By Richard Beale …..

Esentepe gained their first win of the season in this pulsating match which like the temperature was red hot and finished with Girne Halk Evi seeing red having two players sent off.

Result : ESENTEPE KKSK 2 GIRNE HALK EVI SK 1

Saturday 6 October 2018 : K-Pet Super League : Erdal Barut Stadium.

On a very warm sunny afternoon another large crowd was present to witness this Super League encounter of two promoted teams. Both teams were virtually unrecognisable from the ones that got them promotion to the Super League, with only a few survivors remaining from last season teams.

Esentepe KKSK v Girne Halk Evi SK

The opening minutes were scrappy with both teams guilty of misplaced passes, Girne Halk Evi (GHE) dangerman Şenol tested Esentepe goalkeeper Ali with two shots from outside the box which were both dealt with comfortably.

Esentepe hit GHE with with two sucker punches as they scored twice in 2 minutes.

36 mins : A long ball from the Esentepe defence was held up well by striker Odi, despite being under pressure from William he squared the ball across to KAAN, playing his first full game, to shoot home. 1-0.

38 mins : A long hopeful ball from Muhammed was met with a backward header from SANE who sent a looping header over a bemused GHE goalkeeper Okyanus. 2-0

HALF TIME SCORE : 2-0.

GHE hopes of making a comeback were hit in the 54th minute when following a crunching tackle on Uğurcan, midfielder Lawrence Ogbe who had been treading a fine line in the first half was sent off.

However the visitors with a man short took the game to Esentepe as they made stirling efforts to pull a goal back.

It was Esentepe who came closest to scoring following a fine move in the 64th minute, when Kaan beat his man on the left and sent over a cross which saw Sane smash a shot against the GHE crossbar.

The hot afternoon was beginning to take its toll on the players with the midfield being largely bypassed. This suited Esentepe defence where Moses and Salih dealt comfortably with anything thrown at them.

A mistake by GHE defender William almost let Odi in but he was just beaten to the ball by keeper Okyanus.

The match was becoming bad tempered with referee Mustafa Öztugay booking a number of players. In the 85th minute GHE received their second sending off as Odi was brought down in full flight by William.

That wasn’t the end of the red cards as the GHE bench sarcastically applauded a decision made by referee Mustafa. The referee walked over to the GHE bench and promptly red carded Coach Serhat and his Assistant Zafer, who were ordered to leave the arena.

With 7 minutes of adding on time being played Ali acrobatically pushed over the bar a free kick, then in the 93rd minute 9 man GHE scored. A brilliant run on the left by Ousseynou beating Muhammed then Salih saw his cross slotted home by ERTAÇ 2-1.

Esentepe hung nervously on for the remaining minutes to record a vital first win of the season. FULL TIME SCORE : 2-1

SUMMING UP : Wow what a match watching Esentepe should carry a Government Health warning! A great team effort with Coach Davut making changes bringing in Muhammed and Salih for their first games of the season, both players had their best games ever in an Esentepe shirt. Kaan marked his first full match with a goal and a dazzling display. Nigerian Odi upfront doesn’t look like scoring but he chased down everything and was a handful to the GHE defence. But I will again give Esentepe “Man of the Match”  to MOSES ZADDY who was dominant and a giant in defence.