Leaders Elche responded to the wins of promotion opponents Almería and Villarreal with a 1-0 victory over Racing Santander on Sunday evening. It was a tactical match, with the visitors prepared to sit back and look for a goal on the breakaway, and they almost succeeded when Bouazza got free in the twentieth minute only to be thwarted by Manu. Seven minutes later though the locals were awarded a free kick for what the referee considered to be a hand ball by Oscar Pérez, and Edu Albacar stepped up to fire a shot in off the post. Powel and Pelayo came close to increasing the lead after the break, but Fran Escribá's side had already done enough to maintain their five point lead at the top of the table. Alcorcón are up to third after they won 1-0 against Murcia, the team who handed Elche their first defeat of the season last weekend. The only goal of the game came on the quarter hour mark, Sergio Mora scoring with a wide free kick which bounced past everyone in to the net. The home side were left with ten men though for the last half hour or so when Angel Sánchez picked up a second booking, and Matilla in particular could have saved a point for the visitors later on had Manu and his defence not kept him out.
Girona are just a point behind Alcorcón in fourth place after a 3-1 win over Numancia. They had to come from behind to do so though, Juanjo setting up Natalio to beat Dani Mallo with a quarter of an hour on the clock. However six minutes after the restart Acuña bravely flung himself forward to head Sanchón's cross in on the far post, and soon afterwards Jandro scored a second from the penalty spot after Satrustegui handled in the area. And with ten minutes to go Benja got on the end of Jofre's centre to wrap things up and give the Catalans their fifth home win in a row. Real Madrid Castilla lost ground on the leading group though after they were beaten 2-4 by Sporting Gijón, who have improved enormously since new coach Sandoval took over. Two mistakes by Iván Hernández allowed Carmona and Bilic to put the visitors two up in the first seven minutes, and soon afterwards Jesé got himself sent off for kicking out at Gregory. Alex got one back before the break following good work by Fabinho, but early in the second half Bilic restored the two goal cushion, beating Mejías with a long shot. Alex scored his second of the day from the penalty spot after Orfila fouled Denis Cherychev inside the area, but De las Cuevas put the game beyond Casilla's reach with a fourth goal some twenty minutes from the end.
Sporting move on to fourteen points, just one behind their hosts and level with Xerez, who also move away from the danger zone after a battling 1-0 win over Lugo. The Andalusians took the lead midway through the first half when José Vega headed in Cámara's cross, but they were left with ten men when Keita picked up a second yellow card twenty minutes in to the second half. Chema did well to keep out Iago Díaz, and Oscar Díaz shot wide as the visitors looked to take advantage of the extra man. But the locals held fast, even though they also had Iago Bouzón sent off with four minutes to go, and then were reduced to eight for the last minute or so when Bruno Herrero was also given a second caution by referee Sureda Cuenca as he lay unconscious on the stretcher. Xerez move a point above their opponents in the table, and Ponferradina are now level with the Galicians after a 1-0 victory over fellow strugglers Hércules. The visitors started the day just two points behind their hosts in the table, and new coach Quique Hernández was hoping for a good result in his first game in charge since taking over from Juan Carlos Mandiá. Portillo did go close a couple of times for the Alicante based side before the break, but keepers Santamaría and Juan Carlos saved everything thrown at them until seven minutes from the end, when Yuri got the finishing touch to a shot from wide on the right by Didac. (28.10.12)
Almería and Villarreal put the pressure on leaders Elche after both won their respective matches on Saturday. Almería started the afternoon beating Huesca 1-0, substitute Charles coming on to score the only goal from the penalty spot after Alex Pérez handled in the area with three minutes to go. Before that though it was a boring game, with keepers Esteban and Luis García hardly troubled throughout. The defeat leaves the visitors just a point above the drop zone after five matches without a win. Later in the day Villarreal won 2-0 against struggling Mirandés to stay within two points of Almería in the table, a relief for coach Julio Velázquez after only picking up one point from the last three games. The victory coincided with the return from injury of Bruno Soriano, the Spanish international setting up Uche for the opening goal in the eleventh minute. Pandiani had a strike ruled out for a borderline offside soon afterwards, but Uche got his second of the evening immediately after the restart, following up after Goitia could only push out a shot from Marcos Senna.
Sabadell and Córdoba remain three points off the play-off spots after cancelling each other out in a 1-1 draw. Rennella gave the Andalusians an early lead after beating Nauzet at the second attempt in the seventh minute, but Alberto had to be at his best to save from Hidalgo before the break, and after the restart Mexico's Ulisés Dávila levelled the scores within minutes of coming on. Either side could have won it after that, Joselu having a goal disallowed for offside near the end, and Hidalgo shooting over the top when free on goal in injury time, but in the end honours were shared. Further down the table Las Palmas moved out of the relegation spots after a 2-3 win at bottom club Guadalajara. Alvaro Antón gave the home side the lead with a direct free kick in the sixth minute, and although Javi Guerrero equalised a few minutes later, Jony put Carlos Terrazas's side back in front before the break. The Canary Islanders brought on Christantus for the last half hour however, and the ex Hamburg striker turned the scoreline around with two goals in the next fifteen minutes. (27.10.12)
Recreativo are up to fourth in the table pending the rest of the weekend's results after beating Barcelona B by 2-3 on Friday evening. Deulofeu put the youngsters ahead midway through the first half after good work by Luis Alberto, and although Matamala equalised before the break after Alexander set him up, Rafinha headed a long free kick past Alejandro some twenty minutes after the restart to restore the lead for the locals. However Alexander and Jonathan Valle took advantage of some slack defending to turn the scoreline around in the last ten minutes, giving Sergi Barjuan's team a first away win at the ex Barça full back's old hunting ground. (26.10.12)