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Match round-up - Second Division A, Day 17

A goal fest to end the year, with Cartagena beating Las Palmas 5-2 on Sunday lunchtime to move up to fourth in the table. Within twenty minutes the locals were three up, Cala opening the scoring in under a minute following a corner. Ten minutes later Toni Moral worked a one-two with Toché to score the second, and Víctor scored a spectacular third, lobbing the ball back over the head of Borbosa from some forty metres out. The Canary Islanders fought back though, Dani Carril pulling one back on the stroke of half time and then crossing in on the hour mark for Javi Guerrero to turn the ball in to the net with a little help from Lafuente. Three minutes later though Lafuente made it four for the home side after Barbosa could only push out a shot from Iñaki Muñoz, and Toché wrapped things up with a fifth goal five minutes later.

That just left one game for Sunday evening, Barcelona Athletic and Ponferradina signing off 2010 with a 1-1 draw. Luis Enrique's side had drawn their last four games, but they thought they had won it with ten minutes to go when Saúl scored on the follow up after Mackay blocked a shot from Jonathan Soriano. Three minutes later though the visitors equalised after De Paula played on a long ball for Javi López to beat Masip, earning them another valuable point in their fight to avoid relegation. (19.12.10)

Betis extended their lead at the top of the second division to five points after beating Tenerife 0-3 on Saturday evening. Pepe Mel's side dominated right from the start, Emaná opening the scoring in only the sixth minute with a long shot and Rubén Castro adding the second with an even longer shot ten minutes later. Local keeper Sergio Aragoneses saved from Jorge Molina and Castro soon afterwards, but with ten minutes to go to the break Emaná won the ball off David Prieto and went on to score his second of the evening and his side's third. Goitia had to tip an effort from Nino away for a corner and Mikel Alonso hit the bar in the second half, but the Canary Islanders were never going to turn this one around, and they ended the day at the bottom of the table.

Earlier in the day second placed Rayo Vallecano were held to a 1-1 draw at Elche. Aganzo gave the Madrid based side the lead on the half hour mark, and things appeared to be going in their favour when referee Miranda Torres sent off Edu Albácar early in the second half for a second bookable offence after the defender complained too strongly when he was fouled. Miranda more than made up for it ten minutes later though when he awarded a penalty to the locals after Amaya brought down Perera outside of the area, and mistakenly sent off Coke who was not even involved in the play. Generelo converted the spot kick, and David Sánchez could have won it for the locals when he just missed the target late on.

Celta are now just a point behind Rayo in third spot after a 1-0 win over Salamanca. The Galicians were on top from the start, and they could have scored two or three times before Trashorras finally beat Biel Ribas two minutes before the interval. David Rodríguez wasted a chance to increase the lead immediately after the restart, but a couple of minutes later the locals were left with ten men when Murillo picked up a second booking for handling the ball. However other than a shot wide from Perico and an effort by Juanjo which Català cleared, the visitors were unable to make any inroads, and when Héctor Yuste was also sent off their challenge ended.

The defeat left Salamanca a point below the play-off spots, level now with Villarreal B who won 1-2 at Alcorcón. Gerard Bordas put the visitors ahead in only the sixth minute, but Fernando Salas picked up a pass from Carlos Martínez to equalise with just over half an hour gone. Bordas got behind the defence though to score his second of the evening later in the second half though, and although Rueda headed against the bar in injury time, the Madrid based side could not prevent a third defeat in a row.

Granada are a point behind Salamanca and Villarreal B after a 0-0 draw at Huesca. The game got off to a lively start, with Orellana and Geijo in particular failing to convert chances for the Andalusians. After the restart Corona headed over and Roberto was thwarted by his namesake in the visiting goal, but after Echaide was sent off for a second bookable offence the locals had to settle for another draw in an Alcoraz stadium where they have only won once all season.

Valladolid lose further ground on the teams above them as well after they were beaten 1-0 by Córdoba, and they end the year two points off the play-off spots. A heavy rainfall made conditions difficult, and keepers Alberto and Jacobo were only troubled by a couple of efforts before the break from Javi Guerra and Pepe Díaz respectively. The rain increased after the restart, but with ten minutes to go a shot from Callejón was deflected in to his own net by Peña, giving the Andalusians their first win in six weeks.

Further down the table, Albacete are now only a point from getting out of the relegation spots after a 0-1 win at Numancia. The locals dominated for much of the match, Cedric and Flaño testing Keylor Navas early on and Barkero and Iñigo failing to hit the target later in the first half. Navas continued to shine after the restart, but with a home win looking likely, substitute Toni caught out Eduardo following a corner to give the Manchegans their first victory in eleven games.

Gimnàstic stay well down in the bottom four after a 0-0 draw at home to Recreativo, albeit that the point takes them off the bottom of the table, above Tenerife on goal difference. The first chance fell to the Catalans, Fabricio saving from Powel, but the visitors responded with Pablo sánchez missing an easy chance in front of goal. Powel hit the outside of the post with a long shot after the restart, but in the end it was another disappointing day for Juan Carlos Oliva's side. (18.12.10)

Xerez moved up to fourth pending the rest of the weekend's games after beating Girona 3-1 on Friday night. To the disappointment of their supporters, the Andalusians were behind at the break, Despotovic controlling a long pass before beating Chema midway through the first half. José Marí went close a couple of times before the half time whistle however, and Vicente Moreno headed the equaliser from Capi's free kick soon after the restart. The Catalans could have restored the lead on a couple of occasions, but with twelve minutes to go Dani Bautista was sent off for a second bookable offence, and two minutes later Moreno headed in other free kick for his second of the night. Three minutes after that Capi got on the end of Pablo Redondo's cross to make it three, and the local fans went home happy in the end. (17.12.10)