A few late changes in the side, but as one of them was John L joining as a keeper, meaning Kels could play out, a strong Hibs squad were looking forward to the challenge against our unknown opposition.
An attacking lineup was set to go at them from the off, and it paid dividends when the ball fell to converted Centre Mid Wrigley 30 yards out who’s swerving strike from out of the air put us 1 up from our 1st attack. RockU went up the other end & leveled from their first attack. A soft free kick award, that was ruthlessly punished. 1-1, 77 mins to go!
Following this the game settled down. With the ball, RockU play a great brand of football with quick 1-2’s but never really managed to do the same deep in our half, whereas we were getting some joy through the CM’s finding Gav and NoneScoringDan’s feet to create a number of half chances that were either closed down or just failed to find their final target.
There was a fairly brutal tackle on the left wing (it was becoming a bit too regular) &, after a 5 minute wait for the ‘keeper to take his boots socks & shinpads off and then put them on again (!!), TC’s rifled free kick was palmed away to safety. Soon after, a quick break, started by LittleJon who had found space & a lot of the ball since his introduction, found its way to Gav 8 yards out who finished calmly. 2-1
There were a few more chances in the half with Gav being inches from a Roseburgh cross, the same player dallying on a chance in the box which was blocked, and committing bravely to slide in and get to another cross 1st, and finally Rod meeting a corner but the spring cushioning on the front of his head sent the ball sailing over. We then had another 5 minute wait for the keeper to again take off his boots, socks and shinpads, and put them on again, which almost took us to half time.
2nd half continued in much the same vein. RockU’s possession was decent but never really in a threatening area, whereas we tended to break quickly to the strikers with NoneScoringDan, Wriggers, Tom & Gav all doing superbly to pressure the defenders, getting into space to receive the ball, & linking well. A number of chances came, but the majority were from the edge of the 18 so the stand in ‘keeper had a fair amount of ball fetching to do.
Unfortunately the tackling (& none punishment of it), also continued in the same vein and after beating his man down the line NoneScoringDan was again hacked down with studs up his shin to match his previously received studs to the groin. A leg breaker if ever I’ve seen one. Fortunately it appears to be deep bruising only & with a break in league games he may be back next game to not score. Roseburgh burst through to score which was erroneously chalked off for offside, but Hibs superb shape meant that there were no more worries at the back.
The defence and shape that TC asked for at half time was exactly what was delivered and won us the game, so everyone there deserves credit for making it a quiet night for John. Strong performances from the bench from Tim Z, O’Lordy & especially Little Jon will see them expecting to start next game, but MOM has to go to Wriggers who ran his socks off for 65 mins (not literally like the RockU keeper), played in 3 different positions and when Laney succumbed to injury/age, was the 1st on his feet to do it again for the last 10. Superb stuff.
On a final note, we are happy to say that, despite repeated claims to the contrary we heard last night, most of us have been in Singapore for many years and do consider this our home.