Deportivo moved a step closer to an immediate return to the top flight after they beat regional neighbours Celta 2-3 on Sunday lunchtime. José Luis Oltra's side took the lead in only the second minute when Riki got between two defenders to beat Joel. And when Lassad got on the end of Guardado's pass to make it two on the hour mark it appeared to be all over. The locals were looking to defend their second spot though, and a few minutes later De Lucas got one back, beating Aranzubia with an angled shot after an assist from Orellana. With eight minutes to go substitute Català made it all square, but with the game in the second minute of injury time Borja headed the winner to open up a ten point gap over their hosts.
Celta's defeat means that they drop below Valladolid to third, albeit with a game in hand, five points ahead of Hércules and six above Alcorcón, who are now fifth after beating struggling Gimnàstic 0-2 later in the evening. Quini connected with a Paco Montañés cross to open the scoring for the Madrid based side midway through the first half, and Oriol Riera wrapped things up in the last minute after Nagore sent him off on a quick breakaway. The defeat leaves Nàstic joint bottom with Cartagena, now eleven points away from safety with nine games left to go. (15.04.12)
Valladolid are up to second in the table pending Celta's game on Sunday after beating Huesca 3-0 on Saturday evening. Oscar opened the scoring in only the fourth minute after Luis García could only push out Nauzet's free kick, and Aaron Bueno added two more either side of half time, the first from close to goal and the second after slack defending left him free in front of goal. Djukic's side have now picked up 16 points out of a possible 18, and they are probably the only team capable of ousting the top two from their berths.
Hércules may be in with a chance as well though if they can keep up the form that has seen them score ten goals in two games. On Saturday they beat local rivals Murcia 2-6 to move up to fourth, now just five points behind Celta, despite falling behind to an Oscar Sánchez strike on the quarter hour mark. Goals from Urko Vera and Sardinero turned the scoreline around at the break though, and Arbilla volleyed home a third before Mora turned Molinero's cross in to his own net. A few minutes later Michel got a fourth for the visitors from the penalty spot after Oscar Sánchez handled in the area, and Carlos Calvo and Gilvan Gomes added two more in the last five minutes.
Córdoba's run of five home wins in a row came to an end when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Sabadell, although they still ended the day in fifth spot. Things went against them though when Ximo Navarro was sent off for a second bookable offence early in the second half, and although Charles got the ball in the net later on, the referee incorrectly ruled out the strike for offside. Elche are back in the running for the play-off spots after they beat bottom club Cartagena 2-1, a good win for new coach César Ferrando, who took over from Pepe Bordalás midweek. Héctor Rodas started things off shortly before half time, and although Mariano Sánchez equalised with a quarter of an hour to go, Rodas scrambled home the winner following a free kick with three minutes to go.
Elche are three points off the top six and two above Numancia, who could only draw 2-2 with Xerez. It could have been worse for the Soria based side though as Pablo Redondo and Tato put the visitors two up with just over half an hour to go. Half time substitute Díaz de Cerio got one back however, and Natalio saved a point with the equaliser later on. Las Palmas remain two points behind Numancia after a 0-0 draw with Recreativo, who themselves also end the weekend safely in mid-table. The Canary Islanders could have taken the three points though had Manu not saved a first half David González penalty after Borda handled in the area.
Further down the table Guadalajara took a big step towards safety after beating relegation rivals Alcoyano 0-1. Cristian got the only goal early in the second half after Dorronsoro failed to hold on to Anibal's shot to give his side their first win in six games, and take them six points clear of their opponents in the table. Alcoyano are now only two points above Girona, who picked up another point in a 1-1 draw with local rivals Barcelona B. Jonathan Dos Santos put Eusebio's side ahead with a well struck free kick after the break, but Acuña levelled the scores from Coro's cross with five minutes left on the clock. (14.04.12)
Almería continue to lose ground on their promotion rivals, and they may well be out of the play-off spots altogether by the end of the weekend after a 0-0 draw with Villarreal B on Friday evening. Missing their two main strikers Ulloa and Goitom, they were unable to convert any of the several chances they created in the first half, and it was probably fitting that the lack of ideas were reflected by a floodlight failure at half time which delayed the restart by ten minutes or so. Aleix Vidal and young striker Jonathan Sundy did test Diego Mariño a couple of times, but Trigueros and Joselu could also have won it for the visitors late on. Almería have now gone eight games without a victory, and new coach Esteban Vigo has some work to do to get their season back on track. (13.04.12)