By Richard Beale ….
A red hot match, a red hot atmosphere and red hot weather plus 2 sending offs, this game had everything in this pulsating League 1 play off match. Victorious Girne Halk Evi who played with 10 men for 85 minutes thoroughly deserved their victory which sees them now accompanying Gönyeli and Esentepe into the Super League.
Result : GIRNE HALK EVI 2 MORMENEŞKE GB 0
Wednesday 16 May : K-Pet League 1 Play off : Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.
Battling Girne Halk Evi pulled off an amazing win after having Goalkeeper Athos sent off after only 4 minutes play. He was sent off by referee Serhan Şimşek after racing out of his area and colliding with Mormeneşke striker Burak Tünsay who was clean through on goal. He was replaced by replacement keeper Burak who himself was carried off on a stretcher in the 70th minute.
Like many teams in the past have discovered, playing against 10 men does not necessarily mean you have an advantage. Girne Halk Evi (GHE) simply left their leading goalscorer Şenol Hızlıoğlu up front on his own, where he virtually took on Mormeneşke defence single handed. Instead of making their numerical advantage count Mormeneşke were harried, bullied and chased all over the pitch by a very determined 10 men GHE side.
GHE took the lead in the 21st minute when Yunus and Şenol led a quick breakaway, Yunus put through ŞENOL who finished like the classy player he is.
ŞENOL scoring his first goal for Girne Halk Evi and (right) on his way to his second goal
Mormeneşke were not allowed to boss the game, they were unable to raise their game and too often their final ball into the area was poor.
GHE made it 2-0 on the stroke of Half-time when a Mormeneske defender trod on the ball near the halfway line and slipped over. ŞENOL was on to it like a flash, running on his own from near the half way line and cooly beating goalkeeper Gökhan as he advanced.
In the second half GHE defended as if their lives depended on it, flinging their bodies in the way of shots, making desperate late challenges to deny an increasingly frustrated Mormeneşke side who simply could not create any decent chances.
The game took a further twist after 70 minutes when replacement goalkeeper Burak collided with a post making a save, the game was held up for 7 minutes, he was unable to continue and was carried off on a stretcher. He was replaced by outfield player Hüseyin Aydinğonul who immediately was called into action punching away a corner and then following that up with a brilliant diving save from Sami.
At last Mormeneşke saw a glimmer of hope as they pressed and pushed men forward. This left Mormeneşke Goalkeeper Gökhan playing from the half way line and he suffered a few scares when GHE broke quickly.
GHE defence would not be breached, as they defended their goal like Whirling Dervishes.
A frustrated Turgut Kaçar, Mormeneşke leading goalscorer who had been booked previously was sent off for arguing in the 78th minute to even things up.
GHE held on to the final whistle as there were joyous celebrations at the end of the match.
SUMMING UP : Wow! What a game, bravo and congratulations to Girne Halk Evi on an outstanding team performance. Take a bow every GHE player for a fully committed and determined performance. ŞENOL has to be “Man of the Match” for his 2 goals, but he was closely followed by Ibrahim Salin who chased, harried and gave everything for the cause, the same can be said for midfielder Mehmet Gül who put in an immense performance. Good luck to GHE in the Super League.
Gırne Halk Evı players and supporters celebrate after the match