By Richard Beale….
Esentepe’s final friendly match of the pre-season ended with a 70th minute winner scored by EGE CAN AÇIKPORTAL which was controversially given – fittingly a poor goal in a poor match.
Saturday September 11: İncirli Hüseyin Altıncıoğlu Stadium.
Result: İNCİRLİ SK 0 ESENTEPE KKSK 1. (friendly)
This was my first visit to İncirli which is a small village near to the border crossing at Beyarmudu. The Hüseyin Altıncıoğlu Stadium is basic to say the least, but in fairness to the club it has potential. There is a stand that is quite common in small village grounds, no roof and planking for seats. Another new stand is in the process of being completed at the moment it has no roof, and the plastic seating is there ready to install. There is some work to be done before the first League match is played next week. Incirli were promoted from the BTM League to League 1 when we last had competitive football and their first home League game is next Saturday against ex Super League team Gençlik Güçü who are in for a rude awakening. The pitch itself is very lush, though on the surface the ball bounces unevenly, this was the first time it had been used in a competitive match.
The match itself was nothing to write home about, a strongish breeze blew diagonally across the pitch, both teams struggled to cope with this plus the uneven bounce. Both teams delivery of corners and free kicks were poor as they could not judge the wind.
Most of the play was centred around a very congested midfield, where at times 6-8 players contested the ball. İncirli in fairness to them did try to use the wings but again the final delivery was poor.
Esentepe created what few chances there were in the match and Incirli’s only real chance of the game came in the 37th minute when Hakan Bulut shot from just outside the box brought a save from Osman diving to his left pushing the ball away for a corner. HALF TIME: 0-0
Esentepe’s best chance of the match came in the 57th minute when a long ball failed kindly to Hüseyin Deynekli who speeded into the box with only keeper Ferhat to beat, but the teenager blazed wildly over the bar.
An Esentepe mix up from a throw in led to İncirli’s Hikmet curling a shot just wide of Esentepe’s left hand post.
Immediately after the water break in the 70th minute Esentepe took the lead in controversial circumstances. Hürkan played a long hopeful ball which found an unmarked EGE CAN AÇIKPORTALI, seemingly all alone and in an offside position. Incirli players stopped expecting the linesman to flag and stop play. So did Ege Can stop as well, when no whistle came he went on and rounded goalkeeper Ferhat who himself made no attempt to stop Ege, expecting a whistle, none came and Ege simply planted the ball in the goal. Incirli protested to the Linesman and the Referee who were unmoved, aptly a poor goal fittingly for a poor match. 0-1.
There was one moment of brilliance that lightened up a dull match in the 84th minute, a superb Semih through ball split the İncirli defence and found Ege Can running on to it, as goalkeeper Ferhat came out, the young striker’s shot went just wide of the right hand post.
FULL TIME : 0-1.
SUMMING UP: It’s been a tough pre-season, training and playing in exceptionally high temperatures, now we can forget about that and look forward to the League season which begins for Esentepe next Friday. The pre-season matches have been useful, results have not been important, I think that in those matches everyone of the 30 man squad has done something at sometime during those matches to impress the Coach. The Coach has a headache, he can only chose the 11 players starting and 8 replacements, that means at least 11 players will miss out.
ESENTEPE TEAM : Osmond (Tuğrul 45) GK: Kemal ((Mustafa 65), Nersin (Asif 75), GÜRKAN DEMIR (Semih 65), Devran (Okan 45) : İlyas (Hüseyin Ermış 65), Tuğra (Hürkan 65), Salih (Hüseyin Deynekli 45): Şükrü (Şenol 65), Emrah (Deniz 45), Eser (Ege Can 45).