The Birds sensationally repeated their 5-3 win over Siegmund United to haul themselves into third, just two points behind Siegmund themselves and CharlesCheesePie, who stumbled at Blackout Arena. Mohd Safri bagged two to put himself at ten league goals, already equalling his haul for his admittedly injury-blighted last campaign, with Siegmund hitting back but unable to muster enough ammunition to turn things around.
The visitors adjusted their formation slightly with Alfredo Ponce still not recovered from his knock, and the returning Gene Di Lorenzo took command of midfield, with Dutchman Leo Simons posted in a central forward role. Grilled saw no need to change a winning formula, and kept the starting eleven that had served them so well.
This was justified quickly enough as Grilled simply went about plugging balls through their strongest department, which was the centre, and on home ground they proved to be good enough at it that a backup plan was not required. Alex Fonseca
, who has found a new calling as a makeshift centreback, reprised his old marauding role in the 14th minute, and undid current national goalie Mohd Azmani bin Hasyim with a fierce grounder.
Siegmund for their part stuck to trying to outflank Grilled, and they very nearly scored an equaliser in the 19th minute, when Feddo Heersema stuck in a cross that Markus Schlager flung himself at, only to miss. That was something alien to Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
, who never looked like missing in the 27th minute after showing the defence a clean pair of heels.
The scoreboard lit up with a message congratulating Mohd Safri for his milestone fiftieth league goal for Grilled, and the prolific forward flirted with a yellow card as he pulled his jersey up to cover his face, revealing a T-shirt thanking the supporters, which only served to double the already-raucous cheering.
A third came when Abdul bin Jantan
expertly dodged incoming tackles to club in a third, which led to a chant of "We're gonna win the league" from the suddely-dizzy terraces. Siegmund weren't going to take that lying down, and served notice of their potency from a counterattack through Schlager in the 39th minute, who would not make the same mistake twice.
Siegmund found themselves well and back in it after Leo Simons headed in a good cross two minutes later, as an electric end to the half was once again lined up. Chow Ying Lee
rose to the occasion, relying on his underrated touch to clip in the 4-2 goal. Feddo Heersema then picked up a yellow that will see him sit out a match.
Where Glen Abernathy lifted Siegmund last Sunday, it was Simons' turn today as he once again pulled his side closer with yet another header, this time from a corner by Ding Jingnan. Qassem Madaini
was unable to reach the same heights as the flying Dutchman both times, and Niculae Stanca
had to order Djekshenkulov back to handle him.
Grilled were still largely in control, though, and Mohd Safri scored once again in the 69th minute to move onto 51 league goals, and displace Tim Hobson
as Grilled's fifth-highest ever league scorer. At this pace, few would bet against him surpassing Sylweriusz Zywczyn's tally of 56 by the end of the season, which would leave only Subri bin Ku Zainol, Ola Martinsson and Maikel Rotteveel above him.
then was fortunate to get away with a yellow card after a horrible forward's challenge on Edmundo Gaitán, who was fortunate not to be badly injured. Siegmund never stopped looking for a way back in, but were choked for chances, and their hopes probably died when Ding Jingnan's excellent effort came back off the post in the 84th minute.
His work done, Qassem Madaini
handed the armband to Dexter Stacey
and vacated his post for Lin Jungui
, and it was perhaps unfortunate that the match did not stop then, as all that was left was a couple of unpleasant injuries.
Both Singapore and Siegmund will be without Mohd Azmani for a fortnight at least after he tweaked a tendon stretching to make a save, while Grilled's respected midfield heartbeat Abdul bin Jantan
may be out for as long as three weeks, after taking the entire weight of Kwan Ze Su on his left ankle.