An Utter Flop
The pain caught right back up with the Birds after their reprive against Benfleet Branch 2, as Ang Mohs in flip flops came right back with an eight-goal whupping, equalling their worst losing margin that had only happened twice before. It started so well too, but the hosts' established central midfield was simply too overwhelming in the longer run.
Straight victories over Benfleet and Twenty2 FC had raised some expectations amongst the fanbase, so it appeared, but the hard facts were that this remained a team with half its members barely having graduated from the youth academy. Arrayed against this would be players on the level of the Ang Mohs' 30 year-old former Moldovan youth international Budulai Bîstriţchi, which represented an incalculable gap in experience. Sure, Grilled had a few of those too, but they would not be where it mattered most, by conscious choice.
That apart, the first ten minutes or thereabouts would see the Birds pushing the envelope, and had Chia Kwang Tse
link up particularly well with Paulino Trindade
down the left, to the extent that he came up with the first serious attempt of the day, even if it skipped just wide of Hareb Al-Qaatri's near post. It all went downhill extremely quickly from that, unfortunately, with Chia then going from a yellow card for trying to hold up play four minutes later, to getting nutmegged by Kurt Zacho on defence in the 17th, followed immediately by Zacho's uncompromising finish past Manuel Vadalà
A stunned and frankly disorganized Grilled defence would then be taken for two more in the forthcoming minutes, Franco Robbi and then Naim Öztan would put it away past Vadalà too, with Zacho providing much of the underlying running down the left wing. Bilal Mohammad Harun
might have had a Hall of Fame-worthy career at the Birds, but the 35 year-old's legs are clearly gone, and he would not be able to keep up despite Zacho being only about three years his junior.
This drew the ever-helpful Chad Thach
into associate winger mode, which helped to staunch the bleeding, so to speak. There was no question of Grilled being able to mount a comeback with possession denied them to this extent, however, and the rest of the match would simply be a waiting game as to when Ang Mohs would score next. Grilled did limit them to just one more in the first half, coming in the 31st minute when Argentine defender Jonathan Federico Rivas broke the lines, to slide it in for 4-0.
Chia didn't look especially dismayed at having his topsy-turvy outing cut short at half-time, even if Lim An Keng
wouldn't have much better luck at keeping it together in midfield. Naim Öztan would handily outclass both, and put Laurin Étienne Zrost through on the right going into the 56th minute. Lim's ability in the air might have been welcome as the cross dropped in, though, but it would be Italian striker Franco Robbi to pick the right spot, for a mostly-uncontested header into the top corner.
Thach's game would come to an end next, as the youngster's ankles were evidently not up to the rigours of full midfield responsibilities just yet. Tian Yonghang
would have few illusions about salvaging this
mismatch, and threw Atang Mangoye
on for the remaining duration. Four minutes after that forced substitution, it would be six for the Ang Mohs, with Zacho creating an overlap down his side for Bîstriţchi to eventually profit from.
With the points assured, Yann Kablan would make a couple of tactical changes, with Samuel Felix Schütte and then Haiko Ascher replacing Henni and Zrost respectively, going into the final minutes. There would be a booking too in the 82nd minute for Rivas, who bought Moey Xin Seng
's feint and went in hard. Unfortunately, given that this took place twenty yards from the Ang Mohs' own penalty area, nothing much came of it.
Well, Haiko Ascher saw no need to preserve his stamina with just seven minutes of regular time remaining, and he unleashed his speed to feed Vincenzo Arosio immediately after coming on, with Trindade basically exhausted by this point. Zacho would then come full circle with a cheeky lob to close off the scoring, before a yellow card for Mangoye and a belated appearance by Yee Jian Hui