“Touch of Class” by Yeniboğaziçi seals rough match

By Richard Beale ….

A superb finish by Yeniboğaziçi winger Serhat not only proved to be the winning goal but lifted this match from mediocrity. Yeniboğaziçi have now won all of their five matches but had to be forced to trade blows to grind a result out.


Saturday November 23: BTM League Red Group. Akdoğan Özğürlük Stadı

Another 11-00am kick off which was ideal for my “Super Saturday” of local football. The morning was this match, with a Pide and a pint lunch, then off to nearby Dörtyol to watch them entertain Girne Halk Evi in the afternoon. Back home to catch up on West Ham v Spurs, then Manchester City v Chelsea in the evening! and I am married as well!

Two season ago Yeniboğaziçi were in the Super League among the elite of the TRNC football Clubs. Two successive relegation seasons now see them in League 3 of the TRNC, how the mighty have fallen, still they are starting on the road to recovery this season.


This match was attritional, agriculture more like a rugby match, robust tackles abounded, no quarter given, none asked for, but disappointingly little in the way of skill.

Maybe the playing surface which was the colour of Army camouflage, bumpy and looked like it had a water main recently installed on it didn’t help,

This may have resulting in the Yeniboğaziçi struggling to adjust to the surface as they certainly didn’t look like the unbeaten leaders in the opening 20 minutes.

İncirli took the lead in the 18th minute, when their striker Mehmet Turgut went on a run and saw his shot parried by the diving Yeniboğaziçi goalkeeper Remzi, only to see BEKER BİLGİ following up to slot home 1-0.

Against the run of play Yeniboğaziçi equalised when following a free kick from the left, which was only partially cleared to Burcin on the edge of the area, who saw his low shot take a deflection off the İncirli Captain Salih and into the net for an own goal. 1-1

It took a brave save from the Yeniboğaziçi goalkeeper Remzi at the feet of Can to prevent İncirli regaining the lead shortly before the interval. HALF TIME SCORE : 1-1

The match continued to be frantic, played at 100mph, with players flying into tackles and giving away numerous free kicks.

After 65 minutes Yeniboğaziçi defence was caught napping from a clearance out of the İncirli defence, Can nipped in, but the winger finished disappointingly shooting straight at Remzi.

The mediocre was finally broken from the only bit of skill in the 75th minute. The ball bobbed around the İncirli area before coming across to SERHAT ÖZUGURLU who controlled the ball before drilling a hard low cross shot that flew past the goalkeeper Cengiz 1-2.

The match had been simmering for a while, referee Mr Hakan Unal who I thought did a good job keeping the game under his control. However since the goal there was crowd trouble, the Yeniboğaziçi bench resembled an “Army of the ‘Magic Roundabout’s Zebedee'” springing up and down at every foul committed or disputing Mr Unal’s decisions.

To make matters worse İncirli had a penalty appeal turned down for handball in the 80th minute as tempers continued to boil.

But this is life, this is local football – bring it on!  FULL TIME SCORE : 1-2