September 30, 2023

By Richard Beale…

After conceding a 2 goal lead, Esentepe were staring down a defeat through the barrels of the shotgun but got out of jail with an equalising penalty in the 97th minute.


Saturday December 18, 2021: AKSA League 1; SadIk Cemil Stadium.

Weather: cloudy with spots of rain.

Another groundhog day, another 3-3 draw, another “Government Health Warning ” match, another Blood pressure and fast heart beating match – how did Billy Joel end his song ‘We didn’t start the fire”——- “I can’t take it anymore !

The modern Sadık Cemil Stadium is one of the best stadiums around especially for League 1, built in 2007 it certainly captures everything that is good in TRNC football. The music before the match begins certainly wants to get you up dancing Ricky Martins —-La Vida Loca” and Opus 1985 hit “Life is life” gets everybody up for the match.

If the music didn’t get you on your feet then in the 8th minute a goal by DEVRAN GÜNEŞ had the Esentepe supporters on their feet. A Hüseyin Ermış corner from the right was headed in by the 17 year full back, a replica of last week’s match, a second goal in succession for the young teenager. 0-1

Esentepe with Hüseyin Ermış, Emre and particularity Ilyas Niyazi were having the better of the midfield exchanges, with the defence keeping close tags on Değirmenlik’s striking duo Ilyas Yilmaz and Turgut Kacar.

However in the final dying embers of the first half both sides had chances, a slick move down the left involving reverse passes led to İlyas Yilmaz getting in a shot that Esentepe goalkeeper Onur did well to push around the post for a corner.

42 minutes a good run down the right from Hüseyin Deynekli near the corner flag ended with a cross into the middle that saw an Eser header pushed over the bar by Onurhan. Then Esentepe had blatant appeals turned down for a penalty as İyas was sent to the floor but the referee waved aside Esentepe’s appeals.

Right on the final whistle of the half İlyas Yilmaz scooped a shot high over the Esentepe bar from close range. HALF TIME SCORE 0-1

Must have been the “hair dryer treatment” from the Değirmenlik Coach during the break as his team started to wrestle the initiative in midfield from Esentepe with Sabrı and Burak starting to get the upper hand.

A Mehmet Fatih corner from the left was just headed wide by defender Yusuf Kumas.

A slick Esentepe move saw Eser give a great reverse pass to İlyas close to the left hand side byline that brought a good save from goalkeeper Onurhan.

Esentepe increased their lead in the 52nd minute following another good move involving “smash and grab” Hüseyin Deynekli and Eser. A long ball out of defence by Devran found Huseyin and his low cross led to ESER stroking the ball home 0-2.

I thought the match was done and dusted but this is Esentepe, enough time left for the blood pressure to start raising!.

Değirmenlik pulled a goal back in the 59th minute when a right hand cross bounced into the Esentepe area and İLYAS YILMAZ volleyed home. 1-2

62nd minute Değirmenlik had a goal disallowed for offside but Esentepe goalkeeper Onur aggravated a knee injury that he has been carrying and was replaced by Tuğrul.

Tuğrul was soon picking the ball out of his goal when Değirmenlik equalised following sloppy defending by Esentepe, who defence should have cleared the ball but allowed MURAT ORMANCI in to score. 2-2

Esentepe were clearly rattled having surrendered possession in this half, Tuğrul made a good blocking save from İlyas after the Değirmenlik forward was put through by a defence splitting pass from Murat.

Esentepe were coming under intense pressure and it came as no surprise that their fragile defence was breached again in the 84th minute when İLYAS YILMAZ scored his second goal after being put through. 3-2

Many teams would have folded completely under such pressure but this Esentepe team is made of something special, they weren’t prepared to throw in the towel just yet.

In injury time a through ball from İlyas saw Hüseyin Deynekli fastened onto the ball but goalkeeper Onurhan was out quickly to block the diminutive Esentepe striker’s effort.

Esentepe refused to lie down and in the 97th minute another through ball saw Hüseyin Deynekli brought down by substitute Cem. Under pressure with virtually the last kick of the match ESER KAN put away the penalty to salvage a point for Esentepe. FULL TIME SCORE: 3-3.

SUMMING UP: In the end a draw was the correct result, both Coaches will not be happy with their team’s performance. Both sides showed when the chips were down fight and guts which will be a plus for future matches. Two 3-3 matches will not please Esentepe Coach Davut Kansu but Esentepe have severe injury problems and another Goalkeeper Onur will now join the casualty list. Also after having a few problems with some refereeing decisions over the last few matches I thought Referee MR HÜSEYİN ÖZKAN had an excellent match,

ESENTEPE TEAM : Onur (gk) 6 (Tuğrul 65 mins, 6) ; Devran 7, Nersin 6, Tuğra 6 (Deniz 87, ) Okan 6; Emre 7, İlyas 7, Hüseyin Ermış (c) 6 (Salıh 76) ; HÜSEYİN DEYNEKLİ 8, ESER 8, Semih 5 (Ege Can 46 6).

Esentepe replacements not used : Hüseyin Türcan, Şenol, Mustafa.

DEĞİRMENLİK : Onurhan (gk) ; Yusuf, Burak, Hüseyin Keleş, Salıh, Mertkan (Hasan 70), Sabrı, Mehmet Fatih, İLYAS YİLMAZ, Tugrut, Murat (Cem 90).

Yellow cards : Salıh (Değirmenlik) Ege Can (Esentepe)

Referee: Hüseyin Özkan – excellent –

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