The history of mankind is replete with bloody conflicts and hard fought battles; there are occasional rare cases when victories were achieved against overwhelming odds without the implication of grand strategies or stately drills. In essence, many of such singular battles were won due to tactical brilliance of the troops, or deft use of topography, or just sheer courage and determination of the men involved. So, without further ado, let us take a look at one such remarkable battle that played out on Sat eve in The Battle of Gems. With only 13 well-drilled soldiers at their disposal the Vikings locked horns with the elite infantry of the Sashmen and what ensued was an encounter that will live long in the minds of those involved. The Danes set themselves up in a formation that relied heavily on the resilience of defence and the aptitude and desire of the centre ground; flanks were filled by willing and nimble-footed fighters who were instructed and prepared to break ranks at any given time. SFC lined up with their customary 4-4-2 and relied on their ability to utilise all areas of the huge soggy terrain. Patient game building was a key feature of the opening encounters with SFC arrowing balls from both left and right in search of the heavy artillery that filled the offensive positions, for the Danes they seemed highly intent on keeping the marauding red and white at bay. Every now and again small counter attacks were formed and this ignited slight discomfort in the home guard. The middle battle ground was highly committed with many of the footmen putting their bodies on the line – crunching tackles and dogged resistance from both troops ensured that no ground was lost. After what seemed like an age of continued warfare a moment of calm and collective thinking saw a well worked attack, orchestrated by General Domino, when the raiding Magnus raced down the outside and delivered a cross with pinpoint accuracy to the young marksmen Busser who connected beautifully to give the visitors a timely goal advantage. The game swung back and forth for the remaining minutes of the first period until the whistle signalled the retreat of both sides for water and further instruction. Vikings knew that their opposition would regroup and formulate a new strategy for the second half and this proved true as they divided up their forces in a bid to make their firing salvos more effective, for the men veiled in blue they planned on sneak attacks and stubborn resistance, believing that they had the nous and knowhow to defend their prized lead. Possession of Viking ground was conceded somewhat as SFC fired forward intent on recapturing a foothold in the contest, build up after build up fizzled out as often passes went astray and missed their intended targets. Tempers were raising amongst the Sashmen ranks and they started to lose their composure at the lack of impact that their big guns were having. The fight seemed to last for an age with the Viking defence coming under siege time after time, free kicks were conceded deep in the heart of the Danes homeland but fortunately for them they came to nothing. A few sporadic attacks were formed by the Vikings with them close to causing further damage on a couple of occasions but the score remained unaltered. SFC tried desperately hard to find a way through but came up against stiff resistance; the bullish Shotton attempted to go it alone on numerous occasions but was confronted with a wall of Vikings at every twist and turn. The final whistle was accompanied with screams of euphoria as the Vikings walking wounded had secured a momentous triumph. While it proved to be a great day for the Danes they are under no illusion that this was only one battle in the season and know that SFC will dust themselves down, re-evaluate, re-plan and be ready for all new battles and challenges that face them over the second half of the season. For us it feels great to be in the mix knowing that we have a part to play. Some said it would be over by Christmas but it’s not!
Singapore Football Club lost its first game of the Cosmo season, as it came up against a determined Vikings' defensive wall Following a severe downpour, that eventually saw the preceding game called off, SFC finally took to a soggy, but rapidly draining pitch at GEMS Academy. The early stages of the game saw SFC dominate whilst Vikings, without their regular star striker, were happy to sit back and absorb any early attacks. For 90% of the first half SFC, with an attacking triumvirate of Hutcheon, Hemmingway and Shotton, probed for areas of weakness yet the Vikings’ wall held firm. Eventually, however, the deadlock was broken by the Scandinavians. The ever-impressive, Domino Anderson, with a rare sally forward released one of his teammates who then crossed with a perfect pinpoint ball into the box. The onrushing Vikings striker head home well. A neatly executed break and a good goal. Vikings 1 SFC 0. Having become accustomed to similar tactics by now, the half time talk for the Sashmen was to remain patient and continue to move the ball quickly, on what was now a very slick surface. As a result, the second half continued in much the same vein as the first: a considerable amount of SFC possession and attempts on goal. However, on this occasion no breakthrough was forthcoming. Vikings players doubled and trebled their attention, and numbers, on Shotton and Hutcheon, whilst Garreau and Walter continued to search for the gaps to thread the ball through. All to no avail. Eventually, as the clock wound down, despite SFC’s numerous efforts on goal, for once they couldn’t find the final opening they needed. Congratulations to Vikings who fought resolutely for their win. A good lesson for Singapore Football Club, who must learn quickly from this game. Next up Olympique Gaulois.