A delighted Darren Stewart hailed Balestier’s performance in their goal-less draw against SAFFC, after watching them get stuck in against the eight-time S.League champions.
“It was a great result; absolutely superb for us, [with] seven players out; we will definitely be celebrating.
“We did okay until fatigue did us [in], with the tired legs. In the second half, we had to defend deeper and just started belting out long balls, which is fair enough - I couldn’t have asked any more of the boys, [they were] really tremendous,” he enthused.
The Australian coach also singled out assistant coach Kevin Wee for his work with the Prime League squad, who currently lead their league by seven points.
“Thanks to Kevin, who has done great work with this team, they [Prime League players like Helmi Mazlan and Suria Prakash] have just slotted in and done a great job.”
Claiming that “it felt like we’ve won,” Stewart was nevertheless looking forward to an impending month-long break for his injury-hit side.
“We really hung in there and battled away, it was just different class [from us]. We will have a good break in October, have some time to get away, and [then] we will go for it.”
Meanwhile, after watching striker Fazrul Nawaz fail to put away a simple header from close range, SAFFC coach Richard Bok admitted that his side needed to be more ruthless in front of goal.
“You can say that we had more of the game, but it’s the conversion [that matters]. We need to convert the chances; we got a couple of good chances… we just need to be more clinical in front of goal.”
“If you don’t put away your chances, there will always be chances for your opponents to nick it at the last minute but luckily for us, we held off well at the end,” he said with relief.
The Warriors have a two-legged Singapore Cup semi-final against Gombak United to negotiate next month, and Bok said his side was ready to have a shot at their only realistic chance of silverware this season.
“They are all eager to play the semi-final… For now we just have to work hard, train hard and hopefully we can perform in the two semi-finals.”