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North Cyprus Football : The Wheels are coming off for Esentepe!

By Richard Beale …………………

Two matches ago we could have sung: 

Four Wheels on my Wagon

The pack are chasing me

But I don’t care we just keep rolling along

Now after two successive heavy defeats maybe the lyrics could be changed to :

2 wheels on my wagon

The pack are still after me

We’re just limping along

Result : ESENTEPE KKSK 0 HAMITKÖY SK 4

Saturday March 31, 2018 : K-Pet League 1 : Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.

ESENTEPE KKSK v HAMİTKÖY ŞHSK

With 5 matches remaining Esentepe are still League leaders, but their lead has been cut now to 1 point, as Gonyeli are now putting on the pressure. Girne Halk Evi also suffered a shock 3-0 defeat at lowly Doğancı. Mormeneske beat promotion rivals Maras 1-0 to go into 3rd place, 7 points behind Esentepe.

Given Esentepe’s catastrophic injury and suspension problem a defeat against Hamitköy was not totally unexpected. What did surprise me was the manner in the way they were defeated. It was only 2 weeks ago the team were playing with “swagger’, confidence and a never say die attitude. All that now has seemed to evaporate as the team is struggling to cross the finish line.

Before the match started I thought I was at the wrong match as many of Esentepe Under 21 team were warming up. With such a small squad Coach Davut Kansu had no option but to name 6 of 7 replacements with no first team experience.

Esentepe were thoroughly outplayed by an experienced and confident Hamıtköy team, at times it resembled “men against boys”. The match was even for the first 30 minutes, but after that Hamıtköy went through the gears and it ended as a very one sided contest.

Esentepe only had two chances in the whole match, the first came in the 33rd minute when following an Ismail Aslan free kick from the right, Esentepe Captain Başak got in a powerful header that was brilliantly tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Tolga. The only other chance fell to substitute teenager Mustafa Günlü, who was in a good position after being set up by Başak in the 82nd minute, but the youngster screwed his shot well wide.

The warnings for Esentepe were there in the 35th minute when following a miss headed backpass by Hasan, Toykan broke away and his shot rebounded off Esentepe’s left hand post.

37 Mins : The warning was not heeded when TOYKAN, was set up after a fine move by the visitors and he shot past Kemal. HALF TIME SCORE : 0-1

The second half was virtually all Hamitköy with the League’s leading goalscorer Özür Ongun who was well marshalled in the first half finding more space as Esentepe left gaps at the back in search of an equaliser.

62 mins : In another quick break Thfan and Hüseyin exchanged passes and set up ÖZGÜR ONGUN who had time and space to control the ball and shoot pass Kemal. 0-2

72 mins : Esentepe’s Hasan lost possession outside their box Mahmut Yumuşak squared the ball across to ÖZGÜR ONGUN who was brought down by goalkeeper Kemal. The League’s leading goalscorer put his 25th goal away with the resulting penalty. 0-3.

By now the majority of the good size crowd had seen enough and were heading for the exit.

Esentepe’s heads had dropped and they had completely lost their shape and to rub more salt into the wounds Hamitköy scored a fourth goal in the 85th minute through substitute MEHMET GÖRELI who unmarked on the right cut inside past Şahin and curled a shot pass Kemal. 0-4

It could have been 5 in injury time when the maundering Özgür in search of his hat trick raced on unchallenged to a through ball only to be thwarted by a brave diving save at the striker’s feet by Kemal. FULL TIME SCORE : 0-4.

SUMMING UP : Esentepe have just over a week to recover and get this match out of their system. Their next match is a crucial one under floodlights on Monday April 9th, away to Girne Halk Evi. The two suspended players Nersin and Eser will be available, but they will be without their only “flair’ player Ismail Aslan who picked up his 4th yellow card of the season. Ismail and once again teenager Yakup were the pick of a struggling home team.

Coach Davut picked the strongest experience starting eleven that was available to him, but Esentepe are now counting the costs on having such a small squad.

It’s not all doom and gloom, 5 matches left 2 more wins will guarantee us promotion. Even one win and a draw will just about get us over the finishing line.

Next Esentepe Match:

Monday 9th April ko 7-00pm at Girne 20 Temmuz Mete Adanir Stadium .

GIRNE HALK EVI v ESENTEPE KKSK

Video highlights of the ESENTEPE KKSK v HAMITKÖY SK match by Graham Procter-Brown