Deportivo and Celta have opened up a seven point gap over the rest after third placed Almería were beaten 0-2 by Elche on Sunday lunchtime. Lucas Alcaraz's side had not lost at home all season, but they went behind late in the first half when Beranger drove an angled shot past Esteban after Generelo had played the ball through from midfield. Shortly before the half time whistle the referee turned down a clear penalty appeal by the locals after Beranger brought down Rafita, but ten minutes in to the second half Xumetra made it two with a shot from inside his own half which caught the keeper off his line. Goitom and Corona both hit the woodwork after that, but Elche held on for a win which takes them back in to contention for the play-off spots.
Recreativo and Barcelona B stay safely in mid-table after cancelling each other out in a 0-0 draw later in the evening. There were few chances throughout, the best in the first half when Berrocal intercepted a Sergi Gómez back pass only to be closed down by Oier, and an effort by Rafinha wide of the mark. Oier had to save from Aitor early on in the second half, and Alamo and Deulofeu caused a few problems for the two keepers, but otherwise this was always going to end without goals. (04.03.12)
The two Galician clubs dominate the second division table at the moment, Celta moving to within two points of leaders Deportivo after beating promotion rivals Valladolid 1-2 on Saturday evening. Paco Herrera's side started well, Marc Valiente having to cut out an early effort from Iago Aspas. The locals took the lead however in the thirteenth minute when Javi Guerra finished off a quick passing move involving Bueno and Nauzet, but Aspas levelled the scores on the half hour mark after picking up a pass from Orellana and shooting under Jaime, and Balenziaga and Rueda both cleared from Orellana in the second half. With a couple of minutes to go Jofre fired a shot just wide of the mark, but in the following play Orellana set up substitute Joan Tomás for him to score the winner. An important victory for Celta, and they are now on track for a return to the top flight after an absence of five years.
Earlier in the day Hércules kept up their push for promotion with a 1-0 victory over Sabadell. The visitors were on a high after beating Deportivo last weekend, and they could have gone ahead shortly before the break when Samuel turned the ball against his own crossbar. Tiago fired a shot against the post in reply though after the restart, and Samuel headed the Alicante based side in to the lead on the hour mark from Arbilla's corner. Baha had come up against Falcón time and time again, and the keeper even managed to save the striker's spot kick after the referee had gifted him a penalty with a quarter of an hour to go. And Falcón's opposite number De Navas also saved a Callejón penalty in injury time after the referee ruled that Gilvan had been fouled in the area.
The win takes Hércules level with Almería and Valladolid, and keeps them two points above Córdoba, who won 1-2 against regional rivals Xerez. All the goals came in the second half, Borja García putting the visitors ahead after picking up a López Silva assist before firing an angled shot across Doblas. Pablo Redondo equalised five minutes later following a corner, and only a good save by Alberto prevented José Marí from scoring again for the locals. However with twenty minutes to go Fede Vico restored the lead after another corner back out to him, and Patiño could have added a third had he been able to beat Doblas in injury time.
Numancia kept their hopes of promotion alive with a 1-0 victory over Murcia. The Soria based side started the day just a point above their opponents in the table, and honours were shared in a first half where chances were few and far between. After the interval things livened up, visiting keeper Alberto having to save a couple of times from Cedric, and Sunny putting a good chance wide, and Ruso missing the target and Zabal keeping out Pedro at the other end. With a quarter of an hour to go though Pablo Machín brought on Díaz de Cerio, and within four minutes the Basque forward beat Alberto with an angled shot to settle the balance in his side's favour.
Las Palmas are up to tenth, three points behind Numancia, after coming from behind to beat Girona 3-2. Dani Tortolero headed the visitors in to the lead early on from Jandro's corner, and Jandro rattled the crossbar with a free kick four minutes after the restart. Vitolo equalised though from close up on the hour mark, and although the Canary Islanders were left with ten men when Pignol picked up a second booking, Vitolo scored his second of the evening from a David González assist. With four minutes to go Goiria made it all square again with a header from a corner, and Dani Nieto hit the woodwork for a second time soon afterwards. But with the game in injury time Quiroga got on the end of Ruymán's cross to head home the winner and leave the Catalans further down in the drop zone.
Girona stay three points below Cartagena, who are now three points away from safety after a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Guadalajara. The visitors came in to the game needing points after four defeats in a row, but they were lucky to be still level at the break as Carlos Ríos's side dominated the first half. Ten minutes after the restart though Anibal picked up a David Fernández pass on a quick breakaway to open the scoring, and although Cartagena had at least eight more chances after that, Saizar and his defence held fast until Nico wrapped things up in the last minute.
Alcoyano find themselves down in the relegation spots for the first time in twenty weeks or so after losing a high scoring match against Villarreal B by 4-3. Within a quarter of an hour the visitors were two up, Llorente putting through his own net under pressure from Diego Jiménez, and Aloisio scoring the second following corner. Trigueros got one back though later in the first half from Toño's cross, and Edu Ramos equalised a couple of minutes in to the second half with a shot from outside of the area. With an hour on the clock Alcoyano were left a man short when Morcillo picked up a second yellow card, and soon afterwards Juanto put the youngsters ahead just a minute after coming on as substitute. Five minutes later David Porras's side were down to nine after keeper Maestro was sent off for bringing down Juanto in the area, and Trigueros stepped up to convert the resulting penalty. And although Wellington Silva scored a spectacular third for the visitors late on, the locals shut up shop to move three points ahead of their opponents in the table.
Huesca move above Alcoyano on goal difference, out of the relegation zone for the first time since the second weekend of the season, after picking up a point in a 0-0 draw at home to bottom club Gimnàstic. The first chance fell to the visitors, Luis García beating away a shot from Fernando Morán, and later in the first half Roberto caused some problems for Rubén Pérez. Luis García had to save again from Morán after the break, and Pérez did well to keep out a header from Corona. Otherwise though it was a poor game between two struggling sides, and both will have to improve if they are to save themselves this season. (03.03.12)
Deportivo put last week's defeat at Sabadell behind them, a 2-1 win over Alcorcón in the Friday night game extending their lead at the top to five points. The visitors had been unbeaten in eight games though, and they caused some problems early on, with Aranzubia having to be at his best to save from Babín. But Depor scored in their first real attack, Valerón finishing off a quick passing move involving Morel and Salomao with seven minutes to go to the break. And by half time José Luis Oltra's side were two up, Bruno Gama beating Manu after picking up a pass from Riki. That knocked the wind out of Alcorcón's sails, but even so Depor were unable to finish them off, and with seven minutes to go Oriol latched on to Abraham's assist to fire a shot past Aranzubia, setting up a nervous last few minutes for the home fans. (02.03.12)