My God. That was one hell of a scary evening.
Everything started perfectly. Met up at the Chopin with a Scotsman called James (no, not Sir Eski) who was in town from the fair city of Cork with his Turkish wife and a friend of their's called Valerie. Sort of watched the FA Cup and then Rebecca, Spine, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and Orcan showed up.
At one stage a fellow in the pub asked whether we were really Gencler fans. "Why of course", we replied and he then identified himself as the brother of former Gencler attacking midfielder Mehmet Cakir's brother. Damon and myself went... "ah, I knew he looked like somebody we knew".
Plenty of beers and left for the stadium about 20 minutes before kick-off. Bugger all people at the match as most were watching the "big games" for the league title on the telly.
We started out okay but our defence was pretty rubbish, we were missing Traore and Koray.. and it showed. Kayseri went one up after about 12 minutes but we weren't too worried as we looked the better team. A few chances snuffed out by the Kayseri keeper and then Kayseri scored again, and then again. Three attacks, three goals.
Half-time cup of tea and we were depressed but still not desperate as the other games were both 0-0, meaning that we were safe.
A few minutes into the second-half though and news went through the crowd, quite a few people had radios, that Konya had won a penalty. The vast majority of the crowd ignored the game in front of us and instead sat hoping. "Blast," said I, or perhaps it was a slightly harsher word than that, as Konya scored. I can't remember what minute this was in but it was fairly early in the second half. As things stood, Gencler was to be relegated.
At this point the crowd stopped any cheering for the team and instead directed its ire at the team management. Some of the slogans included, "Cavcav istifa", "Samet istifa" "yeter artik Cavcav, yeter artik" and "El Saka gelsin, Samet gitsin". My attempt to get the crowd screaming "deiyetisyen istifa" failed to get much traction.
There was a damn lot of anger out there and I completely lost track of what was happening on the field. At one stage Orcan said that we only had 10 players on the field. I had completely missed the fact that we had a player sent off.
Then Recep, our keeper for the day, seemed to take offence at something or other us in the crowd had done and then the crowd turned on him with a general "watch the game you idiot".
It was all quite surreal. We were standing for most of the second half but I don't have a clue what happened on the pitch, well, except for the fact that Kayseri scored another to make it 4-0.
The anti-Cavcav chants continued and then news came through with about 15 minutes left that Antalya had scored. A huge cheer went up, Gencler weren't going down!, and after a few pro-Ankaragucu chants we went back to the "yonetim istifa" chants.
By this time our coach Samet Aybaba, the famous lover of Arabs everywhere, had already left the stadium. Good riddance I say.
The referee blew the full time whistle but we stayed in the stands waiting for those in the crowd who were listening to the radio to give us the all clear. A few minutes later and it was confirmed that Antalya had beaten Ankaragucu. Bloody close.
Into the taxi and off to the James Cook bar where we were taunted by all the Besiktas fans. A few beers in and Muzo, one of our Scribblers darts team players shows up with his fiancee Aylin, who just happens to be the dietitian at Gencler. Not long later Gencler's normal goalkeeper Bojan, and his lovely wife Anna, joined us.
It was a lovely end to what I can only describe as one crap night. Thank god Ankaragucu lost.