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30 Aug 2009 - vs Blacks FC (2.30pm @ Balestier ITE)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Players sweat it out at special 'Celebration Match'

Abu Bin Power
Correspondent, SFC News
19 May 2009

Above: Rid's "secret" weapon?

Stretford FC players, staff and fans paid tribute to Manchester United’s recent Barclays Premier League triumph last Sunday as they squared off in a friendly 'Celebration Match' at Eastview Secondary School.

The final score and goals were secondary as a mixture of both Stretford and ManUtdsg members took to the field for this encounter. The match was also to be a training match for the Enders after it was announced that arrangements are in place for a match against fierce rivals, Chelseasg, in June.

Stretford FC would also have been delighted with the sight of a fit again Ridhuan making a 45-minute return to action on the right back berth. After a failed return to training and months out from the squad, Ridhuan looks to have finally shaken off his hamstring injury and it only remains to be seen if the pacy right-sided player can regain full fitness in the weeks to come.

“Initially, I felt a slight tightness again in my hamstring after making a sprint. That gave me a scare.” said the Bedok-born defender.

“But after a good few minutes settling in, I began to get into the groove of things. I still feel it must be the ‘Tongkat Ali’ I took the night before though!” added Ridhuan in a statement that may spark off new endorsement rumours.

Stretford players were also in appreciation for ManUtdsg’s turnout of players last Sunday – as echoed by the normally quiet central midfielder, Yeo Chang Yao.

“Nice.” were Yeo’s words when asked about the turnout for the match despite the scorching weather.

Photos from the testimonial match will be released shortly.

A big thank you to ManUtdsg members once again for coming down last Sunday!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Enders lose 5-1

Joe Red
Editor, SFC News
4 May 2009

Above: All smiles before and throughout the friendly encounter

The Stretford boys were made to taste humble pie against the quality and experience of their Nippon FC opponents when they were walloped 5-1 at Dunearn Secondary School on Sunday – their first loss since the team’s formation in March.

Nippon FC looked impressive from the first whistle and kept the Enders employing a containing strategy for the early part of the first half which nearly paid off with early chances coming from counter attacks. Opportunities for Shawal, Oki and Kong were squandered following some flashes of attacking play from the Enders. The class and superb passing play of Nippon finally paid off midway in the second half when a brilliant run on the left wing was capped off with a low drive to the bottom corner and put Nippon ahead in the match. Some controversy was to follow the second goal after a harmless nudge by debutant midfielder Haikal was deemed to have been an offence and led to a penalty. Nippon’s striker tucked away the spot kick and gave his team a much-deserved 2-goal cushion.

There looked to be encouraging signs of another famous Stretford comeback late in the first half however when striker Shawal Rosly charged down an attempted clearance by Nippon’s centre-back and slotted in his fourth goal in three matches to give the Enders a glimmer of hope in the second half. He was close to drawing the match level from a set-piece but missed by inches with his shot.

And as with the last two Stretford matches, all was to change in the second half.

The experience of Nippon truly stood out after the interval as they came back stronger and began to enforce their crisp ball work again in the match which left Stretford players chasing shadows – and eventually tiring out the players. A combination of pace and trickery from Nippon’s number 10 together with very strong wing play was to be the downfall for the Enders as another three goals were put past them without reply.

The loss will be a tough one to swallow for the boys but players, pundits and fans were encouraged with the work rate and spirit of the Stretford players throughout the match despite being outclassed by their opposition.

On-loan midfielder Kong was realistic with his assessment and comments.

“The team will have to agree that we played against a very wonderful and experienced team. They were very composed and they stroked the ball around the defence and midfield amazingly. To a certain extent, they played like how MUFC does.” said Kong

Supporter Patricia Poh chose to look at the bright side of things instead.

“Overall, I think it was a great match for our boys to learn a lot from. And I think they can also leave the match with some positives to take.” stated Poh

It remains to see how the team will learn from the defeat and come back stronger and wiser in their next match. The Enders next match is anticipated to take place in 2 weeks time.