North Cyprus Football : Last Chance Saloon
By Richard Beale…………
Out of form Esentepe were victims of the “shock of the day” losing at home to bottom club Karşıyaka last weekend and they were extremely lucky as other results went their way. Fellow promotions contenders Lapta lost 0-2 at home to Bostancı and Girne Halk Evi were trounced 4-1 at Doğancı and Sunday’s opponents Gönyeli had a “bye” weekend.
These unexpected results has given Esentepe a threadbare life line, however if they are to capitalise on this then they must overcome a severe test when they face in form Gönyeli away.
Details : Sunday 26 February : K-Pet League 1 Beyaz Group : Venue : Gönyeli Stadium, Kick off at 3.00pm
GÖNYELI SK v ESENTEPE KKSK
Gönyeli Stadium views
Gönyeli have benefited from their “bye” weekend which has given extra rest to players who are carrying injuries and for other players to recharge their batteries. They however will be missing 2 key players through injury, Uluş Candanal and Mehmet Barkınay, both have only recently started light training and will miss this match. Uluş will be missed most as he is a goalscoring midfielder who seems always to play well against Esentepe and usually scores as well. However there is plenty of talent left in the Gönyeli locker room and their squad is large enough to cope with these missing players. Top scorer for Gönyelı so far is Akın Topal on 5 goals. Fourth place Gönyeli (one place behind Esentepe) are the “in form team“ having scored 15 goals in their last 3 matches, (note Esentepe 0 goals in 3 matches). League leaders Ozankoy can also do Esentepe a big favour by beating second place Lapta at home on Sunday.
L.R: injured players Mehmet and Uluş – top scorer Akin – New signing from Değirmenklik Yusuf.
K-PET LEAGUE 1 WHITE GROUP
Gönyeli are one of the oldest Clubs in the TRNC founded in 1948 and have spent most of their footballing lives in the top division. They run the Club properly from the top to the bottom, resulting in often thriving and successful junior teams.
Esentepe. What can you say, they are in “freefall” very low on confidence and I think this match will decide if they are promotion “play off” contenders or will fall back with the also rans. They have a few injuries and suspension problems, but they must overcome these and step up to the “ocky , to decide if they are contenders or pretenders.
The Gönyeli Stadium surface is synthetic and according to the expert on the Beeb Alan Shearer and Martin Keown before the Sutton and Arsenal Cup tie it gives a home team a defınite advantage. Artificial pitches are more widespread in the TRNC, usually you play at least 2 games a season on this type of surface. Esentepe, I imagine will use nearby Tatlısu’s artificial pitch for a training session.
The Gönyeli Stadium in the past has not been a happy hunting ground for Esentepe, I have never seen Esentepe even get a point there, recent matches below :
A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE OR SEVERAL TRIPS :
Season 2012/13 : 9-2-2013 : Gönyeli SK 3 Esentepe KKSK 1 (Esentepe scorer Deniz Kibar).
Season 2013/14 : 20-10-2013: Gönyeli SK 3 Esentepe KKSK 0. (Gönyeli would get promoted as Champions to Supa League, but their stay would be only for one season).
Season 2015/16 : 22-11-15: Gönyeli SK 2 Esentepe KKSK 1.
Esentepe were 2-0 down in the first 30 minutes with Dervis (21), Ahmet can (29) scoring for Gönyeli. Esentepe woke up in the second half and reduced the arrears in the 59th minute with a penalty from Emek. Their hopes were hampered when they lost goalkeeper Tuğrul in the 65th minute with a dislocated shoulder
ESENTEPE TEAM : Tuğrul (gk) (Serkan 65) : Barış ( Başak 45), Berken, Salih, Emek : Umar (Muhammed 75), Mahmut, İlyas, Burak : Emrah, Eser :
TODAYS FORM :(recent 1st) : GÖNYELI : WWWDWL ESENTEPE : LLDDDW.
Experts predictions : 2 jags, 2 mobiles Graham : 2-1 Gönyeli win : Pothole Pete : 1-1. Burl Ives : 2-0 Gönyeli win. Sabrerich : 2-0 Gönyeli win- hate doing it voting against team, but artificial surface, poor history and being out of form then home win – so guaranteed away win then!
DIRECTIONS TO STADIUM.
Main Girne/Lefkoşa road, at big roundabout take 3rd exit, (Guzelyürt road) then immediately right hand lane signposted Gönyeli. Go past Kolan Hospital and keep on road as it winds through the town centre. Stay on this road and eventually you will see the Stadium on the right hand side. Plenty of car parking on both sides of road. Good refreshment canteen and reasonable toilets.