February 5, 2023

By Richard Beale….

Predictably with one point and one place separating the two teams, the match ended in a draw, which at the end of the day was a fair result and both Coaches would be happy with a point.


Sunday March 20, 2022: AKSA League 1: Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.

Maybe it was the bitterly cold weather that restricted the crowd to a disappointing size of around 100 in this “Derby” match against Düzkaya from Çatalköy.

Esentepe still missing Deniz, Semih, Mustafa and Tuğra through injuries and illness at least there were more options on the bench this week. Esentepe welcomed back Şenol and Salih from suspension. There was also a first full start for Mahmut Izoğlu who underwent a knee operation in the summer and has been battling to make a full recovery all season.

In the Düzkaya lineup were 2 ex Esentepe favourites goalkeeper Ali Karal and defender Uğurcan Basayak.

Maybe it was the unseasonable cold weather as Esentepe were still in hibernation mode as Düzkaya swept into a two-goal lead within the first 15 minutes.

Esentepe’s defence resembled the Titanic in the opening period – slow turning and was sunk without a trace.

In the 8th minute, a simple ball over Esentepe saw HÜSEYIN TÜRK fasten onto it in a flash and lob the ball over the advancing Esentepe goalkeeper Onur. 0-1

Esentepe were on the back foot with Düzkaya’s quick, rapier thrusts and it was no surprise when they increased their lead in the 14th minute. Uğurcan was brought down by Hüseyin Deynekli but referee Isfendiyar applied the advantage rule, the ball was swept across to the right where YAĞIS GENÇAY outpaced Okan and beat Onur at his near post. This was Yağıs 10th goal of the season and he has developed a habit over the seasons of scoring against Esentepe. 0-2.

GOALS, GOALS, GOALS ! – (left) YAGIS scores Duzkaya’s second goal and (right) ESER KAN penalty pulls one back for Esentepe.

Esentepe could not come to terms with Düzkaya, losing out in midfield and their only outlet was the long ball trying to get the lightning-fast Hüseyin Deynekli on the right-wing into action.

They were given a lifeline in the 28th minute and it was from that predictable source a long ball to Hüseyin Deynekli who sped on into the box and was brought down by Uğurcan and a penalty was awarded. The Esentepe supporters were incensed that their ex-player Uğurcan should have been red-carded as he was the last man and illegally prevented Hüseyin from scoring – Mr Isfendiyar would have none of it. Skipper ESER KAN converted the penalty. 1-2.

Düzkaya continued to threatened and in the 42nd minute, Salih headed just over the bar from a Bilal corner. HALF TIME SCORE : 1-2.

Maybe it was Düzkaya players still thinking about their warm mug of Bovril during the break as they now were caught napping as Esentepe equalised immediately after the break.

Poor Düzkaya defending a poor pass let in Hüseyin Deynekli in on the right, the diminutive player crossed to an unmarked ESER KAN to shoot past Ali to record his 13th goal of the season. 2-2.

Düzkaya were clearly rattled their defence was panicky making poor clearances and Hüseyin Deynekli was giving Uğurcan a torrid time down the right.

Düzkaya Coach Hasan Topaloğlu had to act immediately as his side were in danger of losing the match and in the 55th minute, he made a treble substitution.

This must-have settled the team as they came back into the match, created a couple of chances themselves with the closest chance being when Mehmet headed just past the Esentepe left-hand post.

Esentepe finished strongly in the last 5 minutes and could have snatched the 3 points themselves, Ali saved an Ilyas shot, which rebounded to Eser whose shot was deflected for a corner. Then the Esentepe Captain caused Ali an anxious moment sending in a shot that went just past the left-hand post. FULL TIME SCORE: 2-2.

SUMMING UP: Esentepe continue to be inconsistent – Jekyll and Hyde – one minute their blowing hot the next minute their blowing cold. A draw for both teams, a point keeps them just outside the promotion and relegation play off places. With 7 games to go both are well placed to have a crack at the promotion play off places, if they want it badly. If they dont then a comfortable mid table place will retain them their League 1 status. If they hit a bad patch then they could get dragged down into a relegation play off places.- there is all to play for.

HÜSEYİN DEYNEKLİ was my Man of the Match – a constant threat, made 2 goals and caused panic to the Düzkaya defence.

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