Team - Gokhan Akkan, Metin Aydin, Volkan Geyik, Aytac Oden, Onur Atasayer, Harun Aydin, Mehmet Erdem, Teoman Erkan, Levent Kale, Umut Nayir
Subs - Turgut Kirveli, Batuhan Gulcan, Ali Sinan Gayla, Hasan Ayaroglu, Gurkan Alver, Ramazan Adiguzel, Hasan Kaya
Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
Yes, but ......... I didn’t have that ‘feel good’ feeling when I arrived at the Stadium. It was an eerie feeling not normally associated with Ankaragucu matches, ie, no noise !
I met up with Ahmet in The Sports Cafe and we were entertained with the matches on the Amateur pitches before entering the Stadium 20 minutes before KO. Ahmet commented that there was no singing or chanting which was unusual at this time pre-match.
It really was a pathetic attendance for an Ankaragucu match with Gecikondu and Maraton a quarter full ........... or if you feel pessimistic ........... three quarters empty !!! Even allowing for the fact that it was an early KO on Saturday it was very disappointing. Amazingly, there were 13 souls in the ‘away end’ and to their credit they displayed a banner on the front rail which read ............ ‘Let Ankaragucu not be history’. Sweet .... eh ??!!
So, there was Ahmet, Cider Kanka John and I, and in all honesty we were expecting the worst, but ....... strange things occur sometimes in footie .............
ANKARAGUCU 3 Kirklarelispor 0
It took only one minute for Ankaragucu to create the first chance when from an attack down the left wing a cross was met and the ball clipped over.
There was not a lot of action in front of goal but lots of effort from both teams. Kirklareli almost opened the scoring with their best chance of the match after 10 minutes when a dangerous attacking move was thwarted by the post with Gokhan luckily retreiving the ball from the rebound.
Ankaragucu looked the likelier team to score and they had a good opportunity on 37 minutes when Teoman headed over when all he had to do was flick the ball to his right of the goalkeeper and the goalmouth which was unguarded.
However, 4 minutes later the moment came which sent us all into unbelievable celebration. Ankaragucu scored from open-play for the first time in ......... well ......... a long time ! The ball was crossed from the left and after two attempts which were cleared, the 3rd shot from Aytac sneaked in to the goalkeeper’s right. I have a feeling he was un-sighted ! We were not complaining though as we sang and danced up and down in ....... relief !!!
Half time arrived and I think it is fair to say that, although Ankaragucu has the lion’s share of possession, they were fortunate to be going in ahead !
The 2nd half was to prove a different story with the Ankaragucu players proving what I suggested might happen in my comments to Nadeem’s preview in the last post. They fought for every ball and ran their hearts out.
Erdem was causing problems for the Kirklareli defence and 10 minutes into the 2nd half he opened up their defence and sent in a great cross from the left but Teoman shot narrowly past.
Kirklareli was still attacking and looking for an equaliser but Gokhan saved from a free kick just outside the box.
It was still tense, but that all changed on the 71st minute when the Goal of the Season was scored by Umut. Well ........ it would have been if the Super League cameras had been there to see it !! He picked up the ball just into the Kirklareli half and ran at the defence. With few options left or right, he kept on going, waltzing past 3 defenders tackles and then when he was just inside the box he let fly and the ball screamed into the net with the goalkeeper helpless. A truly fantastic individual effort and a goal to settle the team and supporters nerves.
We were still in euphoric mode and settling down, when it was three only 3 minutes later. Yet another great individual strike, this time from Erdem, who evaded two tackles and from just inside the box sent in a great shot to the corner with the goalkeeper well beaten.
Ankaragucu still pressed forward and in my opinion should have had a penalty on the 83rd minute when a mistake was made by a Kirklareli defender which allowed Umut to latch on to the ball and take the ball forward into the penalty area. Then, just as he was about to shoot, he was tackled and brought down. From my position, it was defo a foul and a penalty, but the referee pointed for a corner.
OK, it was his decision, and no criticism of him intended. Apart from that incident, I thought he had a good match and, after all, it is his decision which counts !
So, 3 valuable points and what a boost in confidence for the team after so many recent disappointments. They can now go to Nazzili next weekend with confidence and try and finish the first half of the season without slipping into the relegation area any deeper.
As I said, Umut’s goal was star quality, but the whole team played their hearts out today in what was an encouraging performance. My Man of the Match award though goes to Erdem for his non stop running and his never say die spirit. This spirit obviously affected the whole team and it is to their credit that they came back to winning ways.
Well done !
Cider Kanka John and I celebrated in the Red Lion Club but we weren’t really watching that funny shaped ball game .......... we were singing ................. Aaaaaankaaaaaarrrrrraaaaaaagooooojooooo !!!! Yesssssssssssssss !
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim