's hat-trick included his hundredth competitive goal in a match of much significance. Thirty-four points from thirteen games have confirmed that Grilled return to the S-League as tog dog in Division Two, as the race is still wide open in the three other divisional leagues.
Blue Stars F.C. needed a result to lift themselves out of the bottom three, and experimented with a 4-3-3 consisting of only two inner midfielders and a left winger. Such was the belief in French superstar Gérald Equilbey that they held out masterfully at the start. Guerrero had blossomed as an able central defender, and was a rock against Grilled's constant direct passing.
The attack would need some quality to break Star's mobile backline, and S$14 million man Hidde van Liere
began injecting his flair into the stale patterns. Embarking on several supposedly meaningless dribbles to get warmed up, he did a blurring spin move to get behind Jean-Luc Sackmann, then pumped in a waist-high cross that Martinsson directed in first-time.
That was the goal needed to seal Grilled's ascension, and as Blue Stars didn't exert much pressure in Grilled's defensive third, the green-clad players didn't find a need to risk the ball and concentrated on retaining possession. Predictably this affected the buoyant home fans, who urged the team on with resonant "go go go" cheers.
Martinsson put in Number 99 in the 52nd minute, as most of the action had been shifted to a bustling right flank where van Liere held his exhibitions. This particular goal was not due to the Dutch showpony, though, as Martinsson got himself bruised while taking the shortest path into the box. Chilean winger Chavero hampered him badly, but even his weaker left foot was too much for local goalie Mohd Ramzi bin Mohd Idrus to bear.
As the stadium buzzed with anticipation, Blue Stars nearly dealt a sucker punch with a heavily offensive press. Equilbey drilled a world-class long shot from over thirty metres out, which had Harlow well and truly beaten. It lacked sufficient backspin to dip in sadly, but Bona still had to hazard an own goal as he flew in to hack the bar rebound off the line.
There was a sigh of expectation unfulfilled as Martinsson's overpowered free kick thundered over the left hand corner of Blue Stars' goal, and as a telegraphed through pass from Langeland to Martinsson was cut out expertly by 18 year-old Pole Dominik Ulinski after Stângã had lost it cheaply.
There was no doubt at all about the points, but Martinsson made it a real double gala in the 81st minute. Not renowned for his ability in the air, the hand of fate was nevertheless with him as he floated over even the 1.9m tall Fernando Guerrero to direct a skilful header over the line for the historic hundredth goal and his fourteenth career hat-trick.