Balestier Khalsa ended a run of three straight victories for the Courts Young Lions with a 2-0 win in an otherwise unremarkable match which saw two late dismissals
The match got off to a cagey opening twenty minutes, with both sides unable to create any clear goal-scoring opportunities.
Balestier goalkeeper Joey Sim nearly gifted the visitors a goal in the 22nd minute when he fumbled a cross from Faritz Hameed, but Sherif El-Masri was caught cold at the far post and failed to capitalise.
The home side took the lead with their first attack of note in the 41st minute, when skipper Paul Cunningham flicked on a freekick which was headed back across goal by Goran Subara at the far post. An unmarked Kim Minho was in the right place at the right time to stoop low and easily nod home from barely a metre out.
Sim was then genuinely tested for the first time on the hour mark as he flew across goal to push a rasping effort from substitute Shahfiq Ghano around the post, after some good work from Nazrul Nazari had set him up.
Striker Jonathan Toto wasted a good opportunity in the 75th minute when he flashed his header wide of the near post after getting up well to meet a cross from the left.
Substitute Patrick Paran eventually made the game safe for the Tigers when he looped an excellent header over Syazwan Buhari from the edge of the area four minutes from time.
There was still time for both sets of players to be embroiled in a fracas in stoppage time however, resulting in the dismissals of Balestier defender Poh Yi Feng with a straight red, and Young Lions winger El-Masri for collecting two successive yellow cards.
The win pushes Balestier up to fifth in the standings and within a shot of the title race that has Tampines leading with 39 points.