By Richard Beale …….
My second “Super Saturday” match in the afternoon saw me at the village of Dörtyol, where the home team played host to Girne Halk Evi – unlike the first match in the morning this was not a disappointment.
Result: DÖRTYOL SK 1 GIRNE HALK EVI 0
Saturday November 23 : K-Pet League 1: Dörtyol Stadı.
On arriving at the Stadium I found that there were more than the usual pressmen, photographers and all around the ground there were more TRNC/Turkey flags. As you may have seen in the papers this week there were photographs of an extremist Greek Cypriot group burning the TRNC flag, which of course has caused upset over this side of the border.
The Girne Halk Evi (GHE) Goalkeeper Athos Chrysostomo, is a Greek Cypriot, he has been plying his trade along with a number of his fellow countrymen over here for a number of seasons. He is a good guy and a fine goalkeeper, so this was an opportunity to condemn the actions of a very small minority and show solidarity and friendship across the whole island. The match had become political and symbolic, hence the extra media presence.
This time a year ago GHE were playing in the Super League, and Dörtyol were in the third division.
It was the small village team that caused an upset, sending their illustrious opponents back to Kyrenia with their tail between their legs. Dörtyol fans who were strangely absent in numbers when they played at Esentepe last week, were back in force, they are Dörtyol’s heartbeat, their secret weapon, their twelfth man, they did not let their team down with their vociferous support.
Dörtyol work so hard for each other, no other team can match them for work rate yet their tactics are simple. They employ a 4-2-4 system always with two wide men to keep their opponent defenders occupied, their two forwards Furkan and Ayberk drop back to help out in midfield. With a virtually impregnable defence led by their inspiration Captain Can Özsoy, and a very good goalkeeper in Süleyman they are a very hard team to beat.
GHE had the more talented and skilful players, but they did not have Dörtyol’s guts and determination and will to win.
Dörtyol never allowed GHE to settle and before you can say “Bob’s your Uncle” or maybe he is not, the home team were in front straight from the kick off.
Two penalty misses, left ATHOS saves Ayberk’s effort and right SÜLLEYMAN saves Kaan’s kick.
1 min : Ayberk weaved his way into the GHE box, before sending in a shot that struck the GHE left hand side post, rebounding to MUSTAFA ÇELiK to shoot past a couple of GHE defenders on the line. 1-0
4 mins : It should have been 2-0, when Salıh had his legs taken from under him in the box. Unfortunately for Dörtyol Ayberk’s penalty was weak and easily saved by Goalkeeper Athos.
It was all Dörtyol in the opening 20 minutes but gradually GHE came back into the game creating a couple of chances for themselves.
24 mins : Samet on the right made a run into the box before sending in a cross shot that Süleyman dived to palm over the bar.
42 mins : GHE were awarded a penalty when Ahmet Saygı was brought down in the box.
Kaan’s penalty was brilliantly saved by Süleyman diving to his right to push the ball away for a corner.
HALF TIME SCORE : 1-0
The second half started like the first with Dörtyol on top for the opening 20 minutes of the half
46 mins : Osman who had come on as a replacement for Dörtyol was very prominent putting in a great run down the left before crossing into the area, just in front of Ayberk who couldn’t connect properly.
70 mins : In a rare GHE attack from a corner from the right Cemil volleyed over the Dörtyol bar.
Dörtyol continued to work hard for each other and with GHE committing men forward they were always susceptible to breakaways.
81 mins : Furkan found Ayberk with a lovely reverse ball who set up Osman, whose shot was pushed around the post by the diving Athos.
82 mins : Again Athos was called into action making another diving save from Osman.
87 mins : GHE at last threatened to equalise Kaan’s right footed shot bringing a spectacular diving save from Süleyman pushing the shot over for a corner. From that corner the goalkeeper did extremely well under pressure to punch the ball clear.
FULL TIME SCORE : 1-0
SUMMING UP : A superb match a great advertisement for TRNC football. A great atmosphere created by Dörtyol fans, a great effort from the Dörtyol team themselves.