Rajiv the Reds look a hell of a lot faster than the whites, Azfar, Lester, Alan, Billy & Leo are all very quick nippy players. Not sure about the other 2 but already there is an imbalance in my opinion.
I had SMSed Keng Loon at 4 pm to ask for Alan's number but there was no reply.
Lester didn't have Alan's number, and no one could contact Alan. It didn't look like Alan would show. Fortunately, Wee Teck was playing in with Fai's team in an earlier game from 8 to 9 pm, so he came in for Alan.
.... Although no explanation has been provided, I assume Lester put Alan's name down at Keng Loon's request, and when Keng Loon withdrew, no one kept Alan updated. ....
Ball was a field soccer size I think, and very slippery due to the conditions. Both sides had trouble with controlling their first touches and dribbles. Overall I think the reds had a better control over the game with an emphasis on possession. We played the ball out of defence rather than trying to pump it up field.
I noticed that we shifted away from dribbling and more towards short passes given the conditions, with good success.
We came close several times, but were denied by the bar twice and lost a few 1 on 1s due to the ball slipping away after the first touch.
Billy sent a wonderful corner in, which I headed, and I scored another via a turn and shoot. Sorry I don't remember anyone else's goals.
I did get stamped by studs though, and it was completely accidental. But my instep is still hurting - it's always a risk since the bones in the foot are generally fragile.
Andrew came in late, so the Whites were restricted to shooting inside the D for the first 15-20 minutes of the game.
On paper, the Reds looked like the faster team, but the Whites more physical.
The Reds defended steadily for the first 10 minutes but really was pushed deep by the Whites, who positioned several of their forward players in the D, and resorted to long passes from the back by Stan and Edmund. Babs, who was always a constant threat with his long-distance shooting on his left foot, had to change his style of play to suit shooting inside the D. The Whites were 1-0 up about 5-10 minutes into the game, before Billy made a really good pass to me to turn and equalize.
I think the Whites were up 2-1 when Andrew came, and then was when the game really started to shift.
The Whites decided to resort to faster, shorter passes and open up spaces for shots from the distance. Andrew came in and became the fulcrum of the Reds defence/offence, collecting passes and spraying them to the wings. The game was all square at 2-2 before David N made a venture to the left side of the field and was played a very good pass from Stan, who had also went up in attack. David shot from a very acute angle and made it 3-2 and the Reds were deflated.
But there were reminders of how Arsenal, the Reds, came back against Tottenham, the Whites, last weekend and the Reds stepped up their game, realizing that attacking was the only way not to lose the match. The tactic was for the Reds to tighten their defence and deploy one or two quick wingers/forwards for counter-attacks. This worked as the Whites sought a 2-goal cushion in the game but were denied by a resolute Reds defence. From a quick change in possession the Reds sprayed their passes forward and Leo equalized, 3-3.
Honestly at that point of time nobody expected the Reds to equalize as it appeared that they were dealt the sucker punch by a very good effort by David to score from a tight angle. But when Leo equalized, the Reds had a funny feeling that they were able to snatch a late goal and win the game.
And win the game they did. From a quick corner on the right, the ball was headed out by the Whites defence. I wondered for half a second if I should volley it, but my outstretched legs could only clip the ball and I laid it off for Bobbie, who struck it with such ferocious venom and acceleration that it blasted past the entire White defence into the net. 4-3 it is as the Reds celebrated wildly.
With such a wonderful goal the Reds were not about to let this lead to slip, and defended aggressively in the last 5-10 minutes of the game to seal the victory.