Another day, another draw for the Greens as newcomers Anfield Reds employed a mirror 3-5-2 well to barter out a share of the points at home. Grilled are now second from bottom despite only having lost one in four league games and being on a six match unbeaten streak, and striker Jan Langeland
will have to shoulder the lion's share of criticism after he came out second best in not one but two one-on-ones with the Anfield Reds goalkeeper.
Reds' new Estonian national midfielder Alexei Ignatieva and both their national strikers were featured in the lineup, with Dutchman Geert Kootstra and Mexican Juan Iriarte Calvo hitting top note in the middle too. Ignatieva had only displayed signs of what was to be against HaTT in his debut, as he roamed the park in an assurance borne of 45 senior appearances for Estonia.
There was a spree of pointless passing as both sides eyed each other, but Anfield had more of an offensive bent, yelled on by their fans. Langeland got his second yellow card of the season when he jumped in onto Kootstra in an unwise move. His aggressive streak was nearly rewarded when he followed up an overhit pass by Siu-Yue. It was the keeper's ball all the way, but Canadian goalie Dom Wheatley made a total mess of it, allowing it to bounce off his chest. Langeland hastily threw himself into the ball, but did not impart enough velocity to it, and covering sweeper Marcus Rogersson booted it out.
Harlow on the other end was soon tested as national legend ZhangCai Yongye got a bullet header off a deep cross. Harlow bent over double to push it past the post in a save to make any goalie proud. Grilled went up two minutes before the half-time whistle as Ola Martinsson
slotted one in after a flowing move on the left flank, as Aznan Noor Yadah
raced past the last line of defence.
The crowd was uneasy during the interval, but soon regained their high spirits as 'Planno' drew upon his vast store of experience to bluff his way past Dewilde and then Bona with a twist of his hips. Harlow dived at his rolling shot, but was too far away and was left clutching at thin air.
Grilled's homegrown midfield men then parlayed their understanding with each other to push a fabulous pass through to Jan Langeland
, who did his part by timing his run in to perfection. The Anfield defence was left holding their hands up for an offside call that was not to be, but Langeland blew it all when his unconvincing kick - made with no effort at camoflague whatever - was held onto by Wheatley in the six-yard box.
Captain-coach Luis Alcántara
made a valiant try at stealing two valuable points for Grilled, but his late, late overlapping run with Dai-Lin in support ended with a poetic strike that drifted away from the top corner. At that, Alcántara held his face in his hands, in the sure knowledge that Grilled's first league win would not be on this ground.