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Match round-up - Second Division A, Day 16

Rayo Vallecano held on to second spot after a narrow 0-1 victory at Salamanca on Sunday lunchtime, their third win in a row in the Helmántico stadium. The locals started the match six points behind their opponents, looking for a victory to take them in to the running for the automatic promotion spots. But with just under twenty minutes on the clock Marcos Márquez headed a Piti cross past his own keeper following a corner, and Rayo were ahead. After the break Márquez was unlucky to have a goal ruled out by a linesman for a non-existent offside, and the striker was thwarted again late on when Cobeño pulled off the save of the day to deny him the equaliser.

Later in the evening Barcelona Athletic picked up a point in a 2-2 draw at Albacete to move up to fourth place in the table. The Manchegans had gone ten games without a win, but they seemed to be on their way when Asen opened the scoring with a header after Fragoso headed over a Miguel Nuñez cross on the half hour mark, and Tato added a second five minutes after the restart with a shot wide of Masip.Luis Enrique's side had come back from two down against Betis midweek though, and they repeated the act, Nolito getting on the end of Saúl's cross to pull one back and then setting up Jonathan Soriano for him to score against his old team.

Albacete stay down in the relegation spots, two points ahead of bottom club Gimnàstic who were thrashed 6-1 by Granada. Juan Carlos Oliva was in charge of the Catalans after Luis César was fired midweek, but he couldn't have had a worse start as Orellana opened the scoring early on and Collantes fired home a second from the penalty spot after he was brought down by Mingo. Geijo got a third on the half hour mark after Mikel Rico and Carlos Calvo combined to set him up, and although young substitute Eloy got one back soon after the restart, Iñigo López headed the fourth following a corner. Geijo scored again, his thirteenth of the season taking him to the top of the second division Pichichi chart, and Abel Gómez completed the "set" later on.

Tenerife are also struggling down in the drop zone, and they remain a point above Nàstic after losing 3-0 to Recreativo. The Andalusians themselves had been struggling until recently, but after seven games without defeat they were full of confidence. With half time looming Pablo Sánchez got on the end of Dani's cross to give Carlos Ríos's side the lead, and Dani himself got the second on the hour mark after Sánchez returned the favour. The Canary Islanders had no reply, and with the game in injury time Jesús Vázquez headed in an Emilio Sánchez free kick to take his side four points clear of the danger area. (12.12.10)

Betis increased their lead at the top of the second division to six points pending Sunday's games after beating neighbours Córdoba 3-1 on Saturday evening. Jorge Molina started on the subs' bench, but came on midway through the first half when Miguel Lopes picked up an injury. And within eight minutes the striker got his name on the scoresheet, lobbing Raúl Navas after picking up a return pass from Salva Sevilla. Two minutes later Iriney made it two with a shot from right of the area, and Nacho almost got a third when he hit the post soon after the restart. Jonathan Sesma did head one back from Oriol Riera's cross after that, but Rubén Castro restored the two goal cushion with a shot which came off the bar and went in off substitute keeper Alberto, who had replaced the injured Navas a few minutes earlier.

The weekend started though with an extraordinary match between regional rivals Valladolid and Numancia which ended 4-5 to the visitors. Abel Resino was in charge of the locals for the first time after taking over midweek, and he saw Javi Guerra open the scoring with a header from Nauzet's corner and then add a second from Jofre's cross with only a quarter of the game gone. A rapid Cedric scored for the visitors soon afterwards, but with just only half an hour on the clock Guerra completed his hat-trick after Guilherme set him up. A defensive error let in Iñigo Vélez though just before the break, and after the restart Barkero scored twice to turn the scoreline around, the first from Cedric's cross, and the second from the penalty spot after César Arzo fouled Dimas in the area. Marc Valiente levelled the scores again following a corner with six minutes to go, but with the game in injury time Barkero also scored his third of the game to give his side their first away win of the season.

Celta edged up to second pending Rayo's game tomorrow, although they will be less than happy with a 1-1 draw at Girona. With half an hour on the clock Santamaría turned a shot from Trashorras round the post, and from the resulting corner Català headed in Roberto Lago's centre. Falcón had to save from Peragón though before half time, and midway through the second half Luso equalised for the Catalans with a header following another corner. Kiko Ratón, Angel and Moha all had chances for the locals after that, but Paco Herrera's side held on for a point.

Xerez are back up to sixth after a 0-3 victory over Las Palmas. Both sides started level on points, and it was end to end stuff as Oscar Díaz and Ruymán hit the woodwork either side of half time. But the Andalusians went ahead seven minutes after the restart when Oscar Díaz won the ball off Juanpa to beat Barbosa, and five minutes later Pablo Redondo made it two from the penalty spot after David García brought down José Marí in the area. And with twelve minutes to go José Marí headed the third to hand the Canary Islanders their first home defeat of the season.

Elche stay level with Xerez on points after a 0-1 victory at Alcorcón, their sixth game in a row without defeat. The locals had most of the play in the first half, although the best chances fell to the visitors, Bodipo and Palanca both testing Manu Herrera. Ten minutes in to the second half however Mantecón picked up the ball in midfield and ran through to fire a shot in off the post, and although Borja had a couple of shots blocked and Quini hit the crossbar near the end, Anquela's side could not prevent their second home defeat of the season.

Alcorcón are now only four points above the drop zone, a point above Huesca who drew 1-1 at Villarreal B. A lively first half ended with Ochoa hitting the post for the visitors, but twelve minutes after the break Nicki Bille looped a header over Andrés from Iago Falqué's cross to open the scoring. Five minutes later though Huesca equalised when Dervite deflected a cross over the head of his own keeper, and a great performance after that by Andrés and his defence kept the scoreline unmoved to the final whistle. (11.12.10)

Cartagena moved up the table to fourth pending the rest of the weekend's games after beating Ponferradina 1-2 in the Friday night game. The locals had the better of the first half, with Del Olmo, Saizar and De Paula all going close. However they fell behind a couple of minutes before half time when Víctor converted a penalty after Miguel Angel handled in the area. Toché could have extended the lead a couple of times after the restart, but with ten minutes to go De Paula headed the equaliser from Candela's cross. Substitute Iñaki Muñoz won it for the visitors though just a minute after coming on, beating Mackay with a shot from almost forty metres out. (10.12.10)