Tabuan closed the gap at the summit of the NFABD Under-16 Youth League to within one point after recording a 4-0 victory over defending champions Projek Ikan Pusu (PIP) in a rare weekday league fixture at the NFABD Football Field recently.
Title-chasing Tabuan made full use of one of their games in hand and will replace current league leaders DPMM FC at the top of the table if they manage a tie against Indera SC in their subsequent match today.
Tabuan in-form forward Md Syaherrul Affendy bin Md Syahmirul Nizam continued his scoring streak as he bagged 13 goals in his last four appearances.
The national youth development team went in front in the 17th minute through Md Hazwan bin Hasmi before Awangku Md Iddzaham Alwshahmezan bin Pengiran Metali doubled the lead four minutes before the break.
Tabuan resumed their attacking onslaught in the second half as a cross found Awangku Md Iddzaham Alwshahmezan but a PIP defender blocked his shot and settled for a corner.
From the ensuing corner, the loose ball fell to Tabuan but a player somehow scuffed a shot wide as PIP, whose loss handed Hawa FT renewed hope, lived another day.
The reigning holders had a rare foray in Tabuan’s half as Mohammad Danish Bazli bin Mohammed Sumady showed good hold-up play to set up teammate Mohd Saiful Mahri bin Sambri for a long range effort. However, the team captain managed a tame shot which Tabuan goalkeeper Md Abd Wafiq Waldan bin Haji Md Abdul Khaleeq easily dealt with.
With the chance of getting back into the tie faded away, Tabuan made the task tougher as Mohd Hadif Mansur bin Haji Zulkarman initiated the threat with a dangerous cross. Tabuan striker Md Syaherrul Affendy was the beneficiary on the edge of the box as he enjoyed a good link-up play with Awangku Md Iddzaham Alwshahmezan.
The club’s frontman Md Syaherrul Affendy latched onto a measured pass from his equally influential teammate before firing a superb strike past PIP goalkeeper Abdul Syaamil Afiq bin Abdul Jaafar.
Exhibiting the same hunger and desire which led to his sumptuous strike against Rimba Star in his previous appearance, Md Syaherrul Affendy quickly took the ball and slammed home a fierce drive past the goalkeeper for his second goal of the game.
After that, a couple of Tabuan players managed decent efforts in a joint bid to extend the lead but the Projek Ikan Pusu goalkeeper was well positioned to grab hold of their attempts.
Tabuan substitute Awangku Md Ali Munawwar bin Pengiran Abdul Rahman took aim a snapshot but it was too central to cause any real concerns for the goalkeeper.