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Match round-up - Second Division A, Day 25

The promotion battle on Sunday lunchtime between two of the three joint leaders, Girona and Sporting Gijón, ended 0-0, and although they moved temporarily above co-leaders Las Palmas to the top of the table, both were out of the automatic promotion spots by the end of the day. The visitors are still unbeaten away from home this season, and Bernardo and Ndi both went close with headers before the break. Cuéllar had to be at his best though to keep out Mata early on in the second half, and Aday fired a shot over the bar, but in the end the game petered out to the third scoreless draw of the weekend.

Later in the evening Las Palmas beat Racing Santander 1-0 to move two points clear of their closest rivals. Nauzet got the only goal on the quarter hour mark with a shot which took a deflection off Juanpa to wrong-foot Germán, and Araujo tried his luck with a couple of long range efforts later on. Castro had to keep out a Quique González header after the restart though, and Alvaro fired a shot wide, and the result was in doubt until the final whistle. Valladolid meanwhile move up to second place, above Girona and Sporting on goal difference, after a 1-0 victory over Alcorcón. There was an early fright for the local fans when Javi Varas had to save a back header from his own defender Jesús Rueda, but soon afterwards Oscar opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Fernando fouled Jonathan Pereira in the area. The visitors were left with ten men when Nagore booked up a second booking in only the twentieth minute, but other than a strike by Oscar ruled out for offside and a couple of efforts by Pereira, Rubi’s side never looked like adding to the lead.

It was though the lowest scoring weekend since the second division was founded back in 1968, the ten goals scored one fewer than the previous record set in the 1997-8 season. No less than five matches ended without goals, including the one between Albacete and Betis which left the Andalusians still in fifth place and their hosts down in the relegation spots. Both keepers were in action before the interval, Adán saving a couple of times from Keko and Dorronsoro keeping out Kadir and Rennella. Pepe Mel’s side felt themselves unlucky not to take the three points however when Jorge Molina had a strike ruled out for a non-existent offside, and Dani Ceballos also thought he should have had a penalty later on. Zaragoza remain in sixth spot, still five points behind Betis, after they too drew 0-0 at bottom club Sabadell. Juan Carlos Mandiá was in charge of the Catalans for the first time after Alex García resigned, and he saw Marcos go close a couple of times. However Cabrera could have won it for the Maños had Nauzet not saved his header from a corner in the last action of the game.

Seventh placed Ponferradina drop five points behind Zaragoza however after they lost 1-2 to Numancia, the only match in which more than two goals were scored. Yuri headed the opener from Acorán’s cross shortly before the break, and Acorán and Melero both had chances to increase the lead after the restart. However Sergi Enrich headed the equalizer from a Jlio Alvarez corner in the ninetieth minute, and with the game in injury time Alvarez set up Vicente to score the winner. Leganés are now just a point behind Ponferradina after they beat Lugo 2-0 in the last match of the weekend. New signing Chuli gave the Madrid based side their third win in a row with two goals in a three minute period midway through the second half, the first with a low shot across Dani Mallo after Marc Bertrán put him through, and the second with a back- heel flick from Eizmendi’s cross. (15.02.15)

None of the top seven were in action on Saturday evening, the four matches largely affecting teams in the lower reaches of the table. No less than three of those had changed their manager midweek, the new men at Recreativo (Juan Manuel Pavón) and Mallorca (Miguel Soler) starting their new reigns at their respective clubs with a dull 0-0 draw which left the Andalusians in next to bottom spot and their opponents still five points above them in the table. The islanders were left with ten men when Marco Asensio was shown a second yellow card, but even so keepers Rubén Gálvez and Cabrero had very little to do throughout the ninety minutes. Barcelona B were also under new management, youth team coach Jordi Vinyals taking over from Eusebio midweek, but they too could only play out a 0-0 draw at home to Alavés. Sandro hit the post for the locals before the break, and Ion Vélez went close a couple of times for the visitors, but the scoreline remained unmoved.

As it was, Llagostera were the only side to win on Saturday, a 0-1 victory at Osasuna taking them to within a point of the Pamplona based side in the table. The Catalans were the better side throughout, although their keeper René had to make important saves from Miguel Flaño, Ansarifard and Roberto Torres before Juanjo Expósito got on the end of Arturo’s cross to score the winner with ten minutes to go. Meanwhile Mirandés consolidated eighth placed with a 1-1 draw against Tenerife, who also changed their coach just a few days ago after dropping into the relegation zone. A heavy rainstorm made play difficult, but Aitor Sanz gave Raúl Agné’s side the lead on the half hour mark, the midfielder firing a shot past Razak after a previous effort was blocked. Pedro Martín set up Urko Vera to equalize however at the start of the second half, and only a good save by Dani Hernández prevented Alex García from scoring the winner late on. (14.02.15)