It was a return to the 19 Mayis Stadium today and my how great it was to be home... even if the seating arrangements were all muddled up.
Genclerbirligi 0 - 1 Ankaragucu
I must say it is annoying to have to write this sort of a report when there are at least five other much happier kankas sitting back waiting to pounce.
So let's start with happy things. ie Efes. Little Oz Kanka and myself showed up to the the Beer Bus, having made our way through the protest shelters of the striking Tekel workers (do any of you know how difficult it is to explain to a six year-old the ins and outs of a union protest? - For me, I just said they were fighting for because they want a job. "Why is the government against them having a job?" asked Little Oz Kanka. "Err, because... err, ah look, there's Burger King!").
At the Beer Bus were Maniac Kanka Harun, drinking water, Eski Kanka Jimbo, drinking coffee, and another fellow drinking nothing at all. Clearly the Chopin Bar next door weren't losing too much money by our decision to move bars.
Not too long later we were joined by Connect Kanka, Battle Damaged and Philly Kanka.We love you Efes, we do. We love you Efes, we do. We love you Efes we, oh Efes we love you.
Being Ankaragucu supporters they all had to leave for the match rather early and so myself, Little Oz Kanka Matthew and Ambo Kanka Peter hung around for a couple more beers (a cola for Little Oz Kanka) before we made our way.
The fun of course was to be had even before kick-off. As we drove into the stadium the Ankaragucu fans were already fighting. Not with the Gencler fans but amongst themselves. Much laughing from inside our car as we made our way in and then a long walk around the stadium for us home fans. Why the Ankaragucu lot weren't given the normal away section I have no idea.
Finally got in and lo and behold a fairly decend crowd. The pitch looked okay, but it was fairly clear it was going to cut up badly soonish.
Kick-off and Ankaragucu went for it. It was quite a tirade and it was therefore not a surprise that Gucu scored (Darius Vassel) in about the 13th minute. It was nice stuff and Gencler had no answer to the great football being played. We all the thought the goal might spark something in the gencler players and to an extent it did.
Serkan in goal for Ankaragucu made one brilliant save in the first half and was in the right position to stop a couple of other good chances.
All up though Gencler weren't converting possession into attacking opportunities. This was even more pronounced in the second half when we had perhaps 90 percent possession and bugger all shots. Having said that, as soon as Ankaragucu scored they set out their defensive lines well. They ought to be a tough nut for anyone to crack.
Little Oz Kanka, a disembodied Oz Kanka and Ambo Kanka Peter.
The pitch started to cut up badly towards the end and perhaps the field out at "The Stadium from Hell" is better at the moment. I don't care though. The one chant, started by the Ankaragucu fans and then taken up enthusiastically by us Gencler lot was "This is our home, we don't want Yenikent." The sad reality is that Gokcek has already announced that the rest of Ankaragucu's home matches this season will be played out at Yenikent. Us Gencler fans are lucky. We will be playing at the 19 Mayis. There but for the grace of God go I. (question: as an atheiest am I supposed to capitalise the diety?)
Post match and back to the Beer Bus to discuss the penalty that wasn't given to Gencler for what looked like a pretty clear hand ball in the box in the 90-something minute and the general total incompetence of the referee. On the last point at least we agreed.
So that was the view this Gencler supporter saw it. I know you Ankaragucu kankas have different views and different insights (ie what was all the fighting about?). Please add them in the comments. If anyone starts swearing at each other I reserve the full right to allow those comments to stand uncensored. Fight!
Photos soonish. Done