| Fadhil Yunus |
MS ABDB moved seven points clear at the top of the DST Super League after edging basement dwellers Setia Perdana 1-0 at the Berakas Sports Complex yesterday.
Mohd Baharin bin Hamidon was installed in the starting line-up and duly repaid his coaches’ faith as he stepped up with a match-winning goal in the 55th minute.
Setia Perdana, who sit at the foot of the table, managed to keep MS ABDB at bay in the first half with the scores goalless with the latter looking to extend their lead at the summit.
The army personnel wasted little time of their intentions to breach the Setia Perdana’s defence but Muhammad Razimie bin Ramlli’s cross for Baharin was a little bit long.
Setia Perdana survived a scare when Baharin directed the ball towards goal after receiving a clever pass from Muhammad Juma’at Rusydi bin Ramlee only to be denied by a defender.
However, MS ABDB finally broke Setia’s resistance after Baharin timed his run to perfection and drilled a low shot past experienced shot-stopper Roslan bin Haji Rosli.
Having barely crossed the opposition’s half, Setia carved a good chance to draw level courtesy of Aziz Hanafi bin Haji Bakri whose shot rolled agonisingly wide.
The Setia defence were living on the knife-edge after the ball crashed against the crossbar.
Setia Perdana’s Md Khairul bin Abdul Halim was felled in a promising position and within scoring range as signs of a comeback for the promoted side appeared to be on the cards.
Brunei international Razimie headed the ball to the back of the net after his initial attempt landed at the crossbar but his goal was ruled out for offside.
Setia Perdana encountered a problem after Roslan suffered an injury and he was replaced by Abdul Matin bin Ramli.
Razimie sent a ball forward which was received by Mohammad Safarudin bin Azami but the latter took the heavy touch. In a desperate attempt to retrieve the lost ball, Mohammad Safarudin caught his opponent with a wild challenge.
The referee produced the yellow card to the perpetrator with the supporters in harmony of the decision.
Setia Perdana’s Hafizuddin Suhaili released a fine drive and forced a smart stop to MS ABDB’s young goalkeeper Md Burhanuddin bin Haji Edy Asmady.
With MS ABDB pushing for a second goal, Mohammad Fadhli bin Haji Awang Salleh connected from a cross but his improvised side drifted wide.