Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Lots of sceptical looks between the kankas last night as the two 'brother teams' managed to conjour up a no score draw. Surprisingly, there were 2 or 3 yellow cards, but nothing malicious, well ........ apart from the giant black guy up front (name ?) who obviously wasn't informed of the 'love-in' before the kick off !
Apart from 4 genuine goal chances for Ankaragucu and a great save from Ozden, the 'love-in' singing between the Ankaragucu fans and Bursa fans was the only real highlight of the match !
Ankaragucu 0 Bursaspor 0
Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Cider Kanka John and I met up at The Chopin and welcomed back one of the original kankas from 2000 (?), Richard Carlson, who was introduced to our group by Kirkaldy Kanka Martyn. We also welcomed Phil Crabb from Oxford who was attending his first Ankaragucu match. Phil is going to be a regular visitor to Ankara and we expect to see him again and hopefully he will be a regular contributor to the Blog with his vast footie knowledge.
A pretty good turnout for a midweek match on a cold winter's night, with the Bursa end almost full and singing 'love songs' to the Ankaragucu tribunes throughout the match which were all reciprocated.
There was only one genuine scoring effort in a boring first half when, after some good work from Serdar down the left, the cross came in and Keles shot wide when he really should have done better.
Ankaragucu came out for the 2nd half showing more determination and adventure and they almost opened the scoring from the kick off when Turgut fired in a goal bound shot which Carson did well to get down for and tip the ball round the post for a corner. One minute later, Keles had another goal bound shot well saved by Carson.
Bursa's only serious effort on goal in the entire match came on 55 minutes when Ozden did extremely well to tip a goal bound rocket over the bar for a corner.
Ankaragucu continued to press forward and always looked the likelier team to score in the 2nd half. Another case of almost arrived in the 60th minute when Turgut beat 2 defenders down the left with some tricky footwork, but a 3rd defender blocked his shot.
5 minutes later another opportunity came and went when Serdar sent over an inviting cross for Keles, but just as he was about to make contact with his head, a defender's head got in the way !
The last action of the match saw Aydin sending in a screamer from just outside the penalty box which went just over the bar.
I should also mention that Sestak came on as a substitute for the 2nd half and was 'boo-ed' every time he touched the ball. So............ if you make a friend of Gecikondu and Anti-X they will be your friend for life, BUT ..... !!!!
We could argue that it was 2 points lost rather than 1 point gained, but at this stage of the season, any crumbs are gratefully received and snapped-up !
So, despite the fact that '2 more leaves have fallen off the tree' (Ozgur and Ugur), there were some encouraging signs last night that all is not yet lost.
Hurriyet continues to be the driving force in midfield as Captain Courageous, and we must all hope that he is not going to be 'another leaf'. Turgut, Serdar and Keles were full of running last night and seem to have developed a better understanding of what their roles are. Atilla came on late as a substitute and could press the others for a place up front.
However, the area of concern is in defence and that is a situation which Ziya Bey has to resolve within his limited resources.
Back to The Chopin we went to meet up with Maniac Kanka Harun who watched the 2nd half on TV.
Next up is the away match in Antalya on Sunday KO 1pm. Watching in The Chopin.
Yet another MUST WIN match ..... (how many times have I said that this season ???!!!).
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim