By Richard Beale………………..

Esentepe were made to work hard by a plucky and determined Çanakkale side, in the end they just about deserved to take the points. With League leaders Gönyeli also winning 1-0 against lowly Doğancı it was imperative that Esentepe won to keep the pressure on.

Next Sunday Gönyeli and Esentepe play each other in an absolute pressure cooker of a match that no team can afford to lose.

Result : ESENTEPE KKSK 2 ÇANAKKALE SK 0

Saturday 17 February 2018 : K-Pet League 1 ; Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium

A 2nd minute goal and an injury time goal gave Esentepe the spoils of the match, but in between those goals the home side were given a thorough examination by a relegation threatened Çanakkale team. In the end Esentepe’s iron clad defence and tremendous team spirit saw them scrape home.

Esentepe’s young team played a game before this match on this pitch in a torrential downpour which resulted in the playing surface to be in a very poor condition. Parts of the pitch were waterlogged and cut up and would make any football on it a lottery.

A very disappointing crowd on a cloudy and cold afternoon saw Esentepe take the lead in the 2nd minute with their first attack of the match. Ahmet took a long throw in on the right, Esentepe striker Iltay making his first full appearance for Esentepe put pressure on defenders Stelios and Oguzhan. What resulted was everybody missing the ball which fell kindly to ESER KAN to fasten onto the ball and slot it home. 1-0.

Esentepe midfielder Ismail Aslan shot just wide in the 18th minute after good work by Iltay and Ahmet.

The poor surface resulted in players being unsure of their footing as they missed tackles and slid on the treacherous surface, numerous fouls resulted in a stop/go match.

Çanakkale attackers were mainly kept at bay until the 33rd minute when Ahmet Hellac hit a tremendous powerful drive which could have caused Kemal in the home goal problems before Nersin intervened with a brave clearing header.

The first half was littered with numerous free kicks and was very niggly with tempers becoming frayed. As the half time whistle blew various arguments continued on the field as this bad-tempered match came to an end . HALF TIME SCORE : 1-0.

Çanakkale were on top at the start of the second half Oztürk receiving the ball out on the right and was forced across the entire Esentepe goal area line but still managed to get in his shot, which goalkeeper Kemal saw late and managed to stick out a foot and deflect the ball over the bar.

Çanakkale continued to assert pressure, the dangerous Uvanc tricked himself past a couple of Esentepe defenders to find himself in the clear with only Kemal in the Esentepe goal to beat. However the keeper was very alert on his toes and came out quickly to beat away the winger’s effort.

Çanakkale continued to press, substitute Gökhan in the 89th minute brought a diving fingertip save from Kemal. Ukvanç tried his luck from range, which was going wide until Yunus managed to get his head to the ball but headed over.

With Esentepe nerves being shredded into pieces they at last managed to make the game safe in injury time. Substitute ŞAHIN SEKER was an unlikely source to score for Esentepe. Çanakkale keeper Umut  came out to field a long clearance downfield, slipped in the mud and with Şahin’s ample physical bulk bearing down on him fumbled the ball and Şahin  simply sidestepped the keeper to slot home a gift of a goal. FULL TIME SCORE : 2-0

Next Esentepe match:

GÖNYELI SK v ESENTEPE KKSK, Sunday Feb 25 ko 3-00pm at GÜZELYURT ÜNER BERKALP STADI.