March 21, 2023

By Richard Beale…

Remember the Flanders and Swan classic Mud mud glorious mud, nothing like it for cooling the blood ” –well it didn’t quite work in this match with 2 red cards and 7 yellow cards, played in quagmire conditions.


Sunday December 19 : Iktisatbank Bank BTM League – White Group. Beylerbeyi Dr Ali Özsoy Stadium.

Weather : cloudy, occasional drizzle, sunny intervals later.

The BTM League which is really the TRNC League 3 started this weekend. so with many of the matches kicking off at 10-30am this was an ideal opportunity to watch some football, have a couple of beers afterwards then get back home before your missed by your wife or partner !.

The BTM League is really like the Sunday League in the UK a mix of players, old, young middle age, racing whippets or a few beer bellies all doing their utmost to keep playing and enjoy their football. I may be giving some players an injustice as some are very skilful and talented and should be playing in a higher standard. There are some big teams in the BTM League who have seen higher leagues – Tatlısu HOBSK, Denizli, Özankoy, Lapta and more.

The match I chose involved Tatlısu not the Tatlısu down Esentepe way but the Tatlısu at Beylerbeyi, near Özankoy. Why did I choose this match simply because of the Esentepe connection – Tatlısu Coach is an ex Esentepe Coach Hüseyin Çağer (Maradona) and their team includes ex players Hürkan Görneçli, Doğukan Güneş and Furkan Zengin. It was also good to see a number of Esentepe footballers in the crowd to give support as well.The recent heavy rains made the conditions treacherous in places, very soggy and underneath the stand glorious mud, mud !.

These conditions of course dictated the style of play with the long ball being more effective than short intricate passing. It was a very physical game with strong challenges going in, plenty of effort and testosterone on show. Referee Abdullah Genç had a busy afternoon 7 yellow cards and 2 red cards.

The first half was even Steven with most of the play confined to the middle of the park. Tatlısu opened the scoring in the 24th minute with a classy move a great through ball on the right saw striker FURKAN ZENGIN fasten onto the ball and beat the advancing Denizli goalkeeper with a skilful finish. 1-0

Denizli equalised just before the break with a goal scored by HÜSEYİN TOPALOĞLULARI which at1-1 was a fair score in an even half. HALF TIME SCORE 1-1

Tatlısu regained the lead in the 54th minute when defender Mert Bahşı brought down Edip Menekşe in the box, he was booked for the foul but continued to show dissent and was shown the red card by the referee. FURKAN ZENGIN converted the penalty sending the Goalkeeper the wrong way. 2-1

Furkan then got himself sent off in the 71st minute for a high kick to even the numbers up.

The game continued to be frantic and robust in the clinging conditions. Denzil should have equalised in the 85th following a superb through ball by their Captain Mehmet Alşan finding Osman Yolaç a few yards out with only the goalkeeper to beat fluffed his shot wide a golden opportunity missed.

Tatlısu made them pay for that costly miss when Mahmut Can sent Hürkan away down the left and his low cross was easily put away by substitute BERK ÖZDEMİTRAS. 3-1

For Tatlısu Furkan before his unfortunate dismissal showed his class, he will score heavily in this league this season. Ex Esentepe player Hürkan had a good game in midfield, using his height and strength and winger Mahmut Can Birol showed some nice touches.

For Denizli they have a young left winger Mert Akbatu who is very quick and looks a promising young player.

TATLISU HOBSKMan of the Match” MURAT ERİŞİK – very strong at the back.

DENİZLİ “Man of the Match” —-Mehmet Alşan their Captain, very skilful and tried his best in midfield to get his side going.

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