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Match round-up - Second Division A, Day 37

Betis could almost certainly be a first division side once again if they beat Tenerife next Wednesday, although they will rue the fact that they missed out on a chance to take full advantage of Celta's defeat when they were held to a 1-1 draw by neighbours Córdoba on Sunday lunchtime. Pepe Mel's team went behind in only the second minute when Charles got on the end of a De Coz pass to beat Casto, but eight minutes later Jorge Molina headed the equaliser from Beñat's free kick. Injuries forced Mel to use his substitutes early though, and in the end both sides decided to settle for a point.

Granada kept up their push for a place in the play-offs after beating Gimnàstic 0-3 later in the evening, and the Andalusians stay in fifth place, level with Elche and just a point behind Celta. Fabri's side held off the early pressure from the Catalans, and with eight minutes to go to the break Mikel Rico gave them the lead after Rubén Pérez could only push out Orellana's cross. Early in the second half Geijo scored a second just a minute after coming on as substitute, and four minutes later the striker set up Collantes for a third which left their opponents just a point above the drop zone. (08.05.11)

Third placed Celta virtually handed the two promotion spots to Betis and Rayo Vallecano after they fell to a 0-4 defeat at the hands of Girona in the first match on Saturday evening. Despotovic put the Catalans ahead in the fifth minute after Serra's effort came back off the post, and Santamaría kept out David Rodríguez a couple of times before Luso made it two with an angled shot. With just over half an hour gone the game was over when Despotovic scored again, and the Serbian striker completed his hat-trick early in the second half after getting on the end of a cross from Chechu.

Rayo Vallecano started their game against Salamanca later in the evening knowing that a win would take them to within a point or so of automatic promotion, but in the end they will have to wait a little longer after they fell to a 1-2 defeat. Rayo's new owner and president Raúl Martín decided not to turn up in order not to detract attention from his players. And it was probably best for him that he didn't as an unrecognizable Rayo were over-run by their opponents in the first half, Toti opening the scoring for the visitors following a corner in only the fourth minute. Substitute Trejo levelled the scores from the penalty spot early in the second half after Juanpa handled in the area, but Sarmiento headed the winner following another corner a few minutes later to keep his side in with a chance of survival.

Celta's defeat also meant they lost third spot to Barcelona Athletic, who beat Albacete 2-1 to virtually sentence the Manchegans to the depths of the second division B. The visitors actually took the lead five minutes in to the second half with a hotly disputed penalty, Tato converting the kick after the referee ruled that Oriol Romeu had handled in the area. Top scorer Jonathan Soriano equalised five minutes later though after Nolito's shot came back off the post, and Soriano made it 26 for the season when he converted another penalty late on after Kike Tortosa was given a second booking, also for a hand ball inside the box.

Valladolid stay in the last of the play-off spots after they drew 3-3 at Numancia. All the goals came after the interval, with Oscar heading Abel Resino's side in to the lead before Del Pino got behind the defence to equalise for the hosts. Valladolid went ahead again when Culebras turned a corner past his own keeper, but two goals from Ibrahima in the next ten minutes turned the scoreline around. However Nauzet made it all square for the third and last time from the penalty spot with a quarter of an hour to go after Culebras handled the ball in the penalty area.

Xerez close to within three points of Valladolid though after a 2-1 win over Las Palmas, their third victory in a row. José Marí headed the Andalusians in to a first minute lead, and Mario Bermejo made it two, also with a header from Pablo Redondo's free kick. But twenty minutes in to the second half Raúl Llorente was sent off for a second bookable offence after giving away a penalty on Javi Guerrero, and Sergio Suárez stepped up to convert the kick and set up an exciting end to the match.

Xerez move a point above Cartagena, who were held to a 1-1 draw by bottom club Ponferradina. Yuri surprised the home fans heading in Acorán's cross in the ninth minute, and although Toché hit the post twice before the break, the visitors went in at half time in front. Just two minutes after the restart Toché did get his goal after Toni Moral and Víctor combined to set him up, but after that they were unable to beat a confident Alejandro.

Huesca still have an outside chance of making the play-offs as well, the Aragón based side beating Villarreal B 3-0. Tariq opened the scoring for the locals in the ninth minute following a prolonged attack, and Camacho made it two from the penalty spot after Dervite was sent off for bringing down Gilvan at the start of the second half. And a quarter of an hour later Molinero set up Tariq for his second of the evening, virtually ensuring another season for Onésimo's team in the second division.

Recreativo drop a point behind Huesca though after losing 1-0 at Tenerife, who still have a remote chance of survival thanks to a first win since the end of February. Antonio Hidalgo went close for the Canary Islanders before the break, but keeper Sergio Aragoneses had to make a couple of good saves after the restart to keep the scoreline unmoved. With the game heading for a draw though Fabricio gave away a last minute penalty on Germán, and Nino stepped up to give the home fans something to cheer about at last. (07.05.11)

Elche moved up to fourth pending the rest of the weekend's games after beating Alcorcón 1-0 on Friday night. The visitors had the better chances early on, but Generelo went close before Edu Albacar latched on to a loose ball to beat Eladio ten minutes before the break. Carpio, Angel and Albacar could all have added to the lead after the restart, but Pepe Bordalás's side controlled the game after that to ensure three points which keeps them in line for a place in the play-offs. (06.05.11)