By Richard Beale….
If only, if only, if only Esentepe could have scored from 3 golden opportunities in the opening 15 minutes then things might have been different, before Moses played his part.
Result: ESENTEPE KKSK 0 YENİCAMI AK 1 (Friendly Match)
Tuesday 24th August – Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.
TRNC Super League giants came, they saw, they conquered but they could not finish off a brave battling performance from an Esentepe team that did its supporters and Coach proud.
A very disappointing crowd of around 50 considering the opposition on a stifling August evening saw a very entertaining end to end match.
Lining up for the visitors was midfielder YAKUP ŞEN, who was loaned by Yenicamı to Esentepe as a 17 year old and he had 3 very successful seasons with them and always will receive a warm welcome.
A neutral observer would have been hard pressed to choose who the Super League team was as in the opening 20 minutes, Esentepe tore apart their illustrious opponents and should have been 3-0 up.
In the opening minute a misplaced pass was seized upon by Ege on the right and his low cross found Furkan who could not get any power in his shot and goalkeeper Ercan dived to his left to save the weak shot.
In the 4th minute a quickly taken free kick again found Ege on the right and his low cross found Eser, unmarked with only the goalkeeper to beat but the striker snatched at his opportunity and shot wide.
14th minute İlyas did well to get to the left hand byline and drill a hard low cross to the near post where it cannoned off Furkan’s ankle to a grateful diving Ercan.
There was plenty of hot air with the hot temperature which went up appreciably during the water break where Yenicamı Coach Çağan Çerkez gave the team the full “Fergie hot air blow dryer treatment”, after that roasting the team held a “huddle” and a marked transformation took place.
Yenicamı were a different team closing down and penning Esentepe in their own half and they took the lead in the 26th minute. A corner kick from the right was spectacularly finished off with a “scissor kick” from the dangerous MOSES. 0-1
Moses brought Esentepe goalkeeper Tuğrul in action twice first the custodian flicked a shot over the crossbar and the dive to his left to beat away a fierce shot.
Little was seen of Esentepe as Yenicamı at last showed their real credentials dominating the match up to the break. HALF TIME: 0-1
The opening 10 minutes continued in the same pattern, when Esentepe made a number of replacements, normally this disrupts a team but it had the opposite effect and seemed to galvanised the home team.
61 minutes Deniz ran onto a long ball on the left and brought a good diving save from Ercan.
Esentepe had found their “second wind”, Eser set up Salih whose shot went straight into Ercan’s arms.
Esentepe would not throw in the towel and kept battling right to the end, in the final minutes Şenol broke up a Yenicamı attack with a strong challenge and sent Devram away on the right but the youngster shot just wide of Ercan’s goal.
If Yenicamı were expecting an easy ride against League 1 opposition they were in for a shock and certainly knew they had been in a battle.
SUMMING UP; Lots of positives for the Esentepe Coach to take from this match, there have been so many friendly games but in every match somebody always steps up to the mark and ticks the right boxes. I thought Eser slowly coming back to fitness had his best match so far. Salih Karal, hardworking as always, also showed some nice touches. İLYAS NİYAZİ was my “Man of the Match” still regaining full fitness, he was very prominent all over the midfield.
ESENTEPE TEAM: TuĞrul (gk); Emre (Devram 75), Gürkan Demir, Nersin (Şenol 70), Emek (Arif 70): Salih (Semih 75), Hüseyin, (Deniz 57), İLYAS (Burak 70): Ege (Tuğra (T) 57), Furkan (T) (Hürkan 70), Eser.