No sparkles at GEMS
Going into this game Singapore Football Club was acutely aware of the threat Hibernians offered. Having already taken points off the defending Champions TGA Rangers, the Cosmo League rookies knew they had to bring their “A” game.
Starting with a very strong line-up, and an equally impressive bench, the home side started the stronger of the two teams. Teenage sensations Ivor Teagle and Nico Anstee were at the heart of everything good for SFC. Despite close to 80% possession though, Singapore Football Club was unable to break through the massed ranks of green shirts, during the first half an hour of play.
As the game played out Hibs’ keeper pulled off a flurry of good saves, as Liam Shotton started to find some space, from the three or four players keeping him company. Meanwhile, his fellow striker, Andrew Hutcheon, was also unlucky not to break the deadlock. The talismanic Scotsman finding the woodwork with a well-placed header. The scoreline remained 0-0 and the visitors' hard work and discipline in defence were both paying off.
SFC continued to control the game, with the lions’ share of the game being played in Hibs’ defensive third but despite this, it was the visitors that scored first.
Dan Martin, after some neat footwork, wriggled free from his man and crossed for the onrushing Hibs midfielder, who finished well from just inside the box. 1-0 Hibs.
As the second half began SFC remained patient knowing their opposition would sit back. Ross Plain and Matt Hulen started to ask more questions with a wide range of passing yet still, the score remained 1-0.
Eventually, the Sashmen got their goal. Liam Shotton, with six goals in his last two Cosmo games, found the net after a neat pass from their Captain, Jahan Rezai. SFC’s No.14 stroking the ball past the keeper from all of twenty-five yards out, to make it 1-1. Game on.
Despite finally getting their goal SFC then failed to kick on. Instead, some sloppy passing started to creep in and despite the introduction of further attacking options from the bench, it was Ronnie Smollet at the back that was called into action.
Fortunately for SFC, the man that was voted best keeper in the league last season, was at his best. The "Flying Scotsman" was quick to snuff out a late chance for Hibs and the game ended 1-1.
A fair result, but also a disappointing one for SFC who had hoped to extend their lead, with three more points. They can offer no excuses, however, as a well organized Hibernians team came with a clear plan, and managed to execute it well.
after the game Coach Matt hilen was quick to congratulate Hibs for “...a good battle and a solid afternoon's work.“
SFC’s Man of the Match goes to Ronnie Smollet, for staying alert when he was finally called into action.