Too Late Again
Grilled's best-ever start in the S-League spluttered to an end with a run of three defeats, as the team that never was avenged their previous loss to Grilled and pulled ahead in the series between the two teams with four wins to three. Grilled paid the price for dropping Subri as their defensive outlook was neither attractive nor effective.
Returning to The Cooking Pot, Grilled started the same eleven who faced Chemistry last Sunday. It looked to be a safe enough bet against a sluggish never side who have struggled so far, but the isolated Rotteveel again could not exert influence without van Liere. This allowed never to fend off Grilled's thrusts readily, and they shocked Beckman with their first true attack of the match.
Paullin gave up possession cheaply in midfield when he tried to outturn two players, and MacKinnon compounded the mistake by sliding in too hastily and missing Ovesson completely. Suddenly finding themselves with a numerical advantage in the final third, never's frontmen spread out and opened a path for Nilsson to drive in straight through the centre. He helped Oversson's through past up and over the goalie to silence the disbelieving Grilled support.
Grilled were however in a good position to make up the deficit, as they controlled the ball over seventy percent of the time. Patient probing yielded a half-chance for Rotteveel, who was sharp enough to seize upon it and fired a powerful grounder at the far post. Riis was hopelessly out of position, and he had Argentinean defender Ernesto Enrique Alameda to thank as his long legs just about stopped Rotteveel from evening the score.
It all went pear-shaped in the second half as never maintained their 100% conversion rate. Nilsson proved again that there is no substitute for pure pace when he challenged Lik-Tsun to a test of speed by punting the ball twenty metres ahead, a race that he duly won by a neck. Though he was eventually flattened by the ex-international, he had done enough to touch it on to his partner Sunesson, who collected a landmark tenth league goal to stay joint-top of the scorers' table.
The Birds had only themselves to blame as never obligingly drew back to defend, and though Spirig reduced to 1-2 with a neat headers, they could not create any more opportunities of note.
Grilled's sad day was summed up when Rotteveel tried to find his way through the defence by himself in the 72nd minute, but was always greeted by a black shirt whenever he appeared to have an opening for a crack at goal. Bona's bad stumble was cause for concern, and a last-gasp piledriver by Jie Siong passed agonizingly over the crossbar.