Houdini At Herron
Overrun by Herron for much of the game, Grilled Birds made the best of their chances to steal a 2-all away draw at the packed Sky Ocean. Herron wanted a showpiece match in their last home game to reward their loyal fans, although they had little in truth to fight for being out of the title race.
Grilled obliged with a full-strength side, with only van Liere being dropped in favour of Han Kok, who was told to pursue his defensive duties on the right. Siu-Yue supplied the playmaking, and after just seven minutes spotted Wai-Kin's diagonal run into empty space behind the Herron defence.
With his first S-League goal recorded just a fortnight ago at Winning Eleven, Wai-Kin was eager to stake a reputation as a credible main striker and deflect criticism at Grilled's below-average scoring. There was a hint of a nudge on young Serbian fullback Milanko ekularac, as the local forward nipped a low shot under national keeper Abd Rauf Mohd Nadzir.
Herron were fearless before their screaming hordes, and settled into a fast-running passing game as Grilled suicidally sat back. Their new system of a compact midfield and wide-ranging strikers bothered Grilled's wingbacks no end, as they had to keep following Chit-Fu and Jähnisch to the flanks leaving it thin in the middle.
Left winger Othman bin Ib Berahim burst past Sid in the 31st minute with Florian Jähnisch providing a double threat, and he had all the time in the world to swing in a laser-guided cross to transfer-listed Swedish midfielder Jens Hallell. Hallell, who may well be leaving Herron in a matter of days, performed perhaps a last service to his employers with an off-balance header into the net.
Hallell was supremely motivated as he shook off a recent dip in form, and a particularly composed bit of dribbling brought applause from the entire stadium. He nearly turned provider for fellow Swede Anders Eriksson, but Eriksson stumbled slightly and then pushed his attempt right at Sulaiman.
There was no letup for Grilled in the second half as Herron clearly wanted the win to guarantee their presence in next season's S-League early, and Grilled were again lucky as Othman rounded Sid only to try and lift it over Sulaiman from a tight angle instead of drawing it back for any one of his three teammates in the box to shoot.
The home goal finally came through tall Hungarian player Gábor Peto, who was far in advance of his usual position when Schreinerbauers looked for someone to pass to. Peto considered spreading it back wide, but seeing Falkbo commit himself too early, he swivelled out of the way of Falkbo's charge and smashed the ball past Sulaiman.
Grilled appeared beaten as Herron continued looking for goals, and local great Shu Chit-Fu might have pulled himself further clear of the 200 career goal plateau as he danced past two men only to balloon his left-footed shot.
Anders Eriksson's yellow card for a hard tackle on Han Kok allowed the game to settle as play stopped for several minutes as Grilled's personnel had a look at the young midfielder's ankle, and when it restarted Siu-Yue slipped the dead ball through to Rottman. Through a wall of players Rottman set his sights, and somehow thumped his first-time strike into the top right corner to claim a share of the points.