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Second Division B - play-offs, day 1

The seven remaining play-off games took place on Sunday, with group champions Llagostera and Racing Santander playing out a 0-0 draw. The Cantabrians started strongly, Mariano failing to beat Moragón in the opening minutes. However Enric Pi hit the bar at the other end before the break, and only some good saves by visiting keeper Mario prevented the Catalans from going ahead in the second half. The winners of this tie and the one between Sestao and Albacete will be promoted, but the two losers have a second chance, entering the next round with the winners of the six other ties which are taking place over the next two weekends. La Hoya finished second to Albacete in the southern group IV, and they are on track for qualifying after they won 1-2 at Las Palmas Atlético. The locals have been allowed in to the play-offs, although they will only go up if their first team are promoted from the second division. However it is unlikely now that they will progress any further, Carlos Martínez putting the Lorca based side ahead on the half hour mark, and Nico getting an individualistic winner on the hour mark after Nili had equalized for the Canary Islanders a minute after the opening goal.

The group I runners up Racing Ferrol are having problems though, a 2-0 defeat at Gimnàstic Tarragona leaving them with a lot to do next weekend. The home side had won their last ten games to make it in to the top four of their group, and a 10,000 plus crowd saw them go two up within the first half hour, Rubio putting Piojo Hernández through to beat Mackay, and Marcos De la Espada getting the second after an assist from Cuevas. The Catalans were left with ten men when Juanjo picked up a second booking with thirty minutes still to go, but they held on for an important clean sheet in the end. Nàstic are looking to return to the second division after a two year absence, as are Cartagena, who also went down in 2012. Their chances are not looking great though after they were beaten 1-3 by Real Avilés, and nothing short of a three goal victory next Sunday will take them through. Nacho López put the visitors ahead from an Arias cross with a quarter of an hour gone, and Omar fired home a second for the Asturians at the beginning of the second half. Megías got one back five minutes later, but with the game coming to an end Javi Camochu restored the two goal cushion on a rapid counter-attack.

The other three games ended all square with Cádiz drawing 0-0 against L’Hospitalet. Despite the result though, keepers Sergio Aragoneses and Craviotto were the busiest men on the park. No goals either in the match between Guijuelo and Leganés, although the Salamanca based side will be ruing a missed opportunity to wrap things up after visiting defender Martín was sent off for a hard tackle on Rubén Peña with half an hour left on the clock. And a 1-1 draw between Toledo and Lleida, Albistegui putting the locals in front with less than two minutes gone. Visiting keeper Pau Torres had to make several saves after that, but with the game coming to an end Pere Milla beat Manolo to give the Catalans the advantage for the return leg. The last two relegation spots are at stake as well, with the two B teams clocking up away wins in the first legs of the head-to-head play-offs, Atlético Madrid B beating Caudal 0-1, and Valencia Mestalla winning 2-3 at Algeciras. The losers of the two ties will be relegated to the regional third division. (18.05.14)

The play-offs for promotion to the second division A began this weekend, with 16 teams vying for the four promotion spots. As in previous years, two of the places are reserved for the 2B regional group champions, the four of whom meet in direct play-offs over two legs. One of those games was on Saturday, with Albacete coming back from two goals down to draw 3-3 at Sestao, giving them the advantage going in to next weekend’s second leg. Josu Hernáez gave the Basque side an early lead from Alex García’s cross, and although Rubén Cruz headed the equalizer, an angled shot from Gerardo and a header from Diamanka either side of half time put the locals two up. The Manchegans came back however with two penalties in the last twenty minutes, Rubén Cruz converting the first after Esnayola handled in the area, and Calle netting the second after Resines was sent off for bringing him down in the area. (17.05.14)