Dolphins All At Sea
Grilled Advance With Ease
Grilled Birds knocked Balestier Dolphins out of the Singapore Cup in the first round thanks to an all-rounded team display. Accurate passing between youngsters Tellskär, Yew-Hoe and Aznan in the middle of the park belied their age, as not one of Grilled's central trio was above twenty years of age. Debutant Noor Yadah casually found Chiew-Yen through a maze of blue-clad defenders in the sixth minute, who put it away with no more ceremony.
It soon became clear that Balestier had based their game plan upon a strangling approach, and their midfielders often seemed to be functioning simply as the second line of defence. Grilled only had Sun-Nee to blame for not doubling their lead as Hobson got the ball to the left wingback who poked the ball into the grandstand when it seemed easier to score than miss. He spent about a minute on the ground in penance for that miss. Grilled failed to produce opportunities despite dictating the play to an extent to make Josef Stalin envious, and the slender one-nil lead at the interval had their fans visibly agaited at the thought of a possible upset.
Grilled did little to allay those fears until the 74th minute, when Chiew-Yen made something out of nothing by half-volleying the ball into the left edge of the goal acrobatically under heavy guard. The tense play of the side was finally relaxed, as the players realised that they had the win sewn up. Ding Sun-Nee
added to the two-goal cushion with a rare attempt from nowhere at all. Dolphins keeper Wei-Hsin seemed to be taken in more by the sheer audacity of the try than by its deceptiveness, and allowed it to sail overhead and under the crossbar.Tim Hobson
, visibly annoyed at a slow day by his standards, added to his growing tally only at the death by leveraging on pure desire, chasing down a sweeping pass to open space and pushing the ball past a dispirited Dolphin defence who knew that their time had come. He might have had a second after intercepting the Dolphins' kickoff, but was stopped only by the referee's whistle which appeared to come a minute earlier than usual.