Grilled's charge towards the league title continued unabated, as they demolished the visiting tpyers 6-0 at The Cooking Pot - and it could well have been more. This applied to Joe Reece
too, as the Welshman finally got back into the scoring business after a four-match dry spell, and should really have gotten his first hat-trick for the Birds bar some miserable finishing later on.
The reverse fixture last month had seen tpyers take the lead through Kwok Ho Shi before falling 2-6, but Kwok would not be picked today despite a treble against Snohodez just over a week ago, raising suspicions of a hidden injury. In his absence, Yeoh Jing De would lead the line in a 4-3-3, with teenagers Wong Shi De and Poh Chi Pin tasked to provide support. Grilled would have a young back two for once with Aw Keng Chuan
and Damian Hutter
apparently transitioning in as defensive starters, however, and Yeoh and partners would not find the pacing advantage that they perhaps sought.
With Chia Kwang Tse
suspended, Mohd Marzuki Khairul
was given his return to league play, and it has to be said that Chia might well be concerned about his starting spot, from Marzuki's output. Four minutes had just gone by when he spotted Joe Reece
drifting in from the right, and his ready pass wound up to be an assist, with Reece getting his grounder on target. Eight minutes later, Marzuki would score for his third start in a row, as as ran fearlessly at Jeannot Mergen with tpyers' backline caught flat.
Grilled's level dropped a couple of notches after that very bright start, as their next two big chances went marginally too high, courtesy of Ibnou Balde
and Federico Parada
. The first miss moreover also led to tpyers threatening for the first time, with Tan Kong Sze coasting up the left on rare foray, to feed Zsolt Sajtos with a canny reverse ball. Sajtos pulled it narrowly wide at the near post, however, which had Dimitris Germanakos
If there was any record that the Grilled supporters were religiously tracking, it had to be Chan Ze Han
's league scoring streak, which duly got extended to nine games as he picked up on Egemen Dinçer Ferzan
's move down the right in the 30th minute, before putting it between Antonio Ramenghini's legs. The cheers had barely faded when Ibnou Balde
made it four soon afterwards, with Federico Parada
stretching an overwhelmed Foster Ito on the other flank this time.
Given that the result had to be in the bag, the second half was mostly for Grilled to try and buff their goal difference, about which they did not excel by Tian Yonghang
's high standards. The fire was largely gone with only scattered parts of the team willing to press on in search of more goals, even if Joe Reece
did convert a corner kick quite majestically in the 61st minute, as he evaded Mergen's own fairly-respectable leap.
What followed was not as flattering for Reece, as he missed open chance after open chance, amongst the most glaring of which was a curler in the 72nd right after Gandhik Chitre
had come on for Balde, although Ramenghini did have his part to play in that. There would then be a long stoppage as Zsolt Sajtos had to be borne off after a heavy blow to his right kneecap, which saw Chad Thach
exploit tpyers' weakened defence immediately afterwards, as he rose to head the free-kick home for 6-0.
Perhaps mindful of the wear on his own defenders, Tian would send Gilbert Webb
on for Damian Hutter
, with the Austrian having taken a few knocks himself. Lim An Keng
's excellent cross would be missed by Chan with Thomas Éloy throwing himself into a risky clearance, which led to Mergen shaking Grilled's goalframe on the resulting dead ball - probably the closest that his team had come all day. Reece passed up his final realistic chance for a hat-trick as he misjudged a lob with five minutes to go, as Chan went off for Kalki on the cusp of injury time.