March 26, 2023

By Richard Beale …..

Esentepe and Çanakkale had to settled for a point apiece in a match that lacked finesse but made up for it with a right “ding dong” battle between two committed teams.


Sunday October 17: AKSA League 1: Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.

This was grass route football, a game you probably would see on a Sunday morning in the UK maybe on Hackney marshes in London. Two teams going at it “hammer and tong” no quarter given, no quarter asked. A match littered with fouls, ferocious tackling a red card and 8 yellow cards – luckily there was a strong referee in Mr Hakan Ünal who stood no nonsense from the players. Some of his decisions may have upset the home crowd and yes sometimes he made the wrong call but overall he had a good match and generally kept the players under control.

Tackles go flying in!  (Çanakkale in green)

It’s hard to decide who will be the more happier of the two teams with a point, Esentepe once again failing to finish the game with 11 men after Devran was sent off after 60 minutes, or Çanakkale picking up their first point of the season, in the end maybe a draw was a fair result.

Esentepe were missing players from suspension and injuries, surprisingly Esentepe Coach Kılıç Ali made 5 changes from the side that lost narrowly with 9 men at Dörtyol last weekend.

A sunny day with intermittent cloud and a stiff breeze behind Çanakkale in the first half with a crowd of around 125, including a number of expats saw the visitors having the better opening of the first half.

Çanakkale having lost all their opening fixtures played with a flat back 4, with their tenacious, terrier of a player Ahmet Hellaç playing as a sweeper. It was Çanakkale who came close to scoring in the 16th minute following a lightning break involving Barın and Kaan with only a brilliant last ditched tackle by Esentepe’s Şenol preventing an early goal.

Esentepe immediately counter attacked themselves after good work by Hüseyin Deynekli on the right, he squared the ball across the area where Ege got in a strong shot that was parried by the diving Umut.

Çanakkale who had settled the better team took the lead in the 21st minute following sloppy defensive work by Esentepe. Okan Kibar was robbed of the ball by Yunus who swept a long cross to KAAN AYSEKİ unmarked to fire past Osmond. 0-1

The visitors went close again in the 29th minute when following a Ekrem Zabitler corner Hasan Çağakan sent a glancing header just wide.

Against the run of play Esentepe equalised in the 31st minute, Devran in space on the right found Hüseyin Deynekli who ran on into the box, before squaring the ball across to ESER KAN to sweep home 1-1.

Just before the break Çanakkale Izzet tried a snapshot that had Osmond diving to his right to push the ball away. HALF TIME 1-1.

Maybe during the break Esentepe Coach gave the team the “hair dryer” treatment as it was the home team who went close on two occasions to take the lead at the start of the second half.

An Emek corner met with an almighty scramble in the Çanakkale defence before it was cleared to the edge of the area to Hüseyin Ermış to fire in a shot that went just wide of the right hand post.

A minute later Eser headed narrowly wide after good work on the right from Hüseyin Deynekli.

The match continued at a furious pace with some strong and robust tackles going in, some unfairly, keeping referee Hakan’s arm busy issuing yellow cards.

He was left with no choice in the 61st minute but to show Esentepe right back 17 year old Devran Güneş a second yellow card after the defender had heavily tackled Rifat. The distraught youngster playing in only his second senior match was shown the red card and he trudged disconcertingly from the pitch.  

Kılıç Ali immediately made 3 substitutions, a wise decision giving the team fresh legs and impetus to survive the final 30 minutes.

Strangely as many teams do playing with 10 gives the team the spark to ignite the fire and it was one of the replacements Ilyas Niyazi who brought onto the field skill and vision that was missing before as he started to dictate in midfield.

Good work by Emre Mutlu in the 72nd minute gave Ilyas an opportunity to put in a first time volley that goalkeeper Umut dived to his right to save.

It was Esentepe who were finishing the stronger of the two teams five minutes from time following an Emek corner, Emre got in a header that had Umut diving to his right to save. FULL TIME SCORE 1-1.

SUMMING UP : Probably a draw was a fair result, though both Coaches would be disappointed at some aspects of their team’s play. Çanakkale perennial scrappers against relegation had for me the games best player in AHMET HELLAÇ only small in stature but big in heart, playing as sweeper he covered and tackled ferociously. A player who always gives 125% and is always the first to offer a handshake to opponents after the whistle has blown.

For Esentepe, Hüseyin Deynekli made some dangerous runs on the right, Okan Kibar apart from one mistake that cost Esentepe a goal came out on top against a strong opponent in Yunus. EMRE MUTLU again I thought was Esentepe best player, he has a great engine in him and was everywhere on the park.



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