April 1, 2023

By Richard Beale….

Esentepe left in late and fortunately Maraş played their part by beating Dörtyol, a day of drama, nail biting that “turned out nicely” in the end.


Saturday May 7, 2022 : AKSA League 1: Osman Ergün Mehmet Stadium.

First of all a BIG THANK YOU to MARAŞ, who are in a relegation “play off place” against the odds hammered SFC Dörtyol 6-3 (Maraş were 6-0 up until 5 minutes from the end) to enable Esentepe to squeeze into that final play off spot.

It all came good in the end, not only did Esentepe get into the play offs my UK team Bristol Rovers had an “unbelievable Jeff” 7-0 win over Scunthorpe to pip Northampton on goal difference to gain automatic promotion to League 1—– Happy days indeed.

At Yeniboğaziçi we never had that drama for most of the match, I couldn’t see where a goal was coming from. The home team had nothing to play for except pride, it looked like some of their players at times were already preparing for their summer holidays. Esentepe had 6 teenagers in their starting level, seemed to struggle, maybe the big occasion was a little too much for them.

A disappointing crowd for this final League match of the season were served up “poor fare” with both teams often getting caught or losing possession wıth the final pass often going astray.

Goal chances were at a premium in the first half, in the 11th minute Mehmet Çetin forced Esentepe goalkeeper Onur into a diving save, while at the other end Esentepe striker Eser Kan shot straight at goalkeeper Remzi in the 41st minute. HALF TIME SCORE: 0-0

During the interval Esentepe Coach Davut Kansu made 2 changes replacing young Ismet at left back with the vastly experienced Emek and, though not 100% fit, midfield schemer İlyas replaced the more defensive Mahmut. Obviously news had filtered through to the Esentepe dressing room that Maraş were 3-0 up in their match, so it was all down to the visitors to win the match.

There was more purpose to Esentepe’s play at the start of the second half with Mehmet and Emek pushing up from their full back positions.

Saying that Esentepe nearly paid the price for pushing men forward in the 58th minute when they were caught wide open as Tolga had only goalkeeper Onur to beat, but the giant keeper managed to spread his body and save the Yeniboğaziçi strikers shot.

Esentepe’s at last created a scoring opportunity in the 69th minute when Hüseyin Deynekli (bıldırcın) was put through on the left, he drew goalkeeper Remzi out but placed his shot just wide of the left hand post.

Again Esentepe were nearly caught again in the 78th minute when top scorer Cemil went on a run beating 2 players and looked certain to score, until a brilliant last ditched tackle from Devran thwarted him.

Esentepe immediately transferred the ball down the other end with Bildırcın clean through, with plenty of time and with only goalkeeper Remzi to beat, but the little striker finishing let him down again as he shot straight at the keeper.

It looked like Esentepe would never score with time running out, their Coaching staff and fans getting increasingly frustrated but they finally did score in the 82nd minute a goal that had a bit fortunate about it.

I was expecting and so were Yeniboğaziçi for referee Serhan to blow up for a foul when İlyas appeared to foul a home side player. No whistle came and defender Okan put a perfect through ball which found Eser and Bıldırcın on their own completely unmarked. Eser took the ball round goalkeeper Remzi and passed to HÜSEYİN DEYNEKLI (Bıldırcın) who was careful not to get offside who simply tapped the ball home. There were subdued celebrations as Hüseyin looked embarrassed to score . 0-1

Immediately Coach Davut made changes bringing on more defensive players for the final minutes but it was Esentepe who came close to scoring again in the 87th minute when Salih cracked a shot against the bar with a shot from just outside the box. FULL TIME SCORE: 0-1

SUMMING UP: Well we’re in the “play offs” a fantastic achievement for the club, with such limited resources, a small playing squad has been remarkable, it feels like we have gained promotion. In the “play offs” we are joined by much larger clubs Miracle Değirmenlik, L. Gençler Birliği and Karsıyaka. Esentepe will start very much as the “underdogs” we are not expected to go any further, that means their is no pressure on us, it’s all on the other teams. Whatever happens it will be a great experience for our youngsters, it may not happen this season, it maybe a “Bridge Too Far” but this Esentepe team can only get better.

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