April 1, 2023

By Richard Beale….

An 83rd-minute penalty robbed Esentepe of a deserved win in their fourth pre-season friendly match against near neighbours and League 1 rivals Düzkaya.


Saturday 14th August, 2021 —friendly match—- Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.

Another home friendly match, another very warm evening, another entertaining game for the 50 or so spectators who were present at Esentepe Stadium.

Esentepe Coach Kılıç Ali Kahraman can be pleased with his team’s efforts, things are beginning to jell and I am sure he has pencilled in a number of positions for when the season begins in mid September.

Esentepe created around 5 decent first-half chances, scoring from one of those, they really needed to have scored one more goal to put the game out of Düzkaya’s reach.

Düzkaya were never allowed to settle especially in the first half, they made a number of changes in the second half and only came into the game in the last 20 minutes as Esentepe tired. Düzkaya has invested heavily in the transfer market and will be one of the favourites to mount a promotion challenge next season… Shame that Ex Esentepe Goalkeeper Ali Karal was missing attending a friend’s wedding, the other ex Esentepe player Uğurcan nursing an injury only made a token appearance.

Esentepe stroked the ball around beautifully in the first half with Hürkan and Hüseyin Ermış in control in midfield. Hürkan reminds me of Newcastle’s Jon Jo Shelvey, basically lazy but has a vision and talent to provide a long defence splitting ball. He was the architect behind many of Esentepe’s moves.

Young SALIH KARAL scored the Esentepe goal in the 42nd minute, after Emrah had a chance blocked he followed up to score his first Esentepe goal at senior level. Still only 16 years old, slight of build he has been one of Esentepe’s pre-season successes. He is very quick, nimble and skilful, it is wrong to burden him with expectations as he is so young, but if he continues to progress he will be one of the mainstays for Esentepe in future seasons.

The first half defensive partnership of Şenol and Gürkan Demir also impressed very solid at the back. The veteran Şenol played his first 90 minutes of the pre-season, not the most mobile of players he makes up for this by reading the game and is very strong in the tackle.

Esentepe in the second half gave 45 minutes to a striker from Turkey, Yakup, but that was not long enough to access him properly.

Düzkaya came more and more in the match as the second half progressed and equalised in the 83rd minute through SERKAN ZEYN after a push on an attacker.

This match was a good workout for both teams, as fitness levels are increasing in readiness for the new season. FULL TIME SCORE 1-1.

ESENTEPE TEAM : Tuğrul (gk) ; Mustafa, Gürkan Demir (Nersin 60), Şenol, Asif (Acil 72) ; SALIH KARAL., Hüseyin Ermış (Emre 60), Hürkan (Ilyas 60) ; Emrah (Devram 60), Eser (Yakup, Trialist 60), Ege. MAN OF THE MATCH —SALIH KARAL.


ESENTEPE NEXT MATCH —–Wednesday, August 18th —-Erdal Barut Memorial Trophy –

Kick off 5-45pm ——- Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.


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