March 28, 2023

By Richard Beale…..

3 vital points for Esentepe in a match that certainly was not a classic but at this stage of the season, it’s all about points, not performance.


Saturday April 16, 2022: AKSA League 1 : Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.

With only 3 matches to go Esentepe are l in 7th place still one spot off the promotion playoffs but with Dörtyol surprisingly losing they are now on the same number of points as their rivals with goal difference separating them.

On a very warm afternoon, Esentepe certainly made hard work of this match watched by a disappointing crowd of just below 100.

Buoyed by an early goal Esentepe could not kill the match off until injury time, by that time Maraş had come close to scoring and even missed an 86th minute penalty.

Esentepe made 2 changes from the team that drew 1-1 at Incirli last weekend, defender Şenol was unavailable and was replaced by 20 year old Gürkan and there was a return for Bıldırcın (Hüseyin Deynekli) after his 1 match suspension.

Esentepe were gifted a goal in the 2nd minute and it was a scoring return for BILDIRCIN – HÜSEYIN DEYNEKLi. A long hopeful ball upfield took a high bounce Maraş goalkeeper Doğukan and defender Hasan got in an awful mess leaving the ball for each other, Hüseyin could not believe his luck as all he had to do was hook it into an unguarded goal 1-0.

BILDIRCIN – (lıttle bird) – HÜSEYİN DEYNEKLİ – opens the scoring after only 2 minutes and is “flying” with his team-

A scrappy opening 20 minutes saw little threat. A Mustafa Inanç free kick caused Esentepe goalkeeper Onur some concern before he pushed it over the bar.

Okan headed just wide for Esentepe in the 36th minute from a Salih free kick as the first half was a disappointing affair with not to much to shout about. HALF TIME SCORE 1-0

Maraş started the second half well gaining territory and keeping Esentepe pinned in their own half.

Esentepe were fortunate to escape in the 62nd minute a corner from the left was met by the head of Ahmet Dölek and his header took a deflection off İlyas on the line hit then the left hand post and landed in the grateful arms of goalkeeper Onur.

This sparked off a spell for Esentepe in which they should have scored a second goal all in a space of 3 minutes.

67 minutes a long ball found Hüseyin Deynekli who sped across into the area, leaving a defender in his wake creating space for a shot that hit the advancing Doğuhan legs and deflected for a corner.

68 minutes with Maraş appealing for the game to be stopped for an injury they were wide open at the back and Hüseyin Deynekli made a complete hash of a cross, shooting miles wide.

69 minutes an Eser cross in from the left was met first time by Emre whose shot went just past the left hand post.

The warm weather was having an affect on the players with both teams making substitutions.

Hüseyin Deynekli (bıldırcın) was in again cutting in from the right in the 78th minute forcing a save from Doğuhan at his left hand post.

Esentepe would rue those earlier goal chances as Maraş were awarded a penalty in the 86th minute when a close range Yunus shot was adjudged to strike the arm of Okan standing on the line. Esentepe protested strongly that the ball struck Okan on the chest, referee Hakan was not to be persuaded and booked Okan for the offence. Yunus Kalaycı normally the most reliable of penalty takers sent in a poor effort that Onur managed to block diving to his left and the ball was scrambled away by a relieved Esentepe team.

Deep into injury time, in fact 6 minutes in, Esentepe eventually scored their second goal when a clever header from Emek sent in EMRE MUTLU who shadowed by a defender managed to lob the advancing Doğuhan and down into the net. FULL TIME SCORE : 2-0

SUMMING UP: The 3 points secured has guaranteed Esentepe’s League 1 status. The promotion play offs are within their grasp – saying that there are 3 matches left to play, tough matches they are indeed.

Çetinkaya away next Saturday, the league leaders and probably Champions. The last home match is against Miracle Değirmenlik, currently third in the table and they finish off the season away to Yeniboğaziçi never an easy place to get anything from. Their destiny lies with them they are in with a chance, this is a very young Esentepe team with 5 teenagers in the starting X1, they have the legs and the energy and togetherness to get them into the play offs if they want it.

3 Points ground out today Maraş will be kicking themselves on missing a penalty and going back to Famağusta with nothing.

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