North Cyprus Football : Friday Afternoon Showdown
ESENTEPE KKSK v LAPTA TSK
Friday 30 December : KO 2-30pm : K-Pet League 1 Beyaz Group : Venue: Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.
By Richard Beale………
There is an exciting prospect in store as Esentepe and Lapta go head to head in this vital League 1 showdown. In form team Lapta have overtaken Esentepe and now are second wıth 20 points being only 2 points behind leaders Ozanköy.
Esentepe’s match on Christmas day away to Serdarli was postponed (yippee!!) due to a waterlogged pitch, indeed the same would have happened if the match was to be played at Esentepe. The pitch is very boggy in places and further heavy rain may put this match in jeopardy. Lapta took advantage of Esentepe’s inactivity by beating Gonyeli last Saturday 1-0.
With all the TRNC football matches being played this Friday afternoon, there may be problems with some players getting released from work commitments.
Lapta who narrowly missed relegation last season are in prime form, only being beaten by leaders Ozankoy. They have won each of their 4 away matches this season and recently won 5-1 at Girne Halk Evi. Their top goal scorer is Ertuğ Ercin who has netted 9 times this season.
Esentepe bright start to the season has stalled recently, injuries and suspensions have taken their toll and has disrupted the team. Missing from Friday’s match will be key midfielder Hüseyin Ermis, who for his ‘professional foul’ and sending off last match, has been banned for 2 matches. Missing also through injuries are defenders Muhammed, Firat and striker Emrah, so Coach Davut will have to do some shuffling with the rest of the pack.
Lapta have spent a lot of their playing history in the top league, their last appearance (season 2014-15), lasted only one season, and as I said before they narrowly missed a double relegation last season, escaping through the play offs.
Esentepe KKSK -v- Lapta TSK
DOWN MEMORY LANE : (The last 2 times the teams have met)
Season 2013-14 : ESENTEPE KKSK 0 LAPTA TSK 1
Struggling Esentepe deserved at least a point against high flying Lapta (they would later get promotion this season). In a scrappy match, Esentepe had two clear chances to score, which they didn’t take, Lapta had one which they took. (Cevdet Cager scoring with a lob in the 65th minute, the match was played on the 8/12/2013.
Esentepe team : Ali (gk) : Mahmut (Eser 80), Berkan, Oğuz, Emek : Kaan, İlyas, Vurkan, Aras (Burak 60) : Deniz (Umar 65), Mumin :
Season 2015-16 :ESENTEPE KKSK 2 LAPTA TSK 1
This was an “ugly” win by Esentepe over bottom side Lapta, Esentepe themselves were struggling in 11th place. Umar in the 9th minute and a late winner from Kaan in the 80th minute scored for Esentepe, in between a 30th minute goal from Lata’s Mustafa Yasar. The match was played on the 28/11/2015.
Esentepe team : Sergan (gk) : Mahmut, Salih, Nersin, Emek : Umar (Mehmet 92), İlyas, Burak Kaan (Barış90) :
Eser, Başak (Emrah 85).
CURRENT FORM : (last 6 matches current 1s)
ESENTEPE : LDDWWW : LAPTA : WWDWLW.
Predictions : 2 jags 2-1 Esentepe win : Pothole Pete ; 1-0 Lapta win : Corporal Jones 1-0 Lapta win : Burl Ives 2-0 Lapta win : Sabrerich 2-2 : It really should be a Lapta win, but I cannot vote against my own team, I think both teams will slog it out in the mud for a draw.
This is Esentepe last match before the winter break, already the Polar bears and icebergs are entering our region !
PLEASE COME ALONG AND SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL VILLAGE TEAM.
Admission 20tl : (ladies and children no charge). Good refreshments, toilet facilities and ample car parking available.