By Richard Beale….
Esentepe veteran defender EMEK KIRILMAZ “trusty left foot” proved the match winner as the visitors unbeaten start to the season continued as they climb into 3rd place in the League.
Results : UNIMAR MARŞ GSK 0 ESENTEPE KKSK 1
Saturday 28, 2023 : AKSA League 1 : Maraş Necip Halil Kartal Stadium.
Weather : Very warm and sunny.
The warm weather failed to attract a decent size crowd, Esentepe following was disappointing as were the home fans who are usually very vocal and partisan.
The ones who stayed away must have known this match would turn out on the whole largely disappointing entertainment.
Esentepe settled well in the opening 30 minutes but like Maraş there were no clear cut goal chances.
The first real chance came in the 33rd minute when Burak weaved his way pass Emek on the right hand touch line before pulling the ball back to Emir just outside the box who fired just over the bar.
Esentepe replied in the 39th minute when Ege Can found Yusuf just outside the box, who turned and also shot over the bar.
A very disappointing first half
HALF TIME SCORE : 0-0
Esentepe made a change at the break replacing an out-of-sorts Mahmut with Ali Avcısoyu with Salih dropping to right back.
The opening 15 minutes of the second half were as the first half very disappointing no goal chances.
Esentepe took the lead in the 61st minute when they were awarded a free kick on the left side just outside the box. Semih and Emek both eyed up the free kick, it would have favoured the right-footed Semih more I thought. I was wrong it was EMEK KIRLIMAZ who took the kick, a low shot that crept round the wall and deceived a flat-footed Umut on his right-hand side – giving Emek’s 3rd goal of the season. 0-1
Esentepe now enjoyed their best spell of the match in the 69th minute the hard-working Yusuf controlling a cross sent a left-footed shot just over the bar.
It was Yusuf again in the 77th minute when he did well to create a chance for himself, beating two defenders before firing in a shot that Umut in the Maraş goal dived to his right to push the ball away for a corner.
84 mins Maraş were unlucky to equalise a Burak free kick was only partially cleared to Mehmet Ergün retrieved the ball and crossed for Emre Aktaş to thunder a header against the Esentepe crossbar.
The game suddenly came alive the home supporters were suddenly on their feet as they saw referee Emre red card the Maraş Coach İlhan Kuş for arguing and dissenting, also a couple of minutes later Assistant Coach followed.
This incident had ignited the blue touch paper as the home supporters directed their anger at the referee this also reunited the Maraş team as they piled pressure onto Esentepe.
Ahmet in the Esentepe goal who was having a quiet afternoon made a smart save from a header, the outside of the Esentepe post was also struck from a cross.
6 minutes of injury time were put on the board, Esentepe sent on the veteran 46-year-old Okan Kıbar to shore up the defence and he was soon in action putting his body and head into dealing with crosses and shots as Maraş laid siege to the visitor’s defence.
Tempers had flared, strong challenges, a baying home crowd on their feet urging Maraş on.
Serkan sent in a ferocious shot that Emek on the Esentepe goal line managed to chest the ball away, then were hanging on and they survived as the final whistle blew.
FULL-TIME SCORE : 0-1
SUMMING UP: Esentepe was not at their best but allowing for suspension and injuries this was a hard-working team performance. Maraş is a difficult place to come too this was a bonus to come away with the spoils, Maraş deserved a draw.
Esentepe has proved they are a difficult team to beat, they may not be playing at their best but they always give 100 %.
Yusuf who deserves to score his first goal for the club again put in a hardworking performance often alone upfront. Emre Mutlu again put in the hard miles. Man of the Match for me was ex Maraş player OĞUZ GÖKTAŞ who was strong in the tackle and in the air, he is proving to be a good signing for us I like his attitude as well.
ESENTEPE TEAM: (4 -3-2-1) Ahmet (gk) ; Mahmut (Ali 46), Nersin (c), OĞUZ, Emek : Semih (Ilyas 65), Tuğra, Salih (Okan 90) : Emre , Ege Can ( Mehmet Ada 72) ; Yusuf.
Replacements not used: Onur (gk), Devran, Hüseyin, Şahin, Gökdeniz, Dinçer.
MARAS TEAM: Umut (gk) ; Ahmet (c), Emre Aktas, Mehmet Ergun, Emir, Emre Karaciğer , Serkan, Önder (Mehmet Can 80), BURAK, Oğuzhan , Ilhan (Süleyman 59).
Yellow cards: Umut, Ahmet, Önder, Oğuzhan (Maraş) ; Oğuz, Emre (Esentepe)
Referee: Emre Öztasliı- pretty good match overhaul, didn’t stand for any dissent or abuse.
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