By Richard Beale….
Türkmenköy leaped frog Kaplıca into second place in the league in this crucial match between two promotion hopeful rivals
Results: TÜRKMENKÖY ASK 3 KAPLICA KARADENİZ 61 1
Saturday, January 7: Iktisatbank BTM League 1 Red Group. Türkmenköy Ali Toker Stadium.
Weather : Cloudy, chilly, occasional sets of rain, then late sunshine.
With the AKSA Leagues enjoying a short winters break, us 4 intrepid explorers journeyed down to the BTM League to sample 3rd division football.
Again before the match, we enjoyed a Pide and a Efes Beer at one of our favourite haunts, the ALEV
AĞACI at Dörtyol, where owner Zafer once again pulled out all the stops and made us very welcome.
We then made with our stomachs filled to the brim the short 15 minute journey to the Ali Toker Stadium.
Türkmenköy used to be in the same League as Esentepe maybe 6 seasons ago and have been seeking promotion back into the AKSA League 1 ever since. I used to have a saying “Esentepe will never score until the cows come home” as we never did well there, well the farm is still there next to the ground as so are the cows !. Another one of my sayings was “Türkmenköy” is in the land of the “jolly green giants” refering to the colours they play in and how tall their players were. Nothing has changed the home side had a number of tall, strong and powerful players compared with Kaplıca it looked like “men v boys”.
Kaplıca were never allowed to settle, especially in the first half, they were hustled, bustled, were second best in challenges and never got into their stride. Türkmenköy have in their side midfield player GÖKAY ALPCOĞAY, he has always been a class act when he played in the higher leagues, now 40 years old, his legs and stamina may not be there now but his brain and ability still are working perfectly. Also impressing me was their central defender SÜLEYMAN TÜRKER as they say “built like a brick ….house “ ! he was dominant winning every header and tackling ferociously.
All 3 Türkmenköy goals came from defensive errors and until the last 10 minutes Kaplıca didn’t look like saving the game and then it was too late.
Türkmenköy first goal came in the 21st minute when a long goal kick from their goalkeeper Valentin looked to be fielded by his opposite number in the Kaplıca goal Soner, unfortunately the goalkeeper collided with his fellow defender Doğukan, leaving the simple task of scoring into an empty net to YİĞİT ÖZYÜRKEKİLER. 1-0
Türkmenköy lost striker Oğuzcan Aras after 31 minutes, he needed lengthy off the field treatment, before an Ambulance arrived, he left on a stretcher with his legs heavily strapped – we wish him well.
Soner made amends in the 42nd minute brilliantly tipping over the bar a shot from Hasan Külahılar in the 42nd minute.
In the 45th minute Türkmenköy increased their lead when a cross from Yiğit struck the arm of Ekrem Çakıral and HASAN BAHITKARA sent Soner the wrong way with his penalty. 2-0.
In injury time of the first half Kaplıca were given a lifeline when following a cross from the right, the ball “ping ponged” around in the Türkmenköy penalty area, finally going back to Kaplıca leading goalscorer DENİZ SERT to crack home a goal.
HALF TIME SCORE : 2-1
Türkmenköy came close again in the 52nd minute from a Gökay corner Kuzey fired just over Soner’s right hand bar.
Kaplıca Captain Ogün Dursun had now switched to midfield and was trying his hardest to get his side going. In the 65th minute he took a free kick that clipped the top of the Türkmenköy bar.
Türkmenköy scored a third and “killer goal” in the 67th minute when another Kaplıca defensive error allowed Kuzey to get to the right hand byline before cutting the ball back to HASAN KÜLAHILAR at the near post to smash home. 3-1.
With nothing to lose now in the final 15 minutes Kaplıca pushed men forward and should have at least pulled a goal back .
78 minutes a Emre Turgut cross from the left was met at the far post by Ibrahim Çelik but he volleyed wide from a good position.
86 minutes a Emre Aktaş header was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Valentin in the Türkmenköy goal.
Then in the 89th minute the goalkeeper was found diving to his left to save a Deniz header as the visitors made a spirited comeback a case of “too little, too late”.
To cap a miserable day for Kaplıca in injury time Emre Turgut from a great position lofted the ball high over the bar just outside the penalty area.
FULL TIME SCORE : 3-1
MAN OF THE MATCH ———SÜLEYMAN TÜRKER —-strong as a ox, strong in defence and led by example.