|Posted on February 29, 2020 at 9:05 AM|
HFC Media File Picture
With their closing two league fixtures in the ESPZEN Saturday Division 1 in the final couple of week of March, Hilderinc Football Club took the opportunity to ready themselves for the survival crunch with the first of three friendly games as they took of AJPL United from the MOF league.
While results are always a secondary issue, the firm focus was on working out a consistent order of play, especially since the Blacks, after dreadful limitations in numbers throughout the season, have gathered some stability in personnel and matchday numbers to put into effect a return to proficiency, which served them well in the title winning season, just about 18months ago.
However, like last week, when they found themselves short in the midfield options, the Blacks altered their formation to drill in an ancillary plan to maximise available strength, especially when several mainstays were still absent through injuries or travel plans.
Added significance on the day was given to Ryan Ng, who will moving abroad for a major milestone in life with his first employment, and though it was not farewell match, it was an opportunity to wish him best of luck with a game in the Hilderinc colours, also not lost in the occasion was the return of Chua Yuxuan to the side after a long absence.
Though against a lively and eager opponent, the Blacks could not have asked for a better start as a team as they displayed good composure and control as they manage the game with calm and experience, plotting away with their pass and move football.
With Fahmy Barker finding absolute joy down the right flank, the first opportunities of the game fell to Dionisis Kolokotsas, first when he thought he had scored off a corner, only for the United keeper to pluck the ball in mid-air as the ball looked to be heading into the back of the net, and moments later the Greek veteran was an inch away from getting his head to a floated attempt after find himself in yards of space inside the box.
But the Hilderinc had Adi Ravikumar to thank after he headed the ball clear off the line after United looked to have squeezed in a header after a corner of their own just at the stroke of the midway point.
However, having dealt with the warning this side of the water-break, the Blacks were slow to react to the renewed intensity after the resumption, and after immediately calling to action the previously spectator, Christopher Mark in the Hilderinc goal, AJPL Utd took the lead with a highly innocuous attempt, which they failed to halt in the run-up, before the ball sailed in off the upright and into goal.
What followed was a disjointed show by the Hilderincs whose attempt at artistic football failed to deceive their lack of cohesion and focus as they ran helter-skelter up till halftime, which consequently prompted a dressing down during the break.
Returning from the break, and with some alternations, the Blacks reverted to their usual self and upped the gears off the blocks with their usual high press, pass and move football.
Keeping on the front foot, the Hilderincs were constantly looking to exploit the channels to find in roads into the United final third, but they were grateful for another goalline clearance, this time from a Sunny Tharidu head at the near post, to keep a carbon copy of United’s first half attempt out, preventing them from going further adrift.
But the Blacks responded appropriately and found themselves on parity after the enigmatic Aamir Fikri ghosted past two United defenders after having received a through pass from Khai Kamis from his own half, and eyeballing Ian Morris before aligning a pass on the by-line for the skipper to dink the ball into the net, though a little more weight on it might have dealt an embarrassing outcome to the cheeky finish.
The final quarter of the game had the Hilderincs return to their self-assured manner, as they showed good character, keeping the ball as a collective unit from backline to the front, and trying to force the issue with quick decisive breaks, and while they had chances to get the winner through attempts from Ryan Ng, Fahmy Barker and Dionisis Kolokotsas, the final score ended level, giving the Blacks positive takeaways as they continue with their groundwork in their next friendly.
Hilderinc FC 1 : AJPL Utd 1
Ian Morris 50’
1. Christopher Mark
2. Basil Al Barr
3. Dionisis Kolokotsas
4. Nicholas Ledenmark
5. Adi Ravikumar
6. Sunny Tharidu
7. Koh Kah Hoong
8. Ryan Ng
9. Sam Bignell
10. Ian Morris
11. Fahmy Barker
12. Aamir Fikri
13. Chua Yuxuan
14. Khairil “Khai” Kamis
15. Marc Trotter
Proud Sponsors & Clubhouse
Categories: Match Day