We picked up our first win of the new year on Friday night after an impressive second half performance against Casuals. We’ve been improving in recent weeks and had a good squad for this one so fancied our chances of getting a result. It didn’t start as planned though as we lacked cohesion early on, and it was no surprise when Casuals took the lead around the 10 minute mark. Daniele helped keep the scoreline at 1-0 with a couple of great saves, and we gradually improved but not enough to equalise before half time. Matt missed our best chance from 6 yards out after a great overlapping run from from almost-man-of-the-match Jeff. Damn those pesky floodlights for obscuring his vision. I’d love to say it was my inspirational team talk that triggered the second half turnaround, but it was actually Coach Mick who, after observing the first half, told us to get back to basics, be more compact and use the width of the pitch. Football really is that simple and within 10 mins we were 2-1 up. The first came after a patient spell of passing. JJ found Addy in space on the left, he crossed and Matt finished at the second time of asking. 1-1 The second came when Sam was fouled outside the box and Ivan reminded us why he has a reputation for having one of the best left foots in Singapore. I was starting to think it was a myth when he turned down a free kick in a similar position in the first half but faith has been well and truly restored after this curling effort. 2-1. Having a strong bench helped massively in the later stages of the game and it was Charlie Moss who eventually made it 3-1 with a nice finish after being slipped in by JJ, which followed some good pressing of the Casuals’ defence. Casuals applied a bit of pressure late on, mainly through long balls for the dangerous Joe and a series of corners, but we defended well and saw the game out pretty comfortably. MOM for us was Ivan, who not only scored a lovely free kick but also kept Casuals main threat under control. Cup next week. Bring on 1TM Latini!