Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Hikmet Karaman has pulled off a remarkable recovery in a team which was looking like it was heading for the 2nd Division last month. Under pressure after the reverse in Bursa, he has motivated the team to something which we could only dream about last month, ie, 3 straight wins and 9 points !
ANKARAGUCU 1 Ankaraspor 0
Perhaps on reflection we should not compare Hikmet Bey with ANYONE ! He has proved (to me anyway) that he is his own man and the man to take us forward next season to do ‘a Sivas’ and challenge the ‘Big 4’.
We all met up yesterday in The Chopin Bar full of optimism. Brasil Kankie Larrisa was first in before I joined her. In came all the Bilkent Crew. Mountaineering Kanka Robbie, Mountaineering Kankie Judy, and Judy’s cousin, Mary, from Mississippi, all 3 of them just off the bus from Cappadokia in time to see the match (now that’s what I call loyalty !). Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and Philly Kanka Jamie followed, doner kebab sandwich in hand as usual !
Into the Stadium which was bursting at the seams and the atmosphere up-beat after last week’s great win in Kadikoy. We were joined by Kaleci Kanka Tansu and Rip Off Kanka Erman, but Yankee Kanka found himself in ‘The Cage’ and so couldn’t join us.
Ceyhun was back in the starting line-up, but Jaba was missing (too many yellows me thinks ?!). Our normal back 5 (Serkan, Boozy, Santos, El Yasa and Ilkem) were in and it looks like Hikmet Bey has formed the team in this regular formation with Ceyhun, Barbaros and Semavi in the middle and the two ‘olde boys’, Mehmet and Iglesias up front. Kerem was in for Jaba.
As in the past few weeks, Ankaragucu was straight into attack mode and should have been FIVE up by half time. Semavi missed two great chances, one of which was an open goal but he managed to send the ball high into Gecikondu !! Iglesias had two great headers well saved by Senecky and Ceyhun had a screamer which went narrowly past the post.
To be fair to Ankaraspor, they didn’t come to 19 Mayis Stadium like ‘lambs to the slaughter’ ! So, any thoughts of a ‘fix’ were soon dispelled with their breakaway attacks and fierce tackling.
Serkan was beaten once and only the post saved the blushes ! In another attack the ball was swung over but it eluded the two inrushing attackers – phew, that was close, as Battle Damaged and I eye-balled each other in relief !
The 2nd half resumed with Ankaragucu attacking the away-end and we were all screaming for an effin goal to have something to show for all the players hard graft.
Then, 10 minutes in, and Captain Ceyhun crossed wide with defenders anticipating an in-swinger. El Yasa, who had been following up, met it first time, but instead of ballooning it over like Semavi in the first half, he hit it with the outside of his right foot on the half-volley and the ball went screaming low into the goal with Senecky stationery. Another candidate for goal of the season ?!
Cue……. up the volume, and Ooooooooos and Ahhhhhhhhs, followed by the ….. lie lie lie lie lie lie Ankara song from FIVE tribunes. It was a carnival atmosphere now with a call for more goals.
Unfortunately, it was not to be, and Ankaragucu was left ‘hanging on’ in the last 10 minutes having surrendered the midfield to Ankaraspor.
Nerve ends were jangling, but the final whistle arrived at last and then the lap of honour commenced with the usual throwing of shirts by the players into the crowd.
Another excellent team performance which augers well for the future. However, there are still 4 matches to go and the scrap is still on to avoid the drop with Kocaeli and Hacettepe.
Next weekend Ankaragucu is away to Galatasaray so we will watch the match in The Chopin Bar. Details when known.
No doubt Hikmet Bey will adopt the same tactics which he employed in Kadikoy two weeks ago. If so, we have every reason to remain optimistic. Galatasaray’s season is falling apart after early high hopes, so a great opportunity to ‘put the sword in’ to win another 3 points, and at the same time, assist Bursa in their UEFA Cup qualification aspirations !
All the best from ‘upbeat’ Eski Kanka Jim
It is 8.10pm on Monday and Kaleci Kanka Tansu has just informed me that the Galata....spit.....saray v Ankaragucu match will be on Saturday night at 7pm in KAYSERI. CimBom have been punished for the naughty naughty behaviour of their horrible fans a few weeks ago ..... tut tut tut .... shame on them !!!