North Cyprus Football : Esentepe cut to pieces as unbeaten run ends

By Richard Beale…….

Esentepe’s magnificent run of 16 matches finally came to an end as they were put to the sword by a rampant Maraş side with Ex Esentepe striker Hasan Özçelik being the chief executor scoring two of their goals.


Saturday March 24th 2018 : K-Pet League 1 : Maraş Stadi

Esentepe had a “bad day at the office’ as they were outplayed, out thought (even out fought) and overrun by an impressive Maraş team who inflicted on them their heaviest defeat of the season. Luckily for Esentepe it was damage limitation as in form 3rd place team Mormeneşke lost to Dumlupınar 4-0 and another promotion hopeful Girne Hulk Evi were held at home 3-3 by Mehmetçik dropping 2 vital points. News also filtered through on Sunday that 5th place Hamitköy incredibly lost at home 4-5 to bottom Club Doğancı thank you Doğancı!

It was a shame that this important match fell foul to the weather conditions as a strong wind blew left to right across the pitch making a farce of the game especially in the first half.

Esentepe with the wind behind them had a good chance of taking the lead in the 13th minute when Başak swept the ball out to the left giving Ismail Aslan a shooting opportunity in the box but the midfielder’s effort was blocked by the legs of goalkeeper Volkan for a corner.

Maraş took the lead in the 15th minute, following a free kick on the left by Eren, Esentepe defender Şahin appeared to handle the ball. HASAN ŞEMMEDI duly dispatched away the penalty 1-0.

From the kickoff Maraş quickly gained possession again and Hasan Özçelık had a shot deflected onto the outside of Esentepe near post for a corner.

Maraş were dealing with the conditions much better than Esentepe who were struggling to make any impact on the game. Orhan sent a long ball to Hasan Şemmedı who got the better of Şahin but sent his shot in wide of the post from an acute angle. On the stroke of half time Eren sent in from the left a low cross to the near post where Hasan Şemmedı headed straight into the arms of goalkeeper Kemal. HALF TIME SCORE 1-0.

Now with the wind behind them Maraş showed the way, where Esentepe failed in the first half when their Ex striker Hasan Özçelik sent in a shot from just outside the area that went just wide.

Maraş now hit Esentepe with a quick 1-2 as they scored 2 goals in quick succession to leave the League leaders reeling and punch drunk. In the 58th minute following a Hasan Şemmedı corner SEDAT TOPRAK headed in with a leaden footed Esentepe defence stood rooted to the spot. 2-0.

5 minutes later Eren hit a ferocious shot from outside the box that Kemal in the Esentepe goal parried away, but then for some reason the goalkeeper chased after the ball only to be beaten by a Maraş player who sent in a cross to the far post that was headed in by SEDAT TOPRAK 3-0.

63 minutes it was 4-0, to rub salt into the wounds when Ex Esentepe striker HASAN ÖZÇELIK received the ball outside the box, went unchallenged and sent in a shot that beat the diving Kemal. 4-0.

Esentepe were now completely demoralised, you could tell by the players body language that they just wanted the game to finish and get off the pitch.

With Maraş content now to play out time, Esentepe made a rare sortie into their opponents half. In the 78th  minute Ahmet who had been very quiet cut inside his marker Mustafa Gök and sent in a shot that was beaten away for a corner by goalkeeper Volkan.

Maraş substituted goalkeeper Volkan in the 80th minute with Adem and his first touch of the ball was to pick the ball out of the net when Esentepe scored a late consolation goal. Esentepe Eser, Maraş’s Ramazan and goalkeeper Adem all challenged for the ball, which fell obligingly to ISMAIL UÇAR to shoot home into an unguarded net. FULL TIME SCORE 4-1.

More action pictures plus right, HASAN ÖZÇELİK who scored 2 goals against his old Club.

SUMMING UP : If Manchester United Coach Jose Mourinho can shrug his shoulders and say after Sevilla knocked his team out of the Champions League ‘that’s football, it happens” then it’s good enough for Esentepe. We must put this down to a “bad day at the office”, it’s an excuse not a reason. You can’t really criticise a team that went 16 matches unbeaten, the run would eventually have to come to an end. On the day Maras wanted it more than Esentepe, we had too many players not on their game and it left a mountain to climb. It’s now ‘water under the bridge” this week in training we must regroup and refocus and forget about the match.. We have two very important matches coming up against Hamitköy (h) this Saturday and away to Girne Halk Evi the following week. With Mormeneşke losing and Girne Halk Evi drawing and amazingly Hamitkoy losing 4-5 at home to bottom Club Doganci, let’s not panic, we are still 10 points clear of the third place team. Ex striker HASAN ÖZÇELIK who incidentally is still Esentepe leading goalscorer, proved a point to himself and to Coach Davut Kansu who he had a disagreement with that if he still was playing for Esentepe then maybe promotion would be sealed by now. I thought YAKUP was the only player who was really on his game, substitute Ismail Uçar who came on at half time also try his damnedest to get his team going, but to no avail.

Next Esentepe match is at home at Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadıum on Saturday March 31st ko 4-00pm.

Video highlights of the Maraş SK v Esentepe KKSK match by Graham Procter Brown