Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
It was a beautiful Spring day when I arrived at the Stadium and there were two amateur matches in progress on the Astro Turf pitches outside. Interestingly, on one of the matches there was a lady referee and a lady assistant referee, and from what I saw, they were doing a fine job.
Into the Stadium and Gecikondu and Maraton were full as usual with the others half full. A quiet 100 in the away end - quiet ? Mmmmm …... probably because they were not used to Ankaragucu tribunes and the noise they make !!
I was joined by Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Cider Kanka John and Aussie Desert Kanka Robbie and then we were up and running.
ANKARAGUCU 2 Bayrampasaspor 1
Ankaragucu set their marker early by going into all out attack and it only took 3 minutes for Mehmet to test the opposition defence, but the shot was over the bar. Serhat had another attempt minutes later but his shot was over too.
7 minutes in and Ankaragucu should have opened the scoring in a goalmouth scramble but the ball was cleared.
18 minutes in and it was still all Ankaragucu and Mehmet almost made the pressure count in a free kick, but it went just past the post.
It took until the 20th minute for Bayrampasa to threaten, but the shot was over the bar. Then 4 minutes later Volkan had a great chance, but his header went past the post.
Gokhan had his first save to make shortly after when he smothered a tame shot, and minutes later Volkan was put through with only the goalkeeper to beat and he sent his shot straight into his arms.
Ten minutes to half time and the break through arrived …...... at last ! Yet another Ankaragucu attack and in a goal mouth melee, Umut had a 2nd 'bite of the cherry' and poked the ball in for a goal to settle our nerves.
(At this stage I was receiving messages from Maniac Kanka Harun that our rivals, Altinordu and Alanya were winning).
Approaching the half time whistle and Ankaragucu had two more attempts which should have been converted, but going in at half time one up was ….. acceptable.
Ankaragucu resumed where they left off and were off in pursuit of the 2nd goal. It duly arrived 14 minutes in when Emre (Man of the Match AGAIN) went on one of his attacks down the left and sent in an inch perfect cross to Levent at the far post to slide in for No2. Yesssssssssssss …. relief all round. However, not very impressed with Levent's celebration when he ran off to the VIP Section and to the Coach instead of running to Emre. The tribunes obviously agreed by chanting Emre..... Emre …..... Emre !!!
Then came the turning point in the match with 30 minutes remaining. A free kick was awarded to Bayrampasa just outside the Ankaragucu box, but before the kick could be taken there was a protest around the referee. First, the referee pulled out a yellow card and proceeded to organise the free kick, but suddenly, the referee turned and showed a RED card to Muhammed. Presumably he said something to 'displease' the referee ??!!!
Levent off …... then Mehmet......... to be replaced by defenders and runners. It was desperate times going into the last 15 minutes and a great 'backs against the wall' performance from the whole team.
There was one last chance for Ankaragucu to make the game safe, but substitute (No 57 – didn't get his name) had a great shot from outside the box which rebounded off the crossbar and cleared to safety.
A fortunate win some might say. However, Ankaragucu showed great character to hold on to their 2-1 lead and …......... get out of jail !
Back to The Chopin to celebrate our win, and ….......... Harun's birthday, where we were joined by Maniac Kanka Harun and his gorgeous daughter Hazal. Then, off to Cider Kanka's new apartment to sample his Isle of Mull Malt Whisky which is distilled in Tobermory. Mmmmmm …..... it was …... yummy !!!
So, the pressure is still ….. ON. The same can be said for Altinordu and Alanya, and …... as we have to go to Alanya in 3 weeks time, it is up to the players to bring 3 points back from there.
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim