Not much of a match report from me today as I was rather distracted for large swathes of the match. No, it wasn't a good-looking girl sitting in front of me but the fact that I brought along my son, Matthew (age almost 3) for his first ever football match.
A good meet up at the Chopin saw French Kanka Hande and her man Spine (rather than the other way around), soon to be joined by Maniac Kanka Harun who was there on a mission to sell Gencler shirts. We bought three, all official merchandise, along with three key-rings. All kitted up we were drinking our beers and eating our kofte when Nordic Kanka Stian and his little boy Bendik walked in. A minute or two later Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo showed up and we were in full swing.
It was getting quite close to kick-off and I wanted to get off to the stadium but who insists on showing up and insisting on a last minute beer? None other than Smart Arse Yanky Kanka Dave and his good wife Mrs. Smart Arse Yankee Kanka Suzanne. Obviously, once they ordered a beer so did the rest of table. The sacrifices one makes for the kankas!
Finally we made it to the stadium and amazingly, considering the weather was perfect, tickets were bloody cheap at just 2 TL (about 1.50 US dollars) and that Gencler are riding high in the league, there was very little difficulty getting into the stadium.
(PHOTO: Oz Kanka and Little Oz Matthew)
The only difficulty was when PC Plod smelt on my breath that I may have had a beer in the last two weeks.
"Are you drunk?", PC Plod asked me.
"No", I replied.
"Let's go and see my captain", says PC Plod.
Holding on to little Matthew's hand we go off to see someone with brain. As soon as the captain realises that as I'm with a three year-old I may not fit the perfect description of a hooligan intent on destroying the peace I was told to go on my way. For God's sake, I only had a couple of beers! NOTE: Remember to eat Fisherman's Friends closer to gate, not in the taxi on the way to match.
Onto the match.
Genclerbirligi 0 - 0 Gaziantepspor
Both Matthew and Bendik loved the atmosphere at the match... the singing, the clapping. Ah, almost forgot. As we were walking in some camera guys from TRT zoomed in on us (I'd like to think it was because they saw how good looking I am). Instead of concentrating on me they pointed the camera at Matthew who did a wonderful version of "kirmizi, siyah, en buyuk, Gencler". I have no idea what programme they plan on showing this footage but if anyone sees it please tell me.
(PHOTO: Little Nordic Kanka Bendik wearing what looks like something Japanese out of WWII but is in fact merely proof he is prepared to die for Gencler. Oz Kanka and Little Oz Kanka in the background)
Back in the stadium, the match kicks off and... well... I guess it can be best summed up by Nordic Kanka Stian:
"I just saw your son yawning for 30 seconds".
As far as I remember, and don't forget that I was distracted quite often during the whole match, Draman Haminu had a chance at goal... but blew it.
Gencler just didn't seem to be up for it. If anyone looked like scoring it was Gaziantep, and quite frankly they were rubbish, which made us look like total idiots.
I have no idea why but our coach Mesut Bakkal decided to replace Draman not long after (we are still in the first half here).
(PHOTO: French Kanka Hande and Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo)
Second half wasn't much better, Isaac and Okan up front weren't doing much, and Mr. Fish managed to bugger up a fine chance when he headed the ball wide. I should also point out we were bloody lucky on a number of occasions when Gaziantep missed sitters.
Then Tozo, the Brazillian who had replaced Draman, was given a second yellow card (quite deservedly). This was around about the 60th minute mark and amazingly this was the spark that woke Gencler up.
We had attack after attack and if just one of the chances in the last few minutes had gone in... I'd be a happy man.
But they didn't and we left the stadium in low spirits.
Not to matter, it was off to Sakarya for more beers and little Matthew has now learnt what all this football stuff is all about.
ie. go to the pub... go to match... watch rubbish... go back to the pub. Get told off when you get home for being late.
I have to admit, it was a real father-son bonding sort of day. Loved it.