Hook, Line And Sinker
Three Minutes Of Paradise
Grilled have made something of a habit of extending rough patches, and this time it was to be Clementi side Barracuda's. They had been edged by F.C EvOlutiOn in penalties in the Cup, and had been routed by Ultimate NutsZ last weekend. Until the 74th minute hit though, they had Grilled on the ropes.
Barracuda experimented with pulling Pakpao and Falkbo wide using Sebastian Dobrin and Stigbjörn Nyquist on the flanks, and caused some disorganisation as the Birds missed Kek-Tjiang's aura badly. Grilled's first real attempt took twenty minutes to arrive, Martinsson hooking a free-kick where he might have been better advised to shoot. Langeland did reach it, but he was always stretching and deserved credit for making contact.
Bad, bad behaviour marred Grilled's soccer, as Au-Yong Siu-Yue
began the blight by crunching into German playmaker Ludwig Tönnies. Ironically the free-kick was intercepted, and played through for Siu-Yue to direct into goal under Fredrik Gottsjö's dive.Hidde van Liere
didn't need to drag Dobrin down in the opposition half, but he did so crudely and could not escape a yellow. Nyquist found Johansson from the left wing, and the Swedish striker rocked the post. The worst of the lot was to come, as Nui Pakpao
, who should have known better, ended Croatian defender Ante Grao's game prematurely with a dreadful lunge, and deservedly got his own marching orders.
The seams were coming apart as Grilled's players held back from challenging, Falkbo not stepping into the skipper's role naturally as he did little to reassure his team. Bona miscalculated on the depth of cover he had when he allowed Anders Johansson to go by, and Harlow couldn't help any as Johansson shifted the ball to his left foot before passing into a gaping net.
Most of the second half passed with little incident as Barracuda wanted to avoid defeat for the first time in five league matches, and with Grilled disjointed in attack that appeared a real possibility. Ola Martinsson
, who had lost his scoring touch in his previous two outings, got the game going. van Liere sent Martinsson around the defence, and the flight of Martinsson's lob was precise. Grilled were back in front.
The spoilt home fans wanted more, only for Barracuda to send shivers down their spines as central defender Teo Fjelgren beat the offside trap and nearly circled Harlow. Bona appeared in the nick of time, and his body deflected the shot onto the bar, rebounding to Rottman who lumped it upfield.
As it happened Barracuda were now light at the back, with Finnish substitute Matti Mirsch more than a bit rusty as he let Paullin race past to make it a two-on-two. Martinsson pulled wide to earn some space, which he put to good use by aligning a curling strike just inside the post.
Strictly one-way now as Jon Andrea Rottman
tried to earn a penalty by going to ground on a tackle by Fjelgren, which had the Swiss midfielder booked over his protests. No time for a breather there, as the quickly-taked free-kick was foiled by Siu-Yue's alertness, and his snap shot was deflected to a corner.
Martinsson was clearly looking for Rottman to take the long shot with his short corner, but the rushing backline blocked it to the front of the penalty area. Both parties threw bodies at the ball, but eventually it found its way wide to Hidde van Liere
who poked it in from a tight angle.
The home supporters probably didn't realised that they had been standing for nearly five minutes when quite unthinkably, Martinsson barrelled through on a lost cause. With his head down, he dug a hole between two defenders with a hint of a foul, then completed a magical hat-trick with a sweep of his right boot. Game over.