A new-look Balestier Khalsa side triumphed in Thursday evening’s televised Great Eastern-YEO’S S.League encounter with reigning champions Tampines Rovers at Jalan Besar Stadium, a 1-0 win providing the Tigers with their first S.League game success over the Stags since 2007.
Their last home triumph over their old rivals goes even further back – in 2005 a 2-0 win at Toa Payoh thrilled the fans – and there was plenty for the travelling Balestier supporters to rejoice about on this occasion too.
The Tigers had outplayed Tampines in the first half, and as the champions moved into another gear following the half-time break, the Tigers remarkably reciprocated, scoring the only goal of the game with just five minutes remaining.
They then saw out a torrid final nine minutes, including four for stoppages, with a non-stop work rate that had the club’s new coach Darren Stewart purring with delight.
“The boys were magnificent tonight,” said the Australian.
“Once we took the lead there was not one player out there who was going to let that slip.