By Richard Beale…
The spoils were shared, honours even, Esentepe will be more than satisfied to come away from Famagusta with a point. Maraş is not any easy place to come to, a small stadium a synthetic playing surface, a baying partizan home support, and awkward opponents to play against.
Result: Maraş SK 1 ESENTEPE KKSK 1
Saturday October 26, 2019 : K-Pet League 1: Maraş Necip Halil Kartal Stadium.
An Esentepe team, hit by suspensions and injuries were down to the “bare bones”, there was nothing left in “Davy Jones locker”. Having no recognised strikers on the pitch, Esentepe were forced to play players out of position and play inexperienced youngsters. Bravely in the second half Esentepe Coach, Hüseyin Çağer put on from the bench 15 year old Hüseyin Deynekli and 18 year old Ege Can Açikportali to form what was Esentepe’s youngest ever striking partnership.
Esentepe battled hard, it was a whole team effort as they closed down on their opponents, İn the end they were indebted to their goalkeeper Onur Özbingül who pulled off a string of fine saves, especially in the second half when Maraş started turning the screw.
The weather was very warm and sunny, attracted a reasonable crowd but not too many from Esentepe.
Esentepe in red and white shirts defend their goal.
MATCH NOTES :
10 mins : A partially cleared Maraş corner was only cleared to the edge of the box, where Mustafa Köleli rasping shot went just over the bar.
29 mins : Another shot from just outside the area this time saw Maraş’s Yildiray shot comfortably saved by Goalkeeper Onur.
34 mins : Esentepe replied when Kaan on the left cut inside and brought the Maraş Goalkeeper Cenkay to his knees with a shot.
45 mins : Esentepe took the lead just before the break when Mahmut’s long ball was fastened onto by KAAN GÖRNEÇLİ, with Maraş appealing for offside, the midfielder went on and coolly to shoot past Cenkay. HALF TIME SCORE : 0-1
51 mins : Maraş didn’t have to wait long to equalise, a long ball found Yekta, as Esentepe were caught and missed several tackles he carried on into the Esentepe goal area before squaring the ball across to CENKER to slot home. 1-1.
55 mins: Yakup set up Mustafa Günlü in a great position but the youngsters shot was deflected wide for a corner.
62 mins : Esentepe were having a good spell, Kaan on the right this time tried an angle shot which went just over the bar.
71 mins : Maraş gradually got on top putting Esentepe on the back foot, Mahmut misjudged a clearance allowing Yekta to run on into the box, only to be denied as his shot hit Esentepe’s right hand post.
72 mins : Cenker got past Nersin but Goalkeeper Onur dived and pushed away his shot.
74 mins : Esentepe were penned inside their half a Yekta free kick saw Cenker blast over the bar from a good position.
81 mins : From an Esentepe corner Maraş broke quickly to the other end, with Onur flinging himself to his left to block a Yildiray shot.
90 +2 mins : Onur saved Esentepe again in injury time, this time leaping to his left to push an Emre Uysal shot away for a corner. From that corner Yekta headed just wide. FULL TIME SCORE : 1-1
SUMMING UP : Both teams have found it difficult to score this season, relying on their respective defences. Not many teams will come away from Maraş with a point, mission accomplished. Next weekend Esentepe face unbeaten leaders Mesarya (the Man City of the League), but at least they will have players back fom suspension.
ESENTEPE “Man of the Match” ONUR ÖZBINGÜL – kept Esentepe in the match with some fine saves.
Match Video Highlights courtesy of Graham Procter Brown