Grilled advanced against FC La Trappe today on the back of a resounding 8-0 hammering, helped by the hosts resolving to try a soak-and-strike strategy. It was a valiant display, with local Trappe loyalist Woo Chun Huat immense in his role linking defence and attack; however, the Birds were simply too strong on the day, and good value for the win.
An afflilate club of Dutch side FC ETB, FC La Trappe had just picked up a Division Four title on the back of Tomas Kvarngård's adaptive tactics and some dazzle from wonderfully versatile Bulgarian Angel Gasharov, who was slotted in as lone point man this time. The full house at De Koningshoeven was quietly hopeful, bolstered by the fact that their team had won their first four matches of the season without conceding, but were in for a rude awakening.
They did have the weather in the favour, with the all-nighter thunderstorm ensuring that swift movement would be curtailed. Unfortunately, this cut both ways, as former Kampong Dreamer journeyman Zhong Zhikai got his foot stuck in a mushy spot while covering Chow Ying Lee
. Chow didn't waver at his marker's misfortune, and duly extended his record of scoring in every start so far this campaign.
Never one to be willing to be left out of the action, Tian Yonghang
got in on the scoring with a cheeky little trick. Clément Meyer
pulled the ol' fake windup on the Trappe defence, before dragging it back the other way for Tian to easily put it past the distracted Wulf Englbrecht.
The Birds were getting heated up, and even the normally conservative Rashid bin Ahmad
traversed the halfway line to have a pop. Woon Shun An
reveled in the harsh conditions, and increased the lead to three right on the thirty minute mark, guiding Low Aik Jia
's stuttering low cross in with a deceptively light touch.
Gaffe of the day would belong to Wong Ping Shun
, Grilled's normally ultra-dependable penalty taker. He wouldn't even have the excuse of pressure to fall back on, after he accidentally bumped the ball with his planted foot. Eagle-eyed Finnish ref Aarne Valli spotted that, not that it mattered as the flustered Wong lumped it into the last row of seats anyway.
The tenor didn't change with the break, and Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
continued the forwards' habit of sharing the plunder between them, when he chipped Englbrecht five minutes after the restart. Rashid bin Ahmad
then had another go at it from deep, and this time it was good.
Redemption then came for Wong, who was extra-careful with the spot kick awarded after a clumsy swipe by Randy van Doesburg, that Low nevertheless made a meal of. He seemed almost tense in the run-up, but there was no slip-up this time, as he sent the ball right at the corner in a completely business-like manner.
The outcome had long been decided, but Mohd Safri was not about to let up on any opportunity to boost his goal total, and Trappe's Austrian winger Sadri Okçu was the unfortunate victim of his ambition. Having eyes only for the net, Mohd Safri's followed through on Okçu's knee, and it was plain to see that he wouldn't be able to continue.
A brief apology later, the game restarted with local oldie Theodore Sham in for Okçu, upon which Woon Shun An
ran through to put in an eighth, almost rudely. Grilled were finally satisfied at that, and the match concluded with Woo Chin Huat and Gleb Dorogan
on for a stroll, which put the popular former Birds captain in the exclusive hundred-appearance club.