Second division, day 23
The gap between the top two and the rest closed a little this weekend as both leaders failed to win. Xerez were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Almería on Sunday lunchtime, a result which still kept them a point clear of Recreativo who were beaten the day before. Lucas Alcaraz's side have not won in four games though, and they ended the weekend only six points above Levante, who return to the promotion spots after beating Racing Ferrol 2-1. Ian Harte opened the scoring for the Valencia based club from the penalty spot in the tenth minute after Bouchard was sent off, and a Jonathan own goal increased their lead before Joselito got a late consolation. Lorca are a surprise fourth, just a point behind Levante, after beating Elche 2-1. A De Carlos strike and a Ramos penalty put them ahead, with Rubén replying in the last minute.
Meanwhile the relegation spots stay as they were after the bottom four all failed to win. In fact Eibar were the only one's who managed to pick up a point, their 0-0 draw with Real Murcia taking them level with Poli Ejido, who lost 1-0 at Lleida thanks to a Santos strike in the second half. Málaga B stay firmly anchored to the bottom after a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Ciudad Murcia, for whom ex Málaga forward Paco Esteban opened the scoring. And Castellón drop further down the table after they were beaten 2-1 by Numancia, who move away from the danger zone after five games without defeat under new manager Andoni Goikoetxea. (05.02.06)
Second placed Recreativo failed to overtake Xerez after they fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Tenerife. Cristian Alvarez got the only goal following a first half free kick, and the Canary Islanders held on despite finishing the game with nine men. Curiously all four games on Saturday evening ended with single goal victories, with third placed Valladolid losing 0-1 to Albacete. David Cañas got the only goal for the visitors a minute before the interval. Nàstic took advantage to move up in to the promotion spots for the first time this season, an Ekpoki header giving them a 0-1 victory at Sporting Gijón, extending their winning run away from home to six games. Elsewhere Roberto Soldado gave Castilla a 0-1 win against a Hércules side who have not won in nine games, a result which may mean the end for coach Juan Carlos Mandía. (04.02.06)