By Richard Beale……..

As the song goes at the moment the wagon is just about in motion, the finishing line is in sight, but is there enough momentum left for Esentepe to reach that holy grail?

Result : ESENTEPE KKSK 1 DEĞİRMENLIK SK 1

Saturday April 14, 2018 : K-Pet League : Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.

A point a precious point, Esentepe remain in second place, with 4 matches remaining. This marathon season is almost over, the Esentepe tank is virtually empty, there will be no sprint finish for them. Incredibly our promotion rivals continue to help and give them favours, with 3rd place Mormeneşke losing at home to Girne Halk Evi. On Wednesday Esentepe face Girne Halk Evi away in a rearranged fixture which will provide the sternest test of the season for them. The question is will Esentepe be able to put out a team? at yesterday’s match both Mustafa and Mahmut suffered injuries which will make them both doubtful and defender Sahın picked up his 4th yellow card so he will be suspended.

On paper the Değirmenlik match looked the easier of the matches left to play for Esentepe, but in reality they were lucky to come away with a point. Değirmenlik left it late to equalise in the 87th minute, but justice was done as Esentepe were most fortunate to be in the lead in the 70th minute courtesy of an own goal.

On a hot sunny afternoon a very disappointing size crowd witnessed a miserable first half with very few thrills.

With injuries, suspensions and non availability once again the replacement bench was filled with untried youngsters. Coach Davut Kansu gave a first full League debut to 19 year old Mustafa Günlü, but unfortunately for the youngster his debut lasted just 20 minutes as he was injured and replaced by Hüseyin Ermış.

Apart from a couple of shots easily saved by Esentepe keeper Kemal, Değirmenlik attack containing Ex Esentepe forward Turan offered little threat.

The same can be said for Esentepe their only effort in a poor first half, came in the 40th minute when Hüseyin broke down the left and his cross was only cleared to the edge of the box to Yakup whose low shot was pushed away for a corner by the diving Dağman. HALF TIME SCORE ; 0-0

Esentepe injury worries continued when in the 47th minute midfielder Mahmut who suffered a heavy tackle in the first half, limped off to be replaced by 18 year old Emre Mutlu.

Suleyman for Degirmenlik was looking dangerous on the left, one such attack he cut inside and shot which had Kemal at full stretch pushing away his effort for a corner.

In the 61st minute Esentepe Captain Başak missed a great opportunity to give his side the lead when he headed a long cross from Muhammed down and wide from a good position.

With no side looking likely to break the deadlock Esentepe took the lead in the 70th minute with a very fortuitous goal. Başak called for and received the ball from another great cross from Muhammed, he passed back to Emre Mutlu, who ran on into the box, but his cross was poor and going into the arms of Dağman before defender GENÇALI stuck out a leg to deflect the ball past his own keeper. 1-0.

With Değirmenlik pushing up, Esentepe went close again, teenager Onur broke up an attack and ran upfield exchanged passes with Emre Mutlu and continued into the box as keeper Dağman advanced the full back could only toe poke a shot which the keeper saved.

With Esentepe looking likely to hang on to all 3 points, the crowd were silenced in the 87th minute when the visitors equalised. Hasan put over a good cross from the left where SÜLEYMAN ŞAH leapt high and score with a superb header 1-1.

In 3 minutes of injury time Esentepe Ismail Uçar should have scored the winner when a cross fell to him only a few yards out, but the experienced player chose to blast the ball which went over instead of side footing it in. FULL TIME SCORE : 1-1

Ex Esentepe forward TURAN (in orange strip) in action

SUMMING UP : A poor match, both sides didn’t deserve anything more. For Esentepe 2 points dropped and for Değirmenlik a point gained. No good criticising Esentepe all we can do at the moment is try and get 11 fit players onto the field. We have players who are playing out of position, but the Coach has no options. We must hope that the situation will ease in the near future. We must remember Esentepe are still in a strong position, though the pressure is on us, there is even greater pressure on our rivals.

Next Esentepe match.
Sunday April 22
Away to Bostanci Bağcıl
KO 4-00PM at Bostancı Bağcıl Stadı.

Video highlights of the ESENTEPE KKSK v DEĞİRMENLIK SK match

by Graham Procter-Brown