The beautiful Autumn weather continues in Ankara for the start of the Bayram week and so it was in comfort that Spine, Ambo Kanka Peter, Patrick, Ciaran, Little Oz Kanka and myself sat and gossipped in the Beer Bus.
We all crammed into Ambo Peter's car and joined the massive queues to get in. I guess the good weather got the people out as prices for the match were 45tl for Maraton. Pretty steep when you consider that our season tickets cost us 90tl.
Genclerbirligi 0 - 2 Besiktas
With so many of our top players out injured (zec, Harbuzi, Stewart etc) it was with great joy that we saw Gencler go out there with attacking intent. There has certainly been a big change since Zumdick took over a few weeks ago and it is clear that the fans appreciate it.
We were taking Besiktas on and, despite a few scares, were pretty pleased with the overall performance in the first half. One hassle though is that some of our players don't go for shots. This was particularly true of Kiwi Shane Smetlz who seemed as if he wanted to walk the ball into the goal. Come on guys, if you have a chance, go for it!
Just before half-time. Photo by Spine on top of a concrete box.
As I said things were going okay until stoppage time in the first half when a ball went in from the left and seemingly went across the goal and off to the other side. Sighs of relief all round until we noticed that the ref had pointed to the spot. It certainly didn't look like a penalty to me and Besiktas smashed in the goal. All the old (but clean) anti-referee chants went up and a moment or two later I got two text messages. The first from Flying Dutchman Kanka:
"Not a penalty! not even after replay on my laptop. Referee has been bought, no surprise there, eh? Shit Istanbul teams. Haydi Gencler!!!"
Then a moment later from Sir Eski Kanka:
"How much did BJK pay ref?
I'm not sure but you can see the incident at the beginning of this YouTube clip. Sorry to those in Turkey who have can't see it. Youtube seems to be banned again. My advice, check out OpenDNS.
Second half and we stepped up a gear and could have so easily equalised. Serkan pulled off the shot of the match with a lovely far distance strike that the Besiktas keeper only just managed to get a hand to and the ball then hit the upright.
Attack after attack and plenty of sighs and signs of desperation from us Gencler fans when at the very death of the match, at 90+6, Besiktas ran through on a counter attack and scored their second.
A tough end and no points but I'm still feeling positive. We would beat most teams the way we played today, not to mention the referee (it wasn't just the penalty, plenty of Besiktas players should have been given multiple yellow cards).
I actually had a nice afternoon yesterday, and even though we are down near the bottom of the league things are starting to look positive.