Genclerbirligi 3 - 2 Trabzonspor
|Mark and Steve and Carl and Carlo and Saadet and Joanne
and Matthew and Chris and Steph.
A decent crowd with eight of us at the Beer Bus this afternoon where we found the bar staff were wiping the floors and chairs. It seems that a huge crowd of Trabzon supporters had just left. Poor buggers had to go to the stadium more than an hour and a half before kick-off to guarantee themselves a seat. Us Gencler fans rock up 20 minutes before the start and still manage to get a decent spot.
Gencler have had a couple of good weeks but even the most optimistic of us thought Trabzon would be too good for us. This was confirmed just 30 seconds in when Ugur sent a back pass to Ramazan. The pass was a little bit harder than it should have been and Ramazan slipped over when trying to get to it. Ramazan thought it was going out and ignored it but a Trabzon player rightly stormed in and from an acute angle got it into the back of the net.
Stunned silence from the Gencler crowd. Absolutely embarrassing for Ramazan and head in hands time for me. Remember this was 30 seconds in and we were already one nil down.
This was surely going to be an absolute disaster but while the Gencler players didn't exactly pick up the pace (the game had hardly started at this stage) but we played some decent football. We had control and balls were going through to our strikers. No goal though. Even though at one stage a great shot from Ugur appeared to go in... it didn't though.
The referee was starting to be annoying with decisions starting to go Trabzon's way. Then Ugur got himself involved again when he made a somewhat silly tackle on a Trabzon player in the box. Yep. A penalty. At the time I thought it was very harsh decision, as did the Gencler fans and the players. The referee started handing cards to Gencler players for talking too much and this only got the fans angrier.
They scored and so after 34 minutes Trabzon were two up.
Looking back at a replay now on the Digiturk website I think it was probably a correct decision to give the penalty.
The thing is though it got our fans to sing louder and the players to really put their heart into what was already a pretty good performance. And so our just reward came deep into added on time of the first half with Zec getting a header through to Stancu. Stancu managed to get around former Gencler player Aykut and then rounded the Trabzon keeper.
Down 2-1 at half-time but I was still pretty hopeful we could at least get the draw. We were by far the better team of the first half and our players knew it.
Second half and it was pretty much the same. Trabzon had a few goes but in general we were the team actually going for it.
Then came the reward after some extremely loud chanting from our supporters.
Sixty-seventh minute and a free kick was sent in to the box by Jimmy. Onto the head of Ahmet Calik and in. That was one of the most deserved goals I've seen. We had been so dominant and from such a horrible start.
The players weren't having any of my "moral victory" stuff, they wanted real victory and it was great to see such passion on the field.
80 minutes in and Trabzon were attacking. A shot at goal was made and one of our players managed to give it an almighty hoof from inside the box to clear it. Thing is, Jimmy decided that this hoof was a pass and ran after it. With two Trabzon players on him Jimmy managed to control the ball, keep running, and then getting it past the keeper. Fantastic stuff.
And that was that. We had out-sung
the large Trabzon fan groups. We had played vastly superior football. We were the better team by far. That make three league victories in a row. Not bad really
By the way I approve of Jimmy's new beard!