Despite being carved open several times by their hosts, the visitors managed to eke out a slim win over their opponents to go level on points with third-placed Home United
Woodlands Wellington rode their luck on Thursday evening at the Toa Payoh Stadium to emerge 2-1 victors over Balestier Khalsa.
Despite creating several opportunities, Balestier simply were unable to convert their chances and ended up being dealt a sucker punch 10 minutes from time after a determined diving header by Woodland forward Chang Jo Yoon.
Fresh from their League Cup triumph last Saturday, Balestier started the game with purpose and were first to threaten in the game.
Zulkiffli Hassim had his rising shot smothered by Yazid Yasin while Obadin Aikhena saw his looping header at an empty goal clip the bar after Yazid failed to deal with Paul Cunningham’s flick on.
However, the Rams stole the lead against the run of play through an own goal by Obadin in the 21st minute. Rosman Sulaiman swung in a freekick from the left, with the defender's headed clearance diverted past a despairing Zaiful Nizam.
The Tigers were not daunted and maintained their assault on the Rams' goal, with Cunningham's attempt pushed behind by Yazid for a corner. From the resulting corner, Park Kang Jin skewed his effort over.
Qiu Li and Cunningham combined superbly again to see the latter run free and place his shot towards the bottom right, but Yazid dived to his left to deny the burly player.
Cunningham then dragged his shot wide in the 30th minute after playing a one-two with Zulkiffli as Woodland held onto their slender lead going into the break.
The away side then made a change at the restart with Nazri Sabri coming on to replace Yazid, who was injured early in the first half.
Balestier remained on the offensive, but were denied an equaliser in the 70th minute when Cunningham slotted the ball home, only for the linesman to signal offside.
Park then provided the equaliser 10 minutes later after a scramble in the box saw the ball fall for the Korean outside the box to drive home.
However, Woodlands struck again when skipper Armanizam Dolah’s sliding tackle saw Fadhil Noh latching onto the loose ball down the right wing. The winger immediately spotted Chang’s run and delivered a great cross, which the striker dived onto and headed past a stranded Zaiful.
Balestier were forced to look for an equaliser again but time eventually ran out as Woodlands held on for a win, which saw them go level on points with third-placed Home United in the league.