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Match round-up - Second Division A, Day 1

Rayo Vallecano put in their claim for a return to the top flight with a 3-2 victory over Numancia on Sunday lunchtime. The visitors had the better start, Barkero converting a fourteenth minute penalty. But within seven minutes Rayo were in the lead, Casado levelling the scores and Armenteros netting a second with a well struck free kick. With ten minutes to go Coke beat Lafuente for a third time, and a headed goal in injury time by Culebras came to late to make any difference to the result.

We had to wait for the last two games of the weekend though to see who came out on top on the first weekend. Betis and Xerez had both asked for their fixtures to be rescheduled for late on Sunday evening to avoid the intense heat in the South of Spain, the former taking advantage to clock up a 4-1 victory over their newly promoted neighbours Granada. Dorado headed the locals in to the lead from an early corner, but Dani Benítez responded with an individualist goal for the visitors, who had been waiting 22 years for their return to the big time. Nacho and Rubén combined to set up Jorge Molina for Betis's second though just before the interval, and after the restart Salva Sevilla lobbed Roberto to make it three, and then set up Molina for his second of the night near the end.

A similar result at Xerez, but this time it was visitors Cartagena who ran out 1-4 victors to join Betis at the top of the table. An early goal by Toché was cancelled out by Mario Bermejo a few minutes later. But Lafuenta and Botelho scored two more for José Ignacio Martínez's side in the first ten minutes of the second half, and Toché rounded off the scoring with his second of the night with ten minutes to go.

The other two games on Sunday evening both ended all square. Salamanca and Córdoba drew 1-1, with Miguel García heading in Quique Martín's corner to put the home side in front with just three minutes on the clock, and Jonathan Sesma equalising from the penalty spot a quarter of an hour later after Kike López had brought down Pepe Díaz in the area.

A 1-1 draw as well between Albacete and second division debutants Alcorcón, a side better known for knocking city neighbours Real Madrid out of the cup last season whilst still in the second division B. The visitors actually went ahead when Fernando Sales beat Keylor Navas with an angled shot half an hour in to the match. But with a quarter of an hour to go Asen headed an Antonio López cross past Manu Herrera to save a point for his team. (29.08.10)

A bad start for Tenerife on their return to the second division, the Canary Islanders losing 4-2 to Girona on Saturday evening. The locals took the lead early on with a Jandro penalty after David Prieto fouled Serra. And although Nino equalised with a low shot, the Catalans were back in front by half time after Jandro headed in Peragón's cross. Two minutes after the restart scores were level again after a shot ballooned off Serra over his own keeper, but two goals in quick succession with a quarter of an hour to go put the result beyond doubt, Kiko Ratón heading in a cross from Chichu and Peragón lobbing Luis García to complete the scoreline.

To make matters worse for Tenerife, their neighbours Las Palmas won 3-2 against Gimnàstic. It took a late strike by Javi Guerrero to win it for them though after the visitors had gone ahead twice. Rubén Navarro started things off for the Catalans in the thirteenth minute, and although Aythami equalised soon afterwards, Morán restored the lead a minute later. Alvaro Cejudo made it all square though on the half hour mark, and with five minutes to go Javi Guerrero got the winner.

Barcelona Athletic signalled their return to the second division with a 1-2 victory at Celta, who have now failed to win their opening game for four years in a row. Although the locals had the better of the early play, Nolito found Jonathan Soriano for him to open the scoring midway through the first half. Two minutes before the interval Fontás made it two after running on to another through ball from Nolito, and a second half strike by David Rodríguez from Dani Abalo's cross was not enough to change the result.

Ponferradina were also returning to 2A just a couple of seasons after going down, and they picked up their first point of the season after drawing 0-0 with Huesca. Only a string of excellent saves by Cabrero prevented the home side from opening up a big gap at half time, but the excessive heat took its toll in the second half and the game petered out to a draw.

Elche got the edge over Recreativo in their opening match, an early free kick by Edu Albacar enough to give them a 1-0 victory. Manolo Martínez and Fidel both wasted opportunities to equalise before the break, but again the game slowed in the second half and chances were few and far between. (28.08.10)

Valladolid kicked off the new season with a 3-0 victory over Villarreal B on Friday night. A much changed side took the lead with only six minutes gone when Javi Guerra turned in Nauzet's cross, and only some good goalkeeping from Diego Mariño prevented the locals from increasing their lead before the break. The visitors were left with ten men just a couple of minutes after the restart when Hernán Pérez was sent off for insulting a linesman, and Calle and Pedro López added two more later on, the first a header from Sisi's cross and the second with an angled shot after cutting in from the wing. (27.08.10)