III.10 challengers Roseburn Rangers posed no trouble to the Birds, as they lost their seven-game winning streak to a 0-6 home thumping. Italian head coach Ettore Scattina had drilled a healthy sense of unity into his charges, but there was no hiding the fact that Turkish striker Tekin Cebesoy had sucked up all the attention of the Rangers fans; having struck a brace in his two previous matches with his new club, expectations on the new captain were understandably through the roof.
Grilled Birds couldn't afford to be too complacent against such opposition, and they would start form man Islom Davlatov
in midfield. There remained some room from rotation, though, with 19 year-old Yee Jian Hui
finally given his professional full debut after near two seasons in the squad. Second-stringers Prokop Mottl
and José Luiz Velho
also featured, this time on the wings.
They didn't disappoint either. The trio were full of running, seeing as to how they hadn't tasted much competition, and their workrate was much appreciated by the Birds travellers. Chan Ze Han
continued to do much of the creative work in his usual understated manner, which Velho eagerly built on in the ninth minute. The Brazilian found his feet intuitively on an unexpected pass coming from his left, and dug out an odd-looking shot that eluded Dutch goalie Goris Hermus.
The hosts couldn't exactly regain a foothold in the fixture with Davlatov and Gilbert Webb
stifling main midfielder Joucke Kroeze, although they fared well enough that an equalizer wasn't exactly improbable. Lauri Nevanpää's few attempts to link up failed, unfortunately for them, and Gerwazy Piechnik's composure cracked in the 32nd minute under Velho's rushing-down. His square pass would be picked off by Yee, who duly claimed his first senior goal.
Roseburn had little time to reflect, as Bilal Mohammad Harun
polished off a textbook header for 3-0, barely two minutes later. It was then that Tekin Cebesoy finally weaved his magic, slicing through Grilled's defence with an almost contemptuous mien, but Massoud Dob
pounced into a top-class two-fisted save.
José Luiz Velho
would grab a second for himself on a rather chaotic attacking wave next, which would also claim the left kneecap of Chu Xin Lee
, who had tripped on his own teammate. It was doubtful that Roseburn were better off, with Kalki Parvathaneni
available, and Prokop Mottl
very nearly picked them off from the restart.
The second half saw Bilal Mohammad Harun
take frequent breaks from his defensive duties, and one such excursion saw him clobber a powerful volley beyond Hermus in the 51st. Kalki, as it turned out, wasn't having the most inspired of performances in aggregate, but he retained enough pace and awareness to round Hermus on one occasion. Sadly, Henk Jan van Delft had recognized what was happening, and bailed his goalie out with a goalline stop.
The Rangers would stabilize thereafter, and after a relatively even period, they had a second go at a consolation, with hometown boy Aiden Vu lining up a strike following a long period of possession. He overhit it slightly, however, and it would instead be Prokop Mottl
who made it 6-0 from a very direct central run; Chan Ze Han
might even have added another in injury time, but the Birds skipper couldn't get his clearly-intentioned curler down.