March 26, 2023

By Richard Beale ……


Friendly/ Exhibition Match.  Sunday, January 17.

A merge crowd on a brisk Sunday morning were thoroughly entertained in this practice / friendly match between Esentepe and Esentepe All Stars, made up of ex Esentepe players who have retired or play for other clubs.

For a side that has not played together, the All Stars provided a stern test for Esentepe who fielded a number of youngsters. Indeed for most of the match it was the All Stars that made the running as Esentepe youngsters struggled to make an impact.

You must take your hats off to the All Stars players, not getting paid for this match, giving up probably their only day of rest, they played for the enjoyment and pride, there was no doubt about it they wanted to win this match.

The All Stars defence was very experienced comprising of Ex Esentepe Captain for many years Berkan, now 40 years old, he still showed he has lost none of his ability to read situations. His defensive partner the Düzkaya defender  the tough tackling  Okan Kibar also was very secure,  with support coming from  full backs the veteran Şenol and the energetic Uğurcan provided the All Stars with a strong defensive barrier.

Match Action – Esentepe v Esentepe All Stars (Esentepe in all black strip)

In the first half the All Stars made the running as Esentepe youngsters struggled to make an impact.

Apart from a Şükrü effort  that struck a post, it was Tuğrul in the Esentepe goal who was the busier of the two goalkeepers.

The All Stars took the lead just after the break through their ex goalkeeper ALI KARAL, playing as a striker and showing some fine skills. Ali was quick to intercept a poor pass and went on to beat Tuğrul in the Esentepe goal. 0-1

Esentepe youth and superior fitness levels as they train 3 times a week  were beginning to tell on a heavy pitch due to the recent rains.

Esentepe equalised from the penalty spot in the 55th minute through NERSIN after Şükrü had been upended by Okan in the box. 1-1

A draw would have been a fair result until ŞÜKRÜ given space toe poked a shot past Hüseyin 5 minutes from time. 2-1

There were many outstanding performances from the All Stars team but their Captain KAAN, playing in a more defensive role than usual stood out as their best player.

For Esentepe, who were disjointed at times, HÜRKAN again playing in an unaccustomed midfield position was the pick of the Esentepe players.

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