After a three match slump , The Reds finally broke free and ran riot on a hapless Pailan Arrows side, to trounce the Indian developmental Team 3-1, in the I-League 8th Round match, which was played at the J N Stadium, Shillong.
The Reds ,eager to prove a point to their detractors, were on the money right from the kick off whistle and it didn’t take them long to break the deadlock. Jibon Singh produced a peach of a cross from the flank to find Sushil Singh, who made no mistake in guiding the ball past Ravi Kumar,the Arrows custodian ,in the 3rd minute of the game.That was the spark which was needed to fire the Reds off. Sushil Singh , long regarded as one of India’s most dangerous strikers in front of goal , played an exceptional game and showed just why he is still revered and respected in Indian football. The dead-ball specialist really proved to be a handful for the Arrows’ defenders ,who found it hard to counter Sushil’s speed and agility. The Reds really came hard at the visiting side and nearly doubled their lead when Jacob Lalrawngbawla , the young mid-fielder fired a well directed thunderous volley,which scorched past Ravi Kumar, but was denied by the crossbar. Thereafter, Pailan Arrows found little respite from the un-relenting surge for another goal from the home team, and respite did came, in the form of the half time breather.
The second half saw Sushil scoring his and his team’s second goal, in the 49th minute, courtesy a peach of a volley from the Manipuri, further tightening the screws on the Arrows. However, as the second half wore on, Pailan Arrows started playing their beautiful short-passing game more fluently, for which they were known for, and there were some anxious moments for the Reds,with the combination of Holicharan Narzary and Allwyn George interchanging some breath-taking passes between them. However, some stout defending from the Lajong backline ensured that no damage would be done. The second goal truly mark the coming of age for Sushil in the Lajong ranks, and proved to be just reward for all the hard work and tenacity that the striker has shown in all the matches so far. Three minutes later, Friday Gbeneme netted the third goal to complete the rout,nudging the ball in from a Rennedy Singh cross. With three points ensured, Desmond Bulpin brought in PC Lalhimthara and Samuel Shadap for Sushil Singh and Rennedy Singh respectively,in the 57th and 73rd minute. In between though, a misunderstanding between the Lajong backline while defending a set piece from just outside the box allowed Pailan Arrows to pulled one goal back in the 67th minute through substitute Tirthankar Srakar,who came in for Pronay Halder.
Arrow’s coach Arthur Papas made two more changes, bringing on Vishal Kumar for Pritam Kotal and Shaiju mon for Prabir das. However, the scoreline remained unchanged to ensure the Reds of all three points and a positive result for Bulpin against his former side.
In a post-match press conference, Shillong Lajong FC Head Coach, Desmond Bulpin said that, the boys played very well and the pressurising was outstanding and the team deserved to win. While Pailan Arrows Head coach Arthur Papas said that, “I give credit to Shillong Lajong, they deserved the victory”.