Grilled thumped third-placed HaTT two-nil at home, and wasted no time going about their business with those goals coming in by the eleventh minute. With Grilled being able to field their strongest lineup weekly, they have now managed seven competitive wins in a row.
The best of the match was over all too soon, despite HaTT choosing a strong counterattacking 4-4-2. Critics of Hidde van Liere
will have to eat their words, as the gifted winger absolutely tormented Mahmoud on the right after yet another change of flank.
Practically unguardable when he's in the mood, van Liere tap-danced his way past two defenders in the ninth minute and sent a searching ball into the penalty area. Martinsson, having scored in the previous four matches, was certainly up to it as he prodded in an incredible 22nd goal in an injury-blighted season.
The cheers had yet to die down when van Liere was up to his old tricks again. This time bringing in Paullin, who migrated from the other side, he left the backline watching as he freed Paullin with a decisive one-touch. Alone against Eric Alley, Paullin was hardly comfortable, but finally nicked it into goal at the far corner.
HaTT's counterattacks couldn't get off the ground as Grilled controlled the field they know so well, but some yelling by their captain Alley sorted out their defensive problems. The relatively young back four benefitted enormously from their guiding light, and harried Grilled's frontmen into submission.
The second half broke their rhythm somewhat, and Rottman managed to get his nose in front of Strassburger while running onto goal. He got his foot first to Wai-Kin's tap-on, but the ball rolled agonizingly across an empty net to stop at the upright. Chetas Menon was only too glad to send it deep into the gallery.
HaTT had their chance when Martinsson lost possession while trying to skip past a resolute Gogu Preda, and the visitors momentarily had the numbers to wreak havoc on Grilled's advanced backline. After short seconds of neat passing, the ball was lifted to Mahmoud Ben Mohammed in the six-yard box, but the defender overhit his shot quite badly.
Grilled hit back again through the action-filled right wing, with Sid smartly overlapping a man-marked van Liere and got the ball deep in the HaTT half. With challengers coming in he characteristically opted to shoot, and severely tested Alley with a dipping cracker.