Your good correspondant was on his own at the Beer Bus on Saturday afternoon. Not lonely though, I had Efes at hand, footy on the tele, and a copy of Posta newspaper (which is actually more a cartoon strip than a newspaper - and that includes mehmet Ali Birand's column - he was actually spruiking a car hire service for all of his readers who might need a lift from JFK airport into New York!).
Trabzon had gone one-nil down by the time I had to leave for the stadium and it was at the gates I had my first gift of the day - a white scarf with the Genclerbirligi logo at one end and AndoluJet logo on the other.
A freebie is a freebie and I wasn't going to turn it down, even though I got quite a bit of stick from the "anti-Industrial Football" types of the Alkaralar group.
Genclerbirligi 1 - 1 Sivasspor
Hopes were not particularly high before the match thanks to the fact that 326 of our first team players are currently on life-support systems at a Medicana hospital (one of our new sponsors), but still, you never know.
The game kicked off in excellent football conditions, although it was a very small crowd, and it was Sivas who showed their intent to try and get an away win.
Once again Serdar in goal was brilliant. His positional play is excellent and throughout the match he showed why Galatasaray have shown an interest in buying him during the half-season transfer window.
He denied them once or twice and then came what can only be described as a Pro-Evolution Soccer goal. A bloke makes a run down the wing and without really knowing what he was doing sent it across near the goal where the player with the gamepad is then delighted to find that someone had run in. Tap of the [A] key (at least is an [A] key on my generic brand gamepad) and bang. 0 - 1.
Gencler were up for it though and started to put the pressure on. Not much in the way of shots though. Strangely, Zumdick had put Patiyo in as the main striker, a position I had never seen him play before and clearly a big message to our only two fit specialist strikers - Billy Mehmet, who replaced Patiyo in the second half, and Kiwi Smeltz who wasn't even on the bench.
But the attacks were happening and hope was high for an equaliser. In the end it was from a free-kick.
The ball was a few metres outside the box and Soner Oktay hit it over the wall and into the left-hand side of the net. Excellent goal and the second time in two weeks we have equalised from brilliant free kicks.
EDIT: Having seen the highlights I see that at didn't actually go over the wall, but to the left of it. Still an excellent goal.
Half-time and I was having a cigarette next to the sign saying that smoking will net you a 2,000 billion TL fine when someone came over to me and said he would like to give me his scarf - a Kara Kizil Genclerbirligi scarf. I had no idea about who Kara Kizil until I googled them and found this site. Genclerbirligi fan politics is sooooooo far removed from the rest of the league... and that's why I love them. (having thought about it, I wonder if their giving me a scarf was a way of taking the piss out of me for having taken an AnadoluJet scarf ????)
Tempo dropped quite a bit after this but in second half it was almost all us. No real chances were created though and everyone in the crowd was moaning the fact that Pektemek and Zec are still injured. I would say with both of them on the field we could well have one at least three out of our last four matches.
The game ended how it began with Serdar making a great save from Serdar.
Oh yes, one of our guys went off injured in the first half. No word yet on if he has survived or will be back next week.