By Gabriel TanFollow @@gabetan13
Although both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils at the Jalan Besar Stadium, the Rams were the dominant team for most of the 90 minutes and might even have won the match had it not been for a series of fine saves by opposition goalkeeper Fadhil Salim, as well as a couple of wasteful misses from Chang Jo-yoon and Taufiq Rahmat.
While it is still early days in the 2013 season, Woodlands, who finished bottom in the last three campaigns, already looked a distinctly better side and Salim admits their profligacy was his only complaint on Friday.
"Of course I'm very disappointed with the result," he said. "We created chances, much more than them [Hougang], and the only thing we weren't able to do was convert.
"The game plan was very simple - press them high and score as soon as possible in order to kill off the game in the first 45 minutes. We almost did that.
"My players forgot about one thing - to actually shoot at goal. They thought they could walk the ball into the net but this isn't some kind of seven-a-side tournament.
"I think if [suspended striker] Moon [Soon-ho] was present we would have won by at least a 3-0 scoreline. I must say my team were the better team."
Apart from that minor blemish, Salim was pleased with Woodlands' overall display and believes the 3,108 fans that turned up for the game were given their money's worth by his charges.
"The whole team played very well in terms of carrying out our tactics," he added. "I must give credit to all the players.
"I think the crowd came to watch my team play and I think we were the reason the crowd enjoyed the game. You could see they were chanting for us to score whenever we had corners.
"Everyone was very pleased with the turnout and I hope to see all the fans again for our games."
Despite watching his side's winless run extend to three games, following their opening-day triumph over Courts Young Lions, Hougang coach Alex Weaver was "very pleased" with their display on Friday.
"I told them before the game that if we get the right performance then the result would follow," he said.
"I guess it didn't quite turn out that way but I thought the players were superb, especially in the first half where we did extremely well to create openings but just weren't clinical enough.
"But I am very pleased with the performances, especially in the first half."
Although he refused to criticise referee Taqi Jahari, Weaver believes his side could feel hard done by after having a penalty claim turned down, as well as a goal disallowed for a marginal offside call.
"I wasn't going to talk about this but I've just seen the replay and the foul on Diallo - it was a penalty," the Englishman added.
"But we can't just rely on that and I'm not criticising the referee [but] I saw the disallowed goal and that was onside as well. So you could say we are quite unfortunate not to come away with the win."
The Cheetahs boss was also quick to defend Liam Shotton, whom he brought off shortly before the hour mark for Sobrie Mazelan, despite the striker working his socks off in the attacking third.
"Sometimes no matter how hard you try, it just doesn't come off," Weaver said. "At the moment, he [Shotton] is trying so hard in training and he's fitted in really well at the club.
"It's just a case of when you try too hard to make it happen, you stop doing the things that come quite naturally with you to begin with.
"That's possibly the case with Liam at the moment but he's a top player and a smashing lad, and he'll be back sooner rather than later."
Hougang are back in action next Friday when they take on Tanjong Pagar United in what would be their third straight match at the Jalan Besar Stadium, while Woodlands entertain Albirex Niigata (S) two days later.
Image courtesy of Daniel Goh