New Boys Rise
Wardi Debut Splash
Grilled got away handsomely with blooding their set of youth forwards at the newbies ground, a calculated act given the hosts' cutbacks which have seen them ship sixteen goals to Arrogancae and CharlesCheesePie in the last two league rounds. Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
was the most senior striker employed at 23, while both Chow Ying Lee
and Tian Yonghang
were saved for Golden Kakis in the Cup.
The newbies have never been the same after dispensing with just about all their veterans at the end of last season, and their bite up front has simply not been enough given what must be described as a shambles in midfield and defence. In particular, their youthful engine room, staffed wholly by graduates from their U-20 side newbies are newbies Jr., has been found wanting, but former youth international and now head coach Gong Wing-Fung is adamant that he will stick to development even if it leads to relegation.
While this belief is one that the Birds might respect, it did not mean that they would let up, and it was fitting that a nineteen year-old lit up the scoreboard for them. Tang Hengcai
moved in without hesitation when the newbies defensive wall broke apart after a disguised sideways pass, just in time to reach the return ball and dink it past Wang You De in the 12th minute.
It was almost a sure thing that Tang would get another, given that he has collected five braces in competitive matches to date - in fact, he has never finished with a single goal from a start. The next one was only four minutes in coming, with Tang played through by Zhu Changchun
and lobbing the goalie on instinct.
The home fans were strangely unmoved by impending defeat, having witnessed far more discouraging scenes recently, and while newbies were clearly second best they did prove a tougher obstacle after the poor start. Wang You De saved well off Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
in the 32nd minute, and let in only one more for the half, as Safri brought the ball closer on his next attempt.
The third goal made it the eighth time in nine meetings that Grilled have reached that number against newbies, and Stanca had the midweek Cup fixture in mind when he sent Li Boon Boon
out in place of Mohd Safri for the second half. The game wore on at a pedestrian pace through the 70th minute, when lu Zunwen
, who was on two yellows, was taken off for Yvan Lefébure
, who then finished off his first dribble of the day with a goal.
4-0 up without pushing themselves, the Birds could not help but get complacent, and national legend Roshadi bin Che Rusli punished them for it as he zipped by Lin Jungui
and spoilt Stacey's clean sheet in the 78th minute. The 33 year-old must be good for the 300-goal milestone before retirement, now being just eighteen away.
's bad run continued as he was passed by Raja Sahu right after coming on for Slavcho Tzonkov
, and he must recognize that his ability to lead as captain must sooner or later be called into question if he doesn't clean up his act. He was however faultless for the remainder of the game, which isn't saying much.
, making his league debut for Grilled, made the margin three once more as his hasty strike slipped past Wang in the 85th minute, after plugging away doggedly at the newbies defence for the entire game. Alex Fonseca
, starting in place of the resting Abdul bin Jantan
, then made it two scoring games in a row with a spunky header.