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Match round-up - Second Division A, Day 36

Second placed Eibar were held to a 0-0 draw by Recreativo in this week’s Sunday mid-day game, although they have opened up a five point gap over their closest promotion rivals after they all failed to win this weekend (third placed Barça B are ineligible for promotion). The Basque side had only picked up two points from their last three matches in their Ipurúa stadium, and once again they were unable to break down a well ordered defence. Keepers Irureta and Cabrero had to save from Linares and Albentosa before the break, and local midfielder Capa wasted a couple of chances after the restart, but Recre held on for a point which keeps them in the play-off spots. Later in the evening though fourth placed Tenerife were beaten 1-0 by Real Jaén, and with their neighbours Las Palmas losing on Saturday as well, Eibar are still looking good for a first ever promotion. The game in Jaén got off to a lively start, René doing well to keep out Ayoze Pérez a couple of times, and Diego Rivas having to save from Israel Jérez and Jona, both of whom also hit the woodwork. Things quietened down after the interval, but with the game heading for a draw the Andalusians were awarded a dubious last minute penalty for a supposed foul by Rivas on Jozabed which Jona converted to take his side out of the bottom four.

Murcia drop out of the play-off spots though after they could only draw 1-1 at home to Alcorcón in the last match of the weekend. The visitors had clearly come to defend, and chances were few and far between until the locals were awarded a questionable penalty for a foul by Babín on Kike García with four minutes to go to the break. Kike fired home the spot kick himself, but with an hour on the clock debutant Arnal equalized for the Madrid based side after good work by Dani Pacheco. Murcia are still level with Recre though, and Sabadell are now only two points behind them both after a late 2-1 win over Hércules. The Catalans had won their last four home games, and they went ahead midway through the first half with another doubtful penalty (the third of the day) after Collantes fell under a challenge from Etxeita, Anibal beating Falcón from the spot. The Alicante based team were left with ten men when Juanma was sent off for bring down Collantes as he advanced on goal a quarter of an hour in to the second half, but even so Portillo got on the end of a De Lucas assist to level the scores with fifteen minutes to go. However with the game in the third minute of injury time substitute Tamudo headed in Martí Crespí’s cross to give the locals the three points.

All of that left Hércules back down in the relegation spots after a seventh game without a win, level on points with Alavés and with Real Madrid Castilla, who picked up a point in a 0-0 draw at Numancia. The locals themselves had draw 17 times this season before today, and they started the match just three points above the drop zone after two months without a victory. Willian José did cause some problems for Biel Ribas early on, but otherwise neither side were able to find the target throughout the ninety minutes, and both coaches settled for the draw in the end. Bottom club Girona are now only one point behind the teams above them though after they beat Zaragoza 2-0. The Catalans went ahead with their first shot at goal, Timor beating Leo Franco from outside of the area on the quarter hour mark. Isaac Becerra had to be at his best to keep out Roger either side of half time, but with five minutes to go Ortuño made it two after the defence failed to clear a corner. It was all too much for visiting coach Víctor Muñoz, who was sent off for protesting near the end, and the Maños’ hopes of promotion are fading after they ended the weekend five points adrift of the play-off spots. (27.04.14)

A surprise in the Rizaor stadium on Saturday evening, leaders Deportivo losing 0-3 at home to Ponferradina. The visitors had the worst away record in the second division having gone seven months without a win, but they dominated the opening minutes, Lux making an early stop from Yuri, and Laure turning the ball in to his own net in the tenth minute after the keeper blocked another shot by Acorán. Santamaría had to save from Juan Carlos and Ifrán shot wide either side of half time as the Galicians looked to get back in the game, but just seven minutes in to the second half Robusté headed a long free kick back across goal for Yuri to head the second on the far post. Fofo and Javi Lara both hit the woodwork after that, and with ten minutes to go substitute Berrocal also got in on the act, collecting a cross from Lara and firing a low shot past Lux. An ignominious end to run of three victories in a row for Fernando Vázquez’s side, but a much needed win for Ponfe, who ended the day four points above the drop zone.

Depor’s defeat was made a bit easier though after third placed Las Palmas were beaten 0-2 later in the evening by Barcelona B. The Canary Islanders had the better chances in the first half, Masoud shooting just wide a couple of times and Masip saving a Momo free kick, and soon after the restart they were awarded a penalty when Bagnack brought down Aranda in the area. However Momo fired his spot kick over the bar, and young striker Munir came on with twenty minutes to go to set up Espinosa for the opener, and then run through to score the second himself, both goals dedicated by the team to their deceased ex coach Tito Vilanova. The win takes Eusebio’s side three points above their opponents, and Sporting Gijón are now just a point behind Las Palmas after they beat Lugo 2-0. Local coach Sandoval was on an ultimatum after four games without a win had left the Asturians out of the play-off spots, but neither side caused too many problems for the opposing keeper until eight minutes before the break, when Isma López turned the rebound in to the net after Dani Mallo blocked a shot from Scepovic. The second half continued in the same vein until four minutes from the end, when Scepovic made it two after Jorge failed to clear Isma’s long free kick, and although Pablo Sánchez hit the woodwork after that, it was too late to change the result.

Córdoba missed out on a chance to move up to the play-off spots after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Mirandés. Three wins in a row by Chapi Ferrer’s team had seen them move back up in to the top half of the table, and they went in front following a corner shortly before half time, Pedro picking up the ball on the left of the area and catching out Bernardo with a lob back over the keeper’s head. The visitors came back after the interval however, Iriome rattling the crossbar before setting up half time substitute Goiria to volley home the equalizer, and Igor Martínez hitting the post near the end. Further down the table Alavés moved out of the bottom four pending Sunday’s games after beating Mallorca 1-0. The locals were on top from early on, Agus turning a shot from Toti on to the post, and Rubén Miño saving from Toti and Manu García either side of half time. Crespo had to save from Gerard and Hemed missed the easiest of chances as the islanders responded after the break, but with ten minutes to go Ion Vélez laid the ball across for Viguera to drill home the winner, his 23rd of the season making him the second division’s top scorer. Another poor result for Mallorca though, and the end the day just three points above their hosts in the table. (26.04.14)