SFC passed their latest test with flying colours on Saturday, as they ran out 4-2 winners against an efficient and hardworking Aioli Purple Monkeys.
In their preparation for this game, SFC were acutely aware of the threat that Purple Monkey’s would offer. Not least from their last encounter, earlier in the season, when SFC had needed a last-minute goal to secure all three points.
As has been mentioned previously, in numerous Cosmo match reports, Aioli’s league position belies the ability they possess.
Hence, when SFC found themselves a goal down after Mark Addy pounced upon a small defensive error, they knew they were in for a testing afternoon.
Fortunately for the men in white, their teenage sensation, Ivor Teagle was in fine fettle and not prepared to go down without a fight.
With the score line at 1-0 to Aioli, the young Australian burst through midfield to find himself one on one with the keeper. Unlike his, hitherto, profligate team mates, Teagle calmly rounded the Aioli stopper and brought the scores level. 1-1.
The men in purple, however, had other ideas and responded almost immediately. Mark Addy again swooping for Monkeys. His second goal, a well-executed lob on the stroke of half time, made it 2-1 to Aioli.
As half time oranges were handed out, by everyone’s favourite neighbour John Norfolk, SFC’s Matt Hulen quickly adjusted his half time speech.
In the process, the Rathenow veteran decided to unleash Messrs Hutcheon, Garreau and Walter in to the fray.
The impact was immediate and Liam Shotton quickly found himself with a one on one, just five minutes later. The Stoke hitman made no mistake and levelled the scores with a well taken finish. 2-2.
SFC then moved things up a gear. Teagle continued to dominate midfield, alongside the ebullient Hulen, whilst at the back Garreau and Pompey comfortably closed out any threats.
On the flanks Jahan Rezai and Nico Anstee were finding plenty of space – although on more than one occasion Anstee found himself being thwarted by unconventional means.
As SFC continued to control possession, the pressure began to build and something had to give.
This time the Sashmen’s skipper, Rezai, led by example. Driving forward once more, he found Hutcheon in space. The Stoney striker calmly returned the ball, with a neat one-two, and the Italian stroked the ball in to the net without breaking stride. SFC 3 Aioli 2.
With Aioli now wilting in the hot conditions, and twenty minutes remaining on the clock, Hulen decided to go for the jugular, and summoned the fleet-footed Gabe Myong from the bench.
The two components of sun and speed combined just moments later, when the Monkeys’ keeper inadvertently passed the ball to Hutcheon. The quick thinking Scotsman unselfishly laid the ball off to the onrushing Korean, who drilled the ball past Aioli’s No.1 for Singapore FC’s fourth goal of the afternoon. Job done: SFC 4 Aioli 2.
The game continued at quite a pace, despite the heat, and SFC should have claimed a fifth, but was happy to have fought back and secured the three points.
Final score 4-2.
SFC Man of the Match: Ivor Teagle