Singapore Football Club roared to the top of the Equatorial League on Saturday, running out 4-0 winners against an indefatigable PMFC Banters.
Going into the game SFC Coach, Mo Yasin, had warned against complacency in his pre-match interview. PMFC Banters had only registered one win this season, but their league position belies the ability that rests within their ranks.
Meanwhile Yasin, juggling his own set of special talents, sent SFC out to start with a very strong starting eleven, and an equally potent bench. Stalwarts Andrew Hutcheon and Aleks Duric both being asked to deputize on this occasion, and underlined the attacking options the home side had available to them.
After the opening 20 minutes the direct feed from SFC’s new data partner, envolve.ai, told a familiar story; the home side enjoying 78% of the possession.
Slowly pressure began to build for PMFC. Early chances fell to Mumsnet pin-up, Dom O’Shea, and the twinkle-toed, DJ Dashnyam. However, the score-line remained 0-0. Meanwhile down the right flank the ebullient Rob Benson, combined well with the dynamic running of Jack Cullinane.
Having won yet another corner, SFC finally broke the deadlock. Coach Yasin, urging Cullinane forward for a corner, was rewarded with a blaze of autumnal gold brilliance. Cullinane rose, like a man snapped into action by the accompanying cry of a 3am bottle feed, and connected perfectly with the ball. His bullet header gave the PMFC keeper no chance. SFC 1-0.
At half time SFC made changes to freshen things up. Alan Cromlish making his debut in a red sash came on in defence, whilst upfront Aleks Duric was introduced. The Singaporean goal-machine promptly reinforced the old adage of “form is temporary, class is permanent”, scoring with his first touch. It was an excellent team goal, as SFC built out from the back before Duric finished off a 12-pass move to make it 2-0.
PMFC continued to work hard however and, having seen enough, Coach Yasin turned to his bench and calmly issued the words every opposition team dreads: “Activate Norfolk”. PMFC heads promptly dropped. The whiskered Englishman quickly introduced his trademark shoulders to the match, before pushing the game further out of Banters’ reach as he netted SFC’s third goal.
With twenty minutes remaining, Yasin showed his ruthless streak once again. Dusting down Singapore Football Club’s answer to the Mitchell Brothers, he sent on “Hutcheon & Hemmingway”. Hutcheon was unlucky not to score. The Stonehaven Saviour can feel rightly aggrieved that a handball call didn’t go his way. Instead, the honour of the fourth goal fell to Mongolian maestro, DJ Dashnyam, as he struck home to end the contest.
Despite never hitting the heights they set themselves, it was a sufficiently incisive performance upfront by SFC. The Beauty Queens securing the required three points to send them top. The clean sheet in defence will have pleased SFC’s management, and it was telling that the Man of the Match was Jack Cullinane.
Man of the Match: Jack Cullinane