|Season 58||L||7 - 0||Cup|
|Season 53||W||5 - 0||Friendly|
|Season 51||L||2 - 6||Tournament (Playoffs)|
Grilled went a long way towards exorcising the ghosts of their 0-7 surrender to All The King Men, as they bested it with a 9-1 mauling at regular neutral venue HitMen Arena. ATKM were riding on a string of very credible showings, having romped 3-0 over Joker 9B following their narrow loss to BCFC, but the strain of their recent endeavours finally came to the fore all at once this day.
Having lost rising midfielder Arijit Saraf in the Joker 9B clash, and having sold squad member Ting Aik Yew to Opossumse Boys for S$3.3 million barely a fortnight ago, the Kingsmen were fairly light in the middle, and it showed. Ibrahim Abdul Samad was selected as the third man in a standard 3-5-2, but this would be a completely different affair from the Singapore Cup debacle.
The Grilled fans made it clear long before kickoff that they would not be satisfied by anything other than a whitewash, an attitude that was echoed by the Birds players. They pressed forward with no mercy at every opportunity, and the only surprise was that it took five minutes for Clément Meyer
to start the slaughter.
ATKM adapted to Grilled's all-out offence admirably, and began dousing their raw ferocity by taking their time during stoppages. This appeared to work, and there was a brief moment of panic when the returning Wong Ping Shun
slipped while running alongside Kwok Wan Chao in the 24th, allowing him to slip a pass inside for former Benfleet Branch playmaker Guan Chee Kang to equalise on their first real attack.
This only had the effect of sharpening Grilled's talons, though, and the ATKM fans had barely concluded their chant of defiance when Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
put the Birds ahead again. Meyer then got another in the very next minute as the Kingsmen's resolve wilted, leaving their fans speechless for once.
ATKM's Irish head coach Danny Tuohy had warned club followers that a repeat upset was unlikely, but even he probably did not envisage how swiftly the game would be decided. Lai Tong Teck took his time getting up after taking a stiff one from Lee Lee Hao
in the hip, but that merely stalled the inevitable as Mohd Safri converted from a header after Grilled's very next attack.
This was all very enjoyable for the green-clad faction in the stands, who kept up their singing through the break. They then had some gentle ribbing in store for the serious-minded Zhao Jing Wei
, who stumbled while setting his standing foot while setting up a shot in the 53rd minute, more or less in line with his recent indifferent form.
Zhao did have his moment later on as he knocked it in from an inventive free-kick routine, this coming fifteen minutes after Low Aik Jia
had burnt the gangly Vítor Chaves for sheer speed over ten yards to make it 5-1. It was evident that the Grilled team were enjoying themselves, but this was not enough for their fans, who were getting worked up over matching ATKM's previous haul.
Just when it seemed as Grilled were taking their foot off the pedal, they achieved the seven-goal mark. Rinor Isufi
, who had graced Grilled's Sapphire Challenger Cup debut with a hat-trick, shook Ferdl Dithmarschen off as Wong Ping Shun
placed the ball into space, and got his toe to it before Jan-Pieter van der Werff reached it.
It was not just a question of whether the Birds could pile on yet more, and the characteristically-implacable Mohd Safri was only too eager to oblige, as he notched his thirteenth career hat-trick for the Birds with a neat little dink from barely a metre out. After Kwok Wan Chao was sent off for his shove on Mohd Safri, albeit under some provocation, the 33 year-old club talisman then made sure to rub it in with a flying header off Wong Ping Shun