Long Way To Go
's gentle introduction to the Grilled job appears to have come to an end with his first league defeat, as dissatisfied fans started to openly doubt his ability to introduce much-needed improvements.
"That was the worst first half I've seen from Grilled in ages." a travelling supporter grumbled. "I can take losing, maybe, but there was just no heart
Noubaryan could only lament Moey Xin Seng
's continued absence, as he too blasted the rest of the team. "I don't think anybody left with any merit today. Davlatov's behaviour was very disappointing in particular - I don't mind saying this, he should know that a player with his responsibilities can't do what he did."
The Birds' only consolation is a string of technically easier fixtures coming up, and moreover without cup distractions. They will need it, with newbies are newbies and ArSenal U21 demolishing Red Chaos and FC Pires respectively, to move ahead of Grilled in the table.
While Farmer Bunnies preserved their undefeated league record, they were unable to unseat Soon Soon, who followed their midweek conquering of the Birds with a credible one-all draw at Carrot Field. Ibrahim Zahran Al-Maashany's value was apparent as he beat Víctor Enciso cleanly to give the Buns a ninth minute lead, but Salleh bin Vincent Nordin equalised in the 69th minute, after a breathless conclusion to the first half.
Tham Leng Teck
would not fondly remember his miscue in the 78th minute, when Wong Ting Yew
's break down the left presented him with the perfect opening for the winner. "It's just so frustrating. We should be winning these games, but there's always something that trips us up."
It would be left to Grilled International to fly the flag high, as their 2-0 away win over closest challengers Benfica 1904 announced their new status as VI.113 leaders. It didn't come easy, with Yao Erguo
being stretchered off with a tweaked knee with it still nil-nil in the 78th minute, but Micky bin Kadir
became their saviour with another important goal, five minutes later. Soo Kiong Yau
's good penalty after that was just the icing on the cake.
Head coach Tajit bin Mohd
was buzzing after the late strikes. "It's ours to lose now." he declared with a barely-disguised confidence. "The guys deserve it, they've worked hard for years to get to this point. It's time for them to reap the rewards."