The Joy of Six
Cosmo League leaders, Singapore Football Club made it six wins in six games, on Saturday, despite not being at their best. Liam Shotton netted his second consecutive hatrick, as SFC secured a hard-fought 5-3 win over a battling 1TM Latini.
Having started briskly the home team stormed to a two-goal lead, almost without breaking a sweat. Shotton slotted in his first, and easiest, goal of the afternoon from point-blank range after just four minutes. SFC’s number 14 combining with his familiar strike partner, Andrew Hutcheon, after great work down the right flank from Ross Plain. SFC 1-0.
A few minutes later the goal of the game, and possibly SFC’s goal of the season (thus far) was scored. Following some neat passing out from the back, Seattle’s favourite son Matt Hulen, picked up the ball in midfield and hit a pinpoint crossfield ball, to compatriot Matt Zatto. The San Franciscan’s controlled, looping header found its way perfectly over a despairing Latini keeper, to make it 2-0.
Rather than kill off the game, SFC then proceeded to squander a number of chances, whilst a further 3 or 4 other good opportunities were expertly saved by Latini's O'Brien, in between the sticks. Meanwhile, Latini, as is their trademark, knuckled down. After a clear penalty decision was puzzlingly waived away, by the referee, SFC then conceded a relatively soft goal, at their own end, to make the score 2-1.
As the first half wound down, Latini continued to claw their way back into the game. Having, presumably, feared for the worst after being 2-0 down after just eight minutes, they certainly looked the happier of the two teams when the half time whilst was blown.
Once the second half had begun, after just a few minutes, SFC again conceded tamely. 2-2 and Latini, understandably, would have felt they were in the mix.
The next ten to fifteen minutes of play brought about a relative stalemate in proceedings and was enough for SFC’s management to ring the changes. Jonathan Huang and Dorjoo Dashnyam were introduced, to provide some much-needed impetus. The Frenchman, in particular, made an immediate impact with his direct running style, and SFC was again left wondering what might be needed to be awarded a penalty. Shortly afterward Latini then took the lead, as SFC had pushed forwards, to make it 2-3 with almost 20 minutes left.
To SFC’s credit, they maintained composure and the lion’s share of the possession as the game went on. Shotton scored his second of the afternoon to bring the scores level and, as Latini’s legs started to tire, SFC decided it was time to bring, Andrew Hutcheon, back into the fray. The Aberdonian All-Star, freshly reinvigorated by a breather on the bench, thanks to the new rolling subs rule soon made his mark. As all attention turned to Liam Shotton, at a corner, the ball fell perfectly for the man dubbed “the White Pele”. SFC 4 Latini 3.
For the first time in the afternoon, Latini’s heads understandably dropped, but Shotton was none done yet. With the last kick of the match, he hit a thunderbolt from the edge of the box which smashed in under the bar to make it 5-3.
For SFC, Andrew Hutcheon and Matt Hulen both put in great performances when many were a shade off colour. The standout player on the park and the Man of the Match award, goes to Liam Shotton.