The wait ended with Grilled outlasting Hattrick all the time four goals to three in the best fightback since the legendary 5-4 come from behind win against FC GBR two seasons past. Martinsson validated his existence with an explosive hat-trick, while Dewilde's improbable second league goal divided the sides.
For Grilled, Siu-Yue stood in for Zhan in midfield. Nui Pakpao
, generally seen as too unreliable for a defensive anchor, was a surprise selection in place of default last man Lan Tuan-Mu
, while Hang Bao-Tam
won his first S-League appearance by displacing underperforming acolyte Clair Harlow
. HaTT had ex-FC GBR alumni Chetas Menon back in defence despite him taking a knock at FC RaZer Infernus last week, but his partners at the back were swopped. Erik Magnusson made his league debut, while Tien-Min was elevated to the starting eleven.
HaTT's Michaels - Dawson, an ex-Australian internation, and Olsson - were on paper far superior to anything Grilled could offer up, with Hungarian Gogu Preda outstanding in his own right. Their strategm of funneling advances to the sides crippled themselves however as Rosblom and Kerry were not up to the task. Dai-Lin divided his time between checking on Rosblom and making incursions on an unfamiliar left flank, and he hit the jackpot when a botched dribble let the ball bounce free to Martinsson at the frontlines. Martinsson glanced to the middle but saw nobody, so he shrugged and tried for the far post from a tight angle, breaking his S-League drought.
At that, HaTT tightened things up and settled the score in the 35th minute. Chetas Menon was definitely recovered from his injury at RaZer last week as his free-kick richocheted off Siu-Yue's head right into goal. In the same minute, Lars Pilholt got a goal to go along with his earlier yellow card, tricking Dewilde on the left and slotting past Bao-Tam. Siu-Yue went all over Pilholt trying unsuccessfully to prevent him from shooting, and was booked. Two minutes later, some home fans actually started booing when midfielder Michael Olsson earned some space on the right after some lightning-quick ball distribution, and ran the ball into goal. His compatriot Dawson was booked for over-elaborate celebrations.
Grilled knew that they had to respond before the momentum crushed them, and Martinsson sent Grilled a ray of hope as he daringly skipped by Hatt's central defenders where most players would have taken their chances passing wide. It worked brilliantly as he was able to beat Abdul bin Mustaffa with a high shot.
That sent the team down the tunnel in good cheer, and the roles were reversed in the second half as Grilled pinned their opponents down with some sustained attacks. Erik Magnusson held the fort until the 68th minute, when HaTT were given fair warning with a Martinsson free-kick that spiralled into the top of the net. A couple of minutes on, Dewilde was there to capitalise on a lack of concentration from one-time U-20 defender Si Tein-min. Tein-min tried to shepard the ball out, but Hjortlind threatened so much that he had to play the ball back up. The clearance was stopped by Dewilde, whose neat one-two with Hjortlind resulted in fine goal.
Seeing that the game was slipping out of their hands, HaTT redoubled their efforts in the defensive half and thwarted all further Grilled movement, with Grilled's strikers marked out. In the 85th minute, Martinsson went up for a lobbed pass with Magnusson, and as expected the defender won the aerial duel. The referee gave a foul for alleged holding by Magunsson surprisingly, and placed the ball twenty metres out, goal straight ahead. Who else but Martinsson should step up, and dispatch a screamer with virtually no backlift to make the comeback a reality.
HaTT went for the kill with only five minutes of normal time remaining, as Grilled again constructed a human fortress to duck out those nervous seconds. Another chapter looked to be added in the last minute as HaTT forward Anders Lennartsson raced onto a loose ball and struck an instinctive shot at goal while falling, but Griled survived as it went out off the crossbar.