had reignited interest amongst some dormant supporters, and The Cooking Pot was packed to the rafters for once. Grilled were under no real threat by the disinterested visitors, though, and easily ran out winners.
Apostate had inherited the mantle of II.2 heavyweights after the team that never was ascended to the S-League, and even a slow finish didn't stop them from pipping BravoRavo and heimu XI to the crown by a point. Their manager admitted however that his team had been in indifferent form of late, especially after the sale of midfield general Bai Ming-Foo to Polish club Obra Koscian for a pittance after Bai's wage demands became outrageous.
What turned up at Grilled was therefore a team strong in defence but somewhat light in midfield, where youngsters Lu King Yu and Quan Hoi Chun, the latter only seventeen, were given their chance. Ex-U-20 winger Lee Lai Siong's lack of inspiration on the right further led to strikers Azmin Azram and Patrik Malmsjö being underfed for most of the contest.
Grilled meanwhile had a full squad to pick from, and put out their strongest eleven as expected. Quah's activity from the kickoff put Apostate on the defensive, and the nippy attacking midfielder hooked in a good cross from the right after having beaten two men. Simon applied the side of his foot to the ball, but Aussie goalie Sandy Caffrey sprang across to bat the shot off the line.
Caffrey couldn't do much in the 25th minute though, as Martinsson kept Praulin on the wrong side of the ball for long enough to line up a strike at the far post. The indefatigable 31 year-old legend could have made it two a minute later, when Spirig spread the ball to him after a flowing move up the left flank, but this time Martinsson misfired into the side netting.
Apostate weren't going to take all that lying down, and bamboozled Grilled with the speed of their counterattacking play after Simon was tackled in their penalty area. Tan Yew Lee, also a former U-20 international, cleverly continued racing down the middle and was on hand to receive Malmsjö's lob, but his finish was weak and posed Sulaiman few problems.
Grilled, after that reprive, were no longer so generous in attempting shots, and their very next attacking move saw Spirig find the net with his left foot. Simon smashed the ball towards goal from just eight metres out, and although Caffrey blocked that well, it fell nicely to Spirig, who had the easiest of sitters to convert.
The game cooled down somewhat until the 62nd minute, when another of Sid's Specials made it into Caffrey's top corner despite a full wall between him and the target. Yew Lee received his third yellow of the season, just in time for his disciplinary record to be cleared, and then van Liere arrived at the back post on time to touch in an assist from Fredgård. Quah Han Kok
then made it five with some exemplary close control, taking the ball clean through Apostate's central defence.