April 1, 2023

By Richard Beale……

6 goals, a penalty, a red card, 6 yellow cards, and enough thrills and spills to get the old blood pressure up and the heart ticking fast ! Every Esentepe match must carry a Government Health Warning!


Sunday December 12, 2021; AKSA League 1: Erdal Barut Stadium.

A crowd of around 125 with many supporters from Çetinkaya witnessed this explosive encounter which at times gave you little time to catch your breath. There were incidents that had both sets of supporters up on their feet like ‘Jack in boxes” mostly directing their anger at the unfortunate referee.

Referee Mr. Mustafa Öztugay had a difficult afternoon with some of his bizaar decisions upsetting one set of supporters or the other.

Esentepe numbers were stretched to the limits with long and short term injuries and suspensions. Coach Davut Kansu was forced to play midfielder Tuğra Kılıç in a central defensive role alongside Nersin Osman. The tall gangly midfielder, 18 years Semih Arslan was given a second start but this time as a striker.

Çetinkaya one of the oldest TRNC football clubs are having a very rare season in League 1 after being relegated in season 2019-20. They are second in the table, still a Super League Club, in all but the League they are playing in, they have a very experienced squad with a sprinkling of young players.

The action started almost immediately as early as the 3rd minute following a Çağdaş corner, the tall Ömer Kaygusuz got in a powerful header that was brilliantly turned around the post by the diving Esentepe goalkeeper Onur.

Match action Esentepe in the white strip.

Esentepe shocked their more Illustrious opponents by storming into a two goal lead after bad defending by the Lefkoşa team. Firstly in the 8th minute, a Hüseyin Ermış corner from the left went to the far post where an unmarked ESER KAN simply headed in. 1-0.

Esentepe second goal came in the 15th minute again from a corner, again taken by Hüseyin Ermış but this time from the right. The low corner resulted in a Semi header being blocked the ball falling to 17 year old DEVRAN GÜNEŞ to slam in the rebound to record his first ever goal for the senior side. 2-0.

Çetinkaya were rocked they were forced into making an early substitute when defender Behiç Kum limped off to be replaced by forward Ertan Bulut. They made a tactical substitution with another tall attacker Yigitcan Ayaz coming on in the 35th minute for Recep.

Çentinkaya pulled a goal back in the 19th minute with a fortuitous goal. Ilyas gave away a foul on the edge of the area, ÇAĞDAŞ ASLAN free kick took a wicked deflection off Tuğra to wrong foot Onur in the Esentepe goal. 2-1

Soon afterward Esentepe had blatant penalty appeals turned down when Ilyas appeared to be upended just inside the box. This happened just below the terrace where the Esentepe supporters were seated and they had a clear view, they were on their feet and incensed when the referee ignored Esentepe player’s appeals.

Esentepe were forced into a substitution themselves when their Captain Hüseyin Ermış limped off to be replaced by another teenager 17 year old. Salih Karal

Çetinkaya were taking control of the midfield, trying to feed their big 3 strikers upfront and looking dangerous every time they attacked. Esentepe were relying on breakaways using the speed of teenager Hüseyin Deynekli.

33 minutes a quick break by Hüseyin on the right led to a cross that Eser hit a first time volley over the bar, the move was repeated just before the break this time Hüseyin chased down a long Eser ball to fire just over the top. HALF TIME SCORE: 2-1

Hüseyin Deynekli continued to torment the slow turning Çetinkaya defenders, straight after the break good work by Ilyas, who got in a cross, ended with the diminutive striker getting in a volley which went just past the visitors right hand post.

Immediately in the 46th minute from the resulting goal kick the ball was returned into the Çetinkaya area where HÜSEYIN DEYNEKLİ beat goalkeeper Ozan with a super low shot to the goalkeeper’s right. 3-1.

Though Çetinkaya had most of the procession they were not taking their chances like Esentepe did and I was dreaming of the possibility of a surprise 3 points.

However, Çetinkaya are not a big club for nothing and they pulled a goal back in the 67th minute following a Çağdaş free kick on the left that was headed home by YUSUF KONDOZ. 3-2

The match was fast and furious with Esentepe being pushed back defending like their lives depended on it. Referee Mustafa was very busy handing out yellow cards as heavy tackles and challenges resulted in many free kicks.

Five minutes from the end Çetinkaya won a debatable penalty area when a long ball into the area went over Esentepe Nersin and Çetinkaya’s Erhan heads, both players made contact with the Çetinkaya player going to the ground. Mr Öztugay awarded a penalty, which was a little harsh as it appeared to be minimal contact. İBRAHİM KÖSE stepped up to send Onur the wrong way with the penalty. 3-3.

There was more drama to come when Esentepe substitute Burak was booked in the last minute for a foul, he continued to show dissent and was red carded by the referee. FULL TIME SCORE: 3-3.

SUMMING UP: I said before the match that I would be happy to take a point from this match. Esentepe Coach Davut would probably not agree with his team letting a two goal lead slip. Considering the injuries and having to play so many teenagers this was still a good result against a team that should obtain automatic promotion.

Translate » to your language
%d bloggers like this: