Chicken Kicks Bucket
After their straight losses, Grilled were just relieved to return to winning ways, as they slammed eleven goals past part-timers Kranji KFC, going one better than their visit to the no name stadium nine seasons back in the same round of the Cup.
The Sentosa-based club, one of the earliest founded in Singapore, had settled into a cosy existence as a fan-driven semi-professional outfit after their original owners lost interest, and have even promoted to the fourth division some season ago. Still, it was always going to be a tall order for a team made up of players on a modest allowance to stand up against the Birds' regulars.
Kranji were not wanting for support, all said, and 52 year-old captain Manzoor Azwira bin Abdullah ran about like a man twenty years younger, as his men played out of their skins to keep Grilled at bay for twenty-odd minutes. This was perhaps helped by the Birds being in no particular hurry, and they were faintly amused when their opponents celebrated Lim Ting Pin's save off Chow Ying Lee
as if they had scored themselves.
This was never going to last the full ninety, and Tian Yonghang
broke the spectators' hearts when he tapped in off an indirect free-kick from Wong Ping Shun
. Low Aik Jia
then responded to his coach's recent criticisms with actions, as he tore down the left to deliver for Ling Fuquan
to bury Kranji's prospects.
Anyway, the hosts' maniac early pressing took its toll, and winger Wan Soon Ming had to come off after he clattered into the goalposts when defending a corner. Ling and Tian then added two more, before Kranji's Eu Leng Jin suffered a twisted ankle, and Zhao Jing Wei
made it five from Chicken Wings alumni for the half.
Chow had been struggling for goals, hitting just one in his last nine matches, and it was therefore with some relief that he was on target in the 64th minute, leaving Kwan Tong Jun behind with a sudden turn and spurt. Zhu and Zhao soon followed, as Kranji entered strictly damage limitation mode.
then made a double defensive substitution, allowing Qassem Madaini
and Rashid bin Ahmad
to get their minutes in, with Ling and Gene having parked themselves in the centre circle for most of the half. Chow then repeated his two-goal feat in the previous meeting with a precise long shot, after which he went down in the box, and passed up a chance at a hat-trick for Wong Ping Shun
to get in on the scoring from the spot.
Leong Wan Kang
then turned it up to eleven off a brilliant through pass from Zhu, before departing for Che Harun bin Sabtu
to make his official debut.