March 31, 2023

By Richard Beale ……

Groundhog night – this time only 1 goal, 2 red cards, 10 yellow cards, match stopped for 15 minutes due to fighting amongst players and spectators and Police. The majority of the match was a damp squid until L.Gençler Birliği scored to ignite the fireworks.


Friday November 19, 2021; AKSA League 1: Iskele Cumhuriyet Stadium.

A rare evening match played under floodlights, in front of a largish crowd, played in damp conditions after the earlier rain. Shame that the match did not live up to expectations as the game was littered with fouls making it hard work for Referee Hüseyin Eyüpler. After an early red card shown to L. Gençler Birliği Captain İsmet Osman Özlap the match simmered but failed to boil over thankfully until the 76th minute.

LGB were down to 10 men as from the 16th minute but you would never have known that they were the far better team and what few chances were on offer those fell to the home team.

Esentepe were infuriating, frustratingly giving the ball away too often or failing with their final ball.

The sending off came when İsmet fouled Esentepe midfield player Salih and he was given a direct red card.

Action photos – Esentepe in white

LGB tall defender Osman Turgut came close following a left sided corner and they really should have gone into the interval one goal to the good. Right on half time Esentepe gave the ball away again, Ramazan took advantage of this before firing a cross shot just over Tuğrul crossbar. Then Yıldıray had a shot blocked from outside the area, the ball falling to Bulent in a good shooting position but a fine last minute block by Esentepe’s Gürkan saved the day.

Esentepe failed to create one goal scoring chance, though Hüseyin Deynekli was trying his best making a number of runs from both wings and İlyas in midfield was trying to get his team started. HALF TIME SCORE: 0-0

The opening minutes of the second half continued in the same pattern as the first with Esentepe struggling to string their passes together. Yıldıray and Beşir were getting the better of their opponents in midfield and Cenker and Bülent were keeping Esentepe’s defence on their toes.

Esentepe made a double substitution in the 61st minute with Ege Can and Salih being replaced by Emrah and Burak. It was nice to see Burak (“Pancho”) back on a football field again after a horrible few years with injuries.

62nd minute following a free kick LGB’s Yıldıray fired just over the Esentepe crossbar.

LGB Senagol midfield player Beşir Ndiaye who had been earlier booked incensed the Esentepe players and supporters when he scythed down Burak but escaped a red card.

LGB scored the only goal of the match in the 76th minute when a superb through ball from Osman Turgut sliced wide open the Esentepe’s defence to CENKER YAZAR to run onto and shoot past Tuğrul. 1-0.

LGB players were mobbed by their ecstatic fans celebrating the goal which was no more than they deserved as they were much the better team.

However whether LGB player Beşir made a gesture to the Esentepe supporters this further angered them and he was pelted with water bottles and then the trouble began amongst the players. Handbags were out, fingers being pointed, pushing, shoving, some spectators vaulted the wall to join in as well. Luckily there was a large Police presence and eventually handbags were withdrawn and some calm was restored. Referee Hüseyin Eyüpler, after consulting with his Linesmen and the Fourth Official then began dishing out yellow cards like confetti !  Esentepe replacement goalkeeper Görkem was shown the red card for his part in the melee and quite rightly so.  LGB’s Beşir was also given his marching orders. The match was held up for a least 15 minutes, with the game restarted with LGB down to 9 men.

At last the LGB goalkeeper Cengiz was brought into action tipping over a Burak cross for a corner.

Game stopped for 15 minutes as a result of a on field melee.

I think we were now playing 15 minutes of injury time, Hüseyin Deynekli made a good run down the right before crossing into the middle where Eser had a header blocked, the rebound went to Emrah whose effort was pushed round the post by Cengiz for a corner – this was Esentepe’s best and only chance of the match.

LGB still had time to break quickly right at the end with Sertan Kurukafa having a shot brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Toğr FULL TIME SCORE: 1-0

SUMMING UP: If last week’s win over Yalova was a morale booster this match was demoralising to say the least. LGB with 10 men were by far the better team, even with 9 men they still created chances. LGB just rolled their sleeves up and got on with it whereas Esentepe just could not get going. It’s been a long time since I saw Esentepe create so few chances in a match and pass so poorly. Maybe we should have started with either Emrah or Eser to give the attack some physical presence as LGB defenders Osman Turgut and Salih Kaplan easily snuffed out what rare Esentepe attacks there were.


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