By Richard Beale….
Incirli and Esentepe had to settle for a point each in this vital match affecting promotion and relegation play off places.
Details: İNCİRLİ SK 1 ESENTEPE KKSK 1
Sunday April 10, 2022: AKSA League 1: Incirli Huseyin Altincioğlu Stadium.
Weather : Warm and sunny.
Incirli who are in the relegation playoff places would look on this as 2 points lost as they had the better chances whereas Esentepe would be happy to take a point home and were grateful for their goalkeeper ONUR ÖZBİNGÜL who pulled off a string of fine saves, especially in the first half. Esentepe were better in the second half, tightening up defensively but were still indebted to Onur who pulled off a magnificent save 5 minutes from time to prevent Incirli taking all 3 points.
Incirli formed in 1984 are playing in their history their highest standard of football, is a small village way out in the sticks, not far from the border near Beyarmurdu. Their Stadium is basic with a small covered stand for home supporters and an open air stand for away supporters, which was packed.
Esentepe were without teenage scoring sensation Hüseyin Deynekli (Bıldırcın) who is suspended for 1 match after picking up 4 yellow cards, his place was taken by midfielder Ilyas Niyazi.
Esentepe soon found themselves a goal down after only 6 minutes conceding a poor goal, Hakan Bulut was given far too much space on the right, he sent in a low cross that Esentepe defender Şenol lunged for, the ball was deflected onto his own crossbar before falling nicely to SAMI ERGAZI to prod home for his 7th goal of the season. 1-0.
Incirli continued to trouble the Esentepe defence the tall powerful Hikmet fired just wide then the striker brought goalkeeper Onur to his knees with a low shot. It was all Incirli in the opening 20 minutes as Esentepe looked rattled.
However, Esentepe struck the woodwork twice in their first threatening attacks. In the 22nd minute İlyas striding positively forward and sent in a low shot from outside the box, Ferhat the Incirli goalkeeper dived to his left to parry the shot, Eser retrieved the ball finding Semih whose close range effort hit the left hand post and was scrambled away.
Then the young Semih chasing a high clearance controlled the ball, before unleashing a powerful shot that crashed against the Incirli crossbar.
The match was quite open, the dangerous Hikmet got a shot on goal in the 36th minute that was well saved by Onur with his legs.
5 minutes afterwards it was Ferhat, Incirli goalkeeper’s turn to make a fine save pushing over an İlyas diving downward header from a Salih corner.
As the first half drew to a close Incirli finished strongly and should have gone into the break two goals to the good.
43 minutes Hakan sliced his shot against the Esentepe right hand post from a great position, the ball was retrieved and sent in again this time a combination of Okan and Devran managed to scramble the ball off the line, and Esentepe escaped.
Right on the break, Sami Ergazi left cross was met first time by Hakan Bulut whose shot brought an equally fine save from Onur flinging himself to his right to push the ball away for a corner.
HALF TIME SCORE: 1-0
Esentepe equalised early in the second half in the 52nd minute following a Salih free kick from the right the ball was partially cleared to SEMIH ARSLAN whose first time shot brought a brilliant save from goalkeeper Ferhat diving to his right to push the ball away for a corner. Semih could not believe his bad luck to be denied again but he was deservedly rewarded from the resultant corner taken by Salih he rose and sent in a powerful header past Ferhat to record his first ever senior goal. 1-1
Esentepe were much better now Okan and Şenol keeping a tight reign on Hikmet and Devran denying Hakan space on the wing. In midfield, İlyas was looking prominent and now with Salih rather than playing wide on the right in the first half was now in central midfield, and Esentepe started to take control.
In the 73rd minute, a Mahmut free kick from the right was missed by defender Okan in a good position.
However, in was goalkeeper Onur who rescued Esentepe in the 86th minute following a corner from the right by Sami substitute Bekir got in a powerful header that had “goal written ” on it all the way until the giant Esentepe keeper flung himself to his right to push the ball away for a corner. FULL TIME SCORE: 1-1
SUMMING UP: It’s as you were for Esentepe, in 7th place 3 points behind Dörtyol (who also drew 1-1) one place off the promotion playoff places. 4 games left to play all very tough matches to come, 3 points would have been very handy and welcomed on Sunday, Esentepe fate is in their own hands.
Goalkeeper ONUR was Esentepe ‘Man of the Match” making crucial saves keeping his side in the game. A special word for 18 year old SEMİH ARSLAN very pleased that he scored his first senior goal he was up against two strong burly defenders Ramadan and Volkan but he gave it his “all” putting himself about and where it hurts. Tall and gangly at the moment, if he continues to develop and puts some muscle on Esentepe will have a tall and powerful striker the likes we haven’t seen for a few seasons.