Sid The Saviour
Grilled continued their early-season charge with a fourth win, but they nearly let it slip away after running up a two-goal lead by the half-hour. The team that never was got parity through outstanding work from Andreas Sunesson, but "whicked" Sid stepped up to drive the nail in the coffin with yet another free-kick scorcher.
never's slow start saw them in search of their first S-League victory this time round after achieving impressive second and third-place finishes, and an elimination from the Cup at the hands of cantonat did not help boost attendance either. The 90000-seater Hell Hole was barely over a third filled, a bit of a letdown for one of the nation's biggest West derbies.
The hosts stuck to their known strengths of attacking with verve out wide, while Grilled departed from their usual more balanced approach by resting van Liere and instructing the players to force it down the middle. While burly Xi Quoc-Sung was up to the task of guarding against Rotteveel, the same could not be said of 17 year-old Portuguese youngster Miguel Moniz who could not impose himself on Subri.
The mismatch in this position was cruelly exposed when Subri bumped Moniz off a ball that the latter should really have clearly to safety, which led to a giveaway goal as Kalle Riis could do little more than deflect Subri's grounder over himself. Jie Siong then distinguished himself with a slide-rule pass the Paullin should have done better than just blasting straight at Riis, two minutes later.
Paullin didn't make the same mistake twice as he took his time to draw the goalie wide before slotting it in when much the same happened soon after, which a clearly upset Moniz reacted to by taking the ball out of the net and kicking it into the stands. That made a third yellow card for the lad, who is now ruled out of never's trip to RaZer.
The sullen home faithful were mollified somewhat as 33 year-old Stefan Nilsson proved that he still has his legs with him, driving right past Fabian Bona
with a frightening turn of pace. Longtime strike partner Andreas Sunesson was available to collect his sixth league goal of the season with a composed tap-in between Beckman and his near post.
Few would dispute however that Grilled deserved to be in the lead come half-time, and Subri should really have made it three when Rotteveel finally emerged from Xi's pocket to push the ball behind the whole defence to Subri. Riis closed the distance magnificently, though, and even prevented the corner after his initial block.
The home side came out full of fire in the second half, and Sunesson disappointed with the accuracy on his header from eight yards. Dutch midfielder Sjakie Muris got the crowd on their feet by catching Beckman out with a strong effort from wide, helped by a slight deflection by Lik-Tsun who was in two minds whether to get in or out of the way.
Never's commitment to attack proved their downfall, though, as Xi was caught in a tricky position facing down both Rotteveel and Subri by himself after a fastbreak by Grilled. He did as well as could be expected by holding Rotteveel up before charging him down just a bit too hard, and though he escaped a booking, his side did not survive Sid's dead ball skills from the resultant free-kick.