October 1, 2023

SERDARLI GB 2023 win 2 goals to 1

By Richard Beale….

A first-half brace of first-half goals from Serdarlı burly forward ARDA ÖZKAN gave the visitors all 3 points in this opening match of the BTM League 2 season. Bahçeli pulled a goal back in the second half, missed a penalty, and had enough chances to earn a point.


Saturday, June 10: Iktisatbank BTM League 2, Group 8 : Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.

Weather: Overcast, humid.

The BTM League 2 is the lowest division in the TRNC but for this opening match of the season a crowd of well over 100 was in attendance which was very good indeed and they were rewarded with a very entertaining match.

Serdarlı is the group’s favorite, they have invested heavily in the transfer market and look like a good team. The League consists of 12 groups of 4 teams each, with the top 2 of each group going through to the quarter-finals. After that, there are semi-finals and finals which will end with 3 teams being promoted to the BTM League 1. On the evidence of this match Serdarlı and Bahçelı whom I suspect are the strongest teams in the group will qualify for the quarter-finals.

Serdarlı dominated the first half with their Captain, midfield player Efe Efeoğlu being very prominent and effective. He was helped by his midfield partner Turgay and it was no surprise that the visitors went into the break two goals to the good.

Serdarlı hit the Bahçeli post in the 5th minute following an Efe corner that was flicked against the woodwork by Turgay.

They took the lead in the 7th minute when the Bahçeli goalkeeper Tuğrul could not hold a shot as he dived to his right and there was ARDA ÖZKAN on hand to tuck away the rebound. 0-1

The much travelled and burly striker, who is only 31 years old was on hand again in the 41st minute when poor defending by Bahçeli led to a second goal. Mustafa Yorgancı was sent away down the right and his low cross was not properly cleared and with Tuğrul out of his goal, ARDA struck again. 0-2

Bahçeli had a couple of chances that either ended up wide or went over the bar.

The home side’s best chance came in injury time of the first half went a miss placed clearance off a defender fell nicely to Berk but somehow the Serdarlı goalkeeper Erhan managed to block the forward’s close-range effort.

HALF TIME : 0-2.

Bahçeli brought on forward Söner Soytürk during the break to partner Berk up front, with the talented Osman playing just behind the front two this looked like a more effective formation.

Bahçeli with nothing to lose now started to wrestle some of the momentum away from the visitors as they searched to get back into the match.

So near yet so far!

In the 70th minute, they managed to pull a goal back through replacement SÖNER SOYTÜRK, who at speed cut in from the left to beat the advancing Erhan. 1-2

In the 78th minute, they missed a golden opportunity to equalise, when Berk was bundled over in the box resulting in a penalty. agonisingly for Bahçeli, Söner’s penalty kick hit the right-hand post before rebounding across the goal where it was frantically cleared.

With Bahçeli pushing men forward of course they were leaving gaps at the back Mustafa was put through and should have made the game safe for the visitors but his effort went just wide.

5 minutes of injury time were played and in the final kick of the match following an Aydin free kick from the right, Edip’s close-range effort was brilliantly saved at point-blank range by goalkeeper Erhan to deny Bahçeli a deserved point.

A very entertaining match played in good spirits between the teams, well refereed by Halil Atlar who had an excellent match.


BAHÇELI “Man of the Match” – SAMET KESKİN – Solid and dependable at right back.

SERDARLI – “Man of the Match” – EFE EFEOĞLU – An inspirational player, very influential.

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