• Singapore FC

Ten scores two to secure all three

Singapore Football Club kicked off 2020, and a new decade, with a 4-1 win over Gaelic Feckers.

As expected there was plenty of rustiness from the home team, combined with substantial evidence of holiday over indulgence that was scattered across the pitch like New Year confetti.

Lining up with a strong starting eleven, Matt McCole was the first to open the scoring for the Sashmen. Following a well struck free kick, by Singaporean Desmond Sim, the young Scotsman was first to react and tucked the ball away neatly from five yards. 1-0 SFC.

Rather than kick on, and assert their advantage, instead SFC became sloppy in their possession and it was Gaelic Feckers that scored next. A well-placed shot from just inside the box scorched past Ronnie Smollet who, until then, had had precious little to do between the sticks. 1-1. Twenty minutes played.

SFC finally decided to wrestle control of the match and it was the experience of Mike Hemmingway, that proved to be decisive. The battle-hardened striker stepping up when he was needed. The Englishman, better known as “Big Dunc”, calmly dispatched the penalty, that had been awarded in SFC’s favour. 2-1 was the score, as the teams reached half time.

The instructions from SFC’s coach, Mo Yasin focused on the fact that Gaelic Feckers would continue to “park the bus” - like most teams arriving at GEMS Academy to play SFC this season. As result, he stressed the importance of players remaining patient, whilst still looking to move the ball with more speed and purpose.

As the second half got underway he also introduced the industrious Rob Benson, whilst also throwing on the evergreen Matt Zatto and Phoenix Dover starlet Ten Takeda. Their fresh legs quickly brought about positive results for SFC.

Some insightful runs from Zatto started to open up the left flank with Gabriel Myong, just in front, being the key beneficiary. Korea’s second best export, after Black Pink, had hitherto been unusually quiet. However, with sprightly Zatto now feeding him the ball regularly, he suddenly found a new lease of life. The “Seoul Speedster” burst in to the box in the 62nd minute, and then pulled the ball back across the goal. Ten Takeda, who had timed his run perfectly, needed no second invitation to score. 3-1 SFC.

Thereafter, with a two-goal cushion, SFC thoroughly dominated - especially with the blistering afternoon sun starting to take effect on the Celtic visitors’ skin.

DJ Dashnyam started to pull the strings from the edge of the box and could have increased the home team’s lead on two occasions. Eventually the fifth goal of the afternoon came following some hard work by Jack Cullinane and Rob Benson, as they combined down the right wing. The ball again reached the byline before being pulled back by Rob Benson for the onrushing Takeda to score his second.

Final score 4-1.

A good re start to the Equatorial League campaign for SFC, although they were never really tested.

Man of the Match (shared): Mike Hemmingway and Ten Takeda