Monday, February 29, 2016


Tampines Rovers v Hougang United 4-1

Yeah I know it is a few days late. Sorry. Been busy with MyLittleGooner and his aspirations to be a goalkeeper. Shame he can't play further up the field or he could get in the Arsenal team...only Wenger would have him injured for two games going nine months.

Anyways, Tampines. After the proper, ok too many drums but you know what I mean, atmopshere at Jalan Besar Stadium for the Young Lions v Geylang clash I was looking forward to catching this one. Tampines of course with their team of all stars, a quietly confident Hougang United and the promise of another genuine football atmosphere.

Things started well.with a coach load of Tampines fans arriving just as I did. Both sets of fans had a fair old journey by local standards so good to see a decent turn out in Jurong West.

SLeague ticket prices have gone up to 6 SGD, the first rise since I started going to games so no complaints from me there. And as you walk inside the stand there is a table selling replica Tampines shirts and polo shirts. The PA gace them plenty of publicity and there was also talk and leaflets promoting Tampines trip to Selangor for the AFC Cup tie next month. Yep, felt like proper football.

Now much has been written about Jermaine Pennant and his arrival at Tampines but personally, while recognising the impact his presence has on local media and supporters more crucial signings were elsewhere with the likes of Fazrul Nawaz, Billy Mehmet and Jordan Webb. As a foursome they would take some beating and when you see a team line up for kick off with a 3-1-6 formation you just know you are in for a fin night.

History of course tells us the Stags raced into a 3-0 lead but Hougang weren't there to be on the arse end of a thrashing. They put themselves about and caused the Tampines defence and Izwan Mahbud in their goal more than a few headaches and perhaps offered hope to the other SLeague teams for the long season ahead.

At times the game resembled attack v defence with of course the Stags doing the pressing. As mentioned it was the first time the four had played together up front and it was interesting, and worrying, three of their goals came from defenders and midfielders!  Going forward they looked dangerous and you just know as they get more accustomed to each other the flicks and the runs will play greater dividends.

The second half was a bit of a non event after the first 45 minutes but that was perhaps to be exoected. The onus was on Hiugang and they did their bit in a thrilling match. If you are a football fan who loves fast, attacking football try and book a trip to Singapore that coincides with a Tampines game.Unlike us Arsenal fan, you won't be left disappointed.

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