December 6, 2023

By Richard Beale…………………



Saturday 21 October : K-Pet League 1 : Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadı

An inspired tactical substitution by Gönyeli Coach Emre Perçinci turned this game on its head. The substitute Velat Çelik delivered a two goal salvo which struck Esentepe amidship and a further hit on target from Okan resulted in Esentepe sinking without a trace.

Esentepe Stadium has had some improvements with the concreting of a new terrace and installation of table and chairs giving a great view of the match. Shame the main stand seats have not arrived yet.

The match attracted a good crowd and also quite a few Ex-Pats, some making a first visit to the ground. Again shame that Esentepe did not turn in a performance to send them home happy.


After a dull opening the game lit up after 20 minutes due to a magnificent goal from Esentepe top scorer HASAN ÖZCELIK.The veteran striker picking up a loose clearance looked up, took aim and sent a 30 yard thunderbolt past Kemal (who is a good keeper) in the Gönyeli goal giving him no chance to save. A goal to grace any goal of the season. Score1-0.

29 mins: Gönyeli launched their first meaningful attack Ex-Esentepe striker Tacettin sending in a good defence splitting ball, which Kemal in the Esentepe goal managed to parry away at the feet of Sabri. The ball rebounded to Raif who sent a fierce shot narrowly wide of the post.

44 mins : Another chance fell to Gönyeli just before the break, when İsmail Soydan sent a 25 yard shot just past the post. HALF TIME score : 1-0.

Action pictures from the match from the match

Whatever was said in the Gönyeli dressing room at half time had an almost immediate effect as the visitors nearly equalised in the 46th minute. İsmail sent in a great through ball which landed at striker Erhan feet, but with only the advancing Kemal to beat he shot high over the bar.

47 mins : Tacettin who had been well marshalled by Nersin and Onur, nearly scored against his old Club, when he latched onto İsmail through ball and nearly lobbed the ball over the advancing Kemal who managed to grab the effort at the last minute.

The warning clouds were beginning to gather for Esentepe as Gönyeli who have some powerful and well built players were dictating the play. Twin “baldies’ Raif and Sabri who look like identical twins began turning the screw in midfield. With fellow midfielder İsmail who is the architect for Gönyeli in midfield Esentepe were being pushed right back.

58 mins : Tacettin again provided a near perfect through pass to Erhan but Nersin spotting the danger raced over to hack the ball away.

Gönyeli withdrew Erhan and replaced him with substitute Velat after 60 minutes.

With his first touch the substitute equalised in the 63rd minute fastening onto a Sabri through ball to volley first time pass Kemal. Score1-1.

64 mins : A rare Esentepe attacked produced an angled drive from Ahmet who brought out a good diving block save from Kemal Bağbal.

67 mins : Gönyeli took the lead and again it was substitute VELAT who was the scorer. A corner was headed out to the edge of the box by defender İsmail, to Velat who put in a side footed shot which went past Kemal who seemed unsighted and was slow to get down. Score 1-2.

70 mins : Hasan was facing a lone battle upfront but was doing his utmost to bring Esentepe back into the game. He was at the far post, to collect a corner sending in a low shot past a group of players before it finally took a deflection for another corner.

80 mins :Esentepe’s failure to clear corners, resulted in a third goal for the visitors. Ismail’s corner was knocked down to defender OKAN who turned and fired pass Kemal. Score 1-3.

More action pictures from the match

Esentepe had no answer to this second half assault and looked at the end a well beaten team. FULL TIME : Score 1-3

SUMMING UP : Sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition. Their Coach saw it was not working for them in the first half, and made the necessary adjustments during the break. They rolled their sleeves up, dominating the second half and thoroughly deserved their victory.

Esentepe’s tactics of playing a lone striker Hasan up front, with another central striker Eser playing wide on the left in this match did not work. When this is happening then the Esentepe Coach needs to react, he did not and Esentepe were bereft of ideas. Hasan had to result in dropping deep to look for the ball. Hasan is 36 years old, he is a natural goalscorer, he needs to preserve his energies for the opposition box, playing another striker alongside certainly will help.

Esentepe were overrun in midfield, though Hüseyin (who strangely was withdrawn in the 69 minute) tried to stem the tide, he has a good engine on him, but he is no tackler. I thought he was Esentepe’s best player, but maybe he and his fellow midfield partner Mahmut need help playing a further midfielder possibly bringing in Yakup in a 4-3-3 formation.

ESENTEPE TEAM (4-4-1-1), marks out of 10.

Kemal (gk) 6 : Emre 6, Nersin 6, Onur 6, İsmail 5 : Ahmet 4 (Muhammed 86), Mahmut 6, HÜSEYIN 7 (Yakup 69), Eser 5 : Başak 4 (Turan 61), Hasan 6.

Replacements not used : Hüseyin Ikinci (gk), Kubilay, Hasan Sungur, Asil Arif,

GÖNYELIİ TEAM : Kemal Ba[bal (gk). Mentes. Kadir. Okan. Ibrahim. Özgür (Coşkun 60). Raif. Sabri (Mehmet 86). Erhan (Velat 60). ISMAIL, Tacettın.

Referee : İhsan Payas – good.

Yellow cards : Esentepe : Ahmet

ESENTEPE NEXT MATCH : Saturday 28 October : ko 2-30pm. Away :


Venue : Göçkmenköy Stadium, Lefkoşa.

Video highlights by Graham Brown of ESENTEPE KKSK 1 GÖNYELI SK 3 match

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