A Herron with the Singapore Cup lost and locked in a tussle for its fifth league championship in a row is not one that many Singaporean teams can handle. Grilled never looked like one of that elite as they suffered through ninety minutes with little lustre, preferring to prepare for the curtain-closer against FC RaZer Infernus with a bottom-half finish guaranteed. New forward Jan Langeland
made a forgettable debut, not achieving one decent chance to his name as Herron dominated.
Herron's fans were not about to miss out on this must-win fixture, and the roar of a hundred thousand voices was worth maybe an extra man for Herron, not that they needed one. Displaying the verve that brought them to the Cup final, Trond Helgesen chipped unhurriedly to national striker Shu Chit-Fu who guided it in without missing a heartbeat. Herron had monopolised the game, and with the deadlock broken Grilled knew it would be a long night.
Grilled evened the score through the wiles of reluctant shooter Shen Kek-Tjiang
, who found himself in a position too good to resist. Not expecting a shot, Herron's defence opened slightly as they reacted to a Grilled break, and Shen had the honour of besting national team keeper Abd Rauf Mohd Nadzir from the edge of the box. Grilled's relief was short-lived, as ex-international Gai Wai-Ming knocked a sliding cross from Argentinean right winger Gabriel Humberto Andronegui from the kick-off. Shen Kek-Tjiang
compounded Grilled's worries as he went to ground involuntarily minutes later with no-one near him. The team doctor diagnosed a knee injury, and Jon Andrea Rottman
made his first S-League appearance as a midfielder.
Even the captain failed the team as Luis Alcántara
committed a schoolboy error first thing in the second half, and as he was the last man it was easy for Gai Wai-Ming to dribble past Harlow and stroke the ball into an empty net. Gai completed his hat-trick off Andronegui's assist in the 70th minute, as he chased the hard pass to the by-line and somehow willed the ball over the line as Harlow struggled to keep up.
Knowing goal difference could be crucial with the top three so close on points, Herron pushed on to widen the lead. Two good opportunities fell to 30 year-old midfielder Daniel Gabrielsson, who misjudged his first shot but did much better on the second, slipping his shot through Harlow's legs. His partner Håkan Strandstrand was an inch from making it six as he faced an open goalmouth three minutes later with Grilled's harried defenders all over the place, but tried to be a little too perfect and hit the foot of the post.