No Christmas Present From Esentepe – Bah Humbug


By Richard Beale…..

As we enter into the Festive Season there was no Christmas cheer for Esentepe as they slumped to another narrow defeat and remain anchored at the foot of the table.


Sunday December 23, 2018: K-Pet Super League : Lefkoşa Atatürk Stadium.

Esentepe’s appalling winless record at the Atatürk Stadium continued, I can’t remember how many matches I have seen Esentepe play there, maybe 12 times, still the hoodoo continues all defeats not even a draw. To be honest Esentepe on this showing could play until next Christmas and still they wouldn’t look like scoring. Esentepe were thankful that all the teams immediately above them lost as well so nothing has changed at the bottom of the table.

On a sunny and mild December afternoon the crowd between these two old rivals was very disappointing. With an admission fee of 30TL the majority of the Esentepe supporters were very shrewd kept their money in their pockets and stayed away.

This was a poor match for the spectator with very little goal action and Esentepe turned in their worse performance of the season and apart from two Odi shots one in each half that went wide that was the sum total of their goal attempts.

I predicted before the match “beware of “the Scorpion” (Esentepe nickname), but I am afraid that this particular Scorpion left its sting at home.

Gönyeli disappointed me as a side that were in 8th place before this match started they created the better of the chances but were unable to dispatch Esentepe. It wasn’t until 6 minutes of added on time that Esentepe eventually woke up and took the game to Gönyeli.

The match was of poor standard and was no great advert for TRNC football.

Without a Coach and on a run of one win and 10 defeats in 11 matches Ex Coach Gökhan Kim and ex Captain Berkan Arslan were in temporary charge of the team.


Not a lot of action in the opening 15 minutes with some poor passages of play, fouls and little goal incidents.

25 mins: First real action, Moise lost out on a challenge in midfield, the ball went to Firket he passed to Gönyeli leading goal scorer John Okoli who got in a shot that was blocked by the diving Ali.

28 Mins: Gönyeli took the lead when Odi lost the ball on the right midfield the ball found Menteş who crossed into the Esentepe area where their leading goal scorer John Okoli cleverly did a back flick to RAIF SEDEN to shot pass Ali. This bit of skill by John Okoli was probably the only skill shown in a boring match HALF TIME SCORE: 1-0

50 mins: A defensive Esentepe clearance only went to John Okoli who fired an effort wide.

54 mins: Gönyeli again broke down the left through Okoli who outpaced Hasan before squaring the ball across to Raıf but his shot was saved by Ali.

87 mins: The game was still very poor with little goal action but from a Gönyeli corner taken by Raif his brother Sabrı headed onto the outside of the post, at last some goal action!

88 mins: John Okoli again got the better of Hasan with a run on the left his cross was scrambled away on the line by Şahin.

90 + 6 mins: Esentepe at last woke up and forced a couple of corners they may have had a penalty appeal when Uğurcan was obstructed in the box, the crowd appealed but they were frankly clutching at straws.


SUMMING UP: An awful and easily forgettable match. There has been some hammering by some teams in the Super League this season but again Esentepe lost by the narrowest of margins. They are fortunate to have a good goalkeeper and a decent defence, but they lack a creative midfielder and at least two proven goal scorers.

Gönyeli leading goal scorer John Okoli was a handful but to be fair Hasan and Şahin at the heart of the Esentepe defence managed to restrict him. Esentepe deserved and got nothing in this game, they were off the pace but escaped with “damage limitation”.

Match video highlights by Graham Procter-Brown.