Valladolid's stay at the top of the second division only lasted 24 hours after Deportivo beat Cartagena 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. The visitors were forced to make the long trip across by Spain by coach due to the unexpected bankruptcy of Spanair. But they started freshly, and were favoured early on by the referee, who sent off Ayoze rather harshly for a foul on Collantes. With just over twenty minutes gone though Riki headed Depor in to the lead from Valerón's cross, and a few minutes later numbers were evened up when Abraham Paz was shown two yellow cards in quick succession. Guardado and Riki came up against Reina either side of half time, but Collantes levelled the scores on the hour mark with a shot which took a deflection off Colotto to wrong-foot Aranzubia. However substitute Xisco got on the end of Laure's cross to restore the lead ten minutes later, and the Galicians held off a late onslaught to extend their winning run to six games.
Earlier in the day Córdoba beat Elche 2-0 to draw level with their opponents in the table. With a possible place in the play-offs at stake, neither side held back in an at times bad-tempered match. However the locals had the better chances, and Javi Hervás put them ahead ten minutes before the break with a shot which took a deflection off Carpio. Midway through the second half the red cards started to flow, local defender Gaspar the first to go for a second bookable offence, Edu Albacar the second after laying out Charles with a flying elbow, and Pelegrín the third, also for a second yellow card, leaving Elche with nine men. A brave Charles stayed on the pitch though to set up Borja García for a second goal near the end, giving the Andalusians the better head-to-head record against a direct rival for promotion.
It was Elche's third defeat in a row, and they were overtaken later in the evening by Almería, who beat Gimnàstic 1-2 to move up to fourth spot in the table. Verza opened the scoring for Lucas Alcaraz's side with five minutes to go to the break, latching on to Corona's wide free kick to fire a shot past Rubén Pérez and in to the top corner of net. A few minutes after the restart Powel equalised from the penalty spot after Carlos García handled in the area, and both keepers were in action after that as play swung from end to end. However with a draw seemingly on the cards, Aleix Vidal battled through to score a last minute winner against his old side, leaving the Catalans firmly anchored to the foot of the table. (29.01.12)
Another new leader in the second division, with Valladolid overtaking Deportivo pending their game on Sunday after beating Alcoyano 0-1 on Saturday afternoon. Both keepers were on top in the first half, Maestro saving from Javi Guerra a couple of times in the opening minutes, and Jaime keeping out Paco Esteban later on. After the restart the visitors were on top, Oscar González having a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside, and Nauzet bringing another good save out of Maestro. Then with ten minutes to go Nauzet finally found the net with a shot which deflected in off Devesa to give Djukic's side their eleventh game in a row without defeat.
Celta are up to third after a 0-1 victory at Girona later in the day. Local coach Josu Uribe was looking for his first win since taking over at the struggling Catalan club a couple of weeks ago, but despite some improvement they never really created any clear cut chances in the first half. And with two minutes to go to the break Tuñez headed the Galicians in to the lead from a wide Orellana free kick. Orellana and Oier could have put the visitors further ahead before half time had Dani Mallo not been on his toes, and although Corominas rattled the bar after the restart, Toni came close to a second for Celta when he hit the post later on.
Hércules drop to fourth though after they lost 0-2 to Villarreal B. The Alicante based side had the better of the first half, with Juanra and Aguilar hitting the woodwork, and Urko Vera, Michel and Calvo coming up against youth international keeper Diego Mariño, a late addition to the squad after being on first-team stand-by in case Diego López didn't recover from a bout of flu. Mariño's opposite number Falcón was put to the test a couple of times after the interval, and with ten minutes to go Jaume Costa gave the visitors the lead with an angled shot. And with the game in injury time and Juan Carlos Mandiá pushing his men forward, Lucas Porcar wrapped things up on a quick counter-attack.
Murcia also missed out on a chance to make it up in to the play-off spots after a 0-3 defeat at the hands of Recreativo. The Andalusians scored twice in a three minute period around the half hour mark, the first a Pablo Sánchez header from Fidel's cross, and the second another header by Bonaque from a corner. Any chance the locals had of a comeback ended when Cristian García was sent off for a hard tackle on Bonaque midway through the second half, and Aitor García completed the scoring with a third goal five minutes from the end to take his side safely up to mid-table.
Alcorcón are now just two points behind Murcia after a 3-1 win over Las Palmas. The Canary Islanders had never won in their previous visits to the Santa Domingo stadium, and they went behind on the quarter hour mark when Sergio Mora beat Barbosa following a short free kick. Fernando Sales hit the post before Agus headed the second from a corner in the middle of the second half, and with twenty minutes to go Quini got the third from the penalty spot after Castellano handled in the area. Portillo did get a consolation near the end for the visitors, but it came too late to change the result.
Barcelona B stay a point behind Alcorcón after beating Huesca 4-2. Eusebio's side raced in to a three goal lead with only a quarter of the game gone, Riverola opening the scoring in the first minute after a shot from Deulofeu came back off the post. Rodri scored the second following a corner, and Kiko Femenía made it three with the softest of goals after keeper Luis García gifted him the ball. The visitors came back after the break though, David Bauzá heading in a David Vázquez free kick, and Tariq closing the gap to one goal following a David Vázquez corner. But Rafinha set up Rodri for his second of the evening, with twelve minutes to go, and Huesca ended with ten men after Clavero picked up a second booking late on.
Guadalajara clocked up their first win in five games, a 1-0 victory over Numancia taking them to within a point of their opponents in the table. The locals had the better of the first half without crating too many chances, but their keeper Saizar had to be at his best to save from a Juanjo header immediately after the restart. Both coaches made attacking changes in the second half, but it was local substitute Collado who made the difference, the new signing heading past Zabal following Ernesto's short corner just twelve minutes after coming on for his debut.
Sabadell also returned to winning ways after thirteen games without a victory, the Catalans beating Xerez 2-0 to open up a five point gap between themselves and their opponents, who head up a group of seven teams at the bottom of the table. Lanzarote opened the scoring from the penalty spot with just under a quarter of an hour gone after Robusté fouled Florian in the area. But local keeper De Navas had some work to do before Florian wrapped things up, the French striker beating Doblas with a shot from the edge of the area with eight minutes to go. (28.01.12)