Leaders Elche finally lost their first game of the season, a 1-0 defeat at neighbours Murcia ending their winning streak. The locals themselves are pushing for promotion this season, and they had the better of the first half without creating any clear cut chances. Coro wasted an opportunity to put the visitors ahead after the restart, but with five minutes to go substitute Kike was brought down by Héctor inside the area, and Matilla stepped up to beat Manu Herrera with a soft "Panenka" style penalty. The win takes the locals up in to the play-off spots. Both Almería and Villarreal failed to take advantage of Elche's slip however, the former losing to Sporting on Saturday, and the latter beaten 2-0 by Recreativo on Sunday. Recre had won all four of their home games before this, and although Hernán Pérez hit the bar for Julio Velázquez's side, Alexander put the Andalusians ahead ten minutes in to the second half after winning the ball in midfield and running on to beat Diego Mariño. Villarreal's challenge ended when Pérez was sent off for a second bookable offence, and Jonathan Valle wrapped things up on a rapid breakaway in injury time.
Once again though there was a goal drought on Sunday, and there were in fact only twelve goals in the ten matches played. There were none at all in fact at the Sardinero stadium, where Racing Santander's poor start to the season continued in a 0-0 draw against Lugo in this weekend's mid-day match. Last season there were two divisions between these two sides, but if anything the visitors were the better of the two, especially in the second half when the Cantabrians were pushed back in to their own half. Bocanegra did manage to get the ball in the net for the locals shortly before the break following a free kick, but the strike from the ex-Rangers defender was ruled out for a borderline offside. Later in the day Las Palmas won at home for the first time this season, a 1-0 victory over Sabadell taking them to within a point of escaping the drop zone. Javi Guerrero got what was to prove the only goal of the game after Vitolo set him up with a quarter of an hour on the clock, and although Momo was sent off for a second bookable offence with a quarter of an hour to go the Canary Islanders held on to record their first clean sheet since the opening day of the season. (21.10.12)
A good start for Sporting Gijón's new manager Juan Ramón Sandoval, the Asturians beating second placed Almería 2-1 on Saturday evening to move away from the danger zone. It took some time for the team to adapt to the coach's changes, and Juan Pablo had to push an early effort by Soriano on to the crossbar. But three minutes after the restart Trejo and Sangoy combined with Bilic for the Croatian striker to open the scoring, and although Verza equalised a few minutes later, Carmona came on to get the winner with twelve minutes to go. Almería stay in second spot pending Villarreal's match on Sunday, but Alcorcón are up to third after a 0-1 win at Numancia. The Soria based side had not let in a goal at home all season, but Oriol Riera finally beat with a low shot some twenty minutes before the end. It was a dull and unattractive game though, and the locals only troubled Manu Fernández with a couple of Julio Alvarez free kicks throughout.
Goals were few and far between on Saturday though, with only four scored in the other four matches. Two of those came at the Anduva stadium, where Girona dropped a place to fifth after they were held to a 1-1 draw by hosts Mirandés. The locals are finding it hard going in their first season in the second division, and a heavy rainstorm made conditions even more difficult. Both keepers did have saves to make, but it was not until eight minutes from the end that Acuña put the Catalans ahead after Jofre's cross was only partly cleared. Two minutes later though Raúl García equalised with a cross-come-shot which went past Dani Mallo to give Carlos Pouso's team only their second point at home. Earlier in the day Córdoba closed up on the play-off spots after beating Real Madrid Castilla 1-0. Jesé and Oscar Plano missed chances for the visitors, but after the interval Joselu, Patiño and Fernández all hit the crossbar at the other end before Patiño got the winner following a corner in injury time.
Xerez also left it until very late before beating Ponferradina 0-1. Neither side were able to carve out any clear cut chances for most of the ninety minutes, although the locals spent most of the second half in their opponents' side of the pitch. Tato brought a good save out of Orlando Quintana near the end though, and with the game already in injury time the striker finally beat the keeper to give his team a first away win which takes them above their opponents in the table. Ponferradina stay out of the relegation zone though after Hércules could only draw 0-0 against bottom club Guadalajara. It was a sad way to celebrate the club's ninetieth anniversary, and they were unable to find the route to goal even though the visitors had Vicente sent off with only a quarter of the game gone. After the match the board finally confirmed thast the legal administrator had given them permission to sack coach Juan Carlos Mandiá, and the search is now on for a new manager.
The other match scheduled for Saturday afternoon between Huesca and Barcelona B was called off as the pitch was flooded following two days of heavy rain. A new date has yet to be confirmed, but this may take place on 1st November as neither team is in the fourth round of the cup. (20.10.12)