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Match round-up - Second Division A, Day 35

With Betis moving out of sight of the rest, some four teams are battling it out for the one remaining direct promotion spot. Girona got the edge on their rivals though with a 0-3 victory at Recreativo on Sunday which takes them two points clear of third placed Sporting Gijón. Local keeper Rubén Gálvez had to make a couple of saves before he was beaten by a impressive (albeit wind-assisted) shot from Alex Granell with just under half an hour gone. Soon afterwards Zamora put through his own net after Lejeune headed a corner goalwards, and although Caye Quintana and Juanan went close for the Andalusians after the break, Sandaza wrapped things up after good work by Felipe Sanchón midway through the first half. Recre end the weekend in bottom spot after only picking up four points from their last eight games. Girona were given a helping hand as well by their close neighbours Llagostera, who held Sporting to a 0-0 draw. The Catalans had gone eleven games without defeat, and Juanjo and Imaz went close for them in the opening minutes. Pablo Pérez responded for the visitors a couple of times before the interval, but there were few chances after that until five minutes from the end, when Masó was sent off for a hard tackle on Hugo Fraile. However René kept out Guerrero as the Asturians pushed for the winner, and in the end both sides had to settle for a point.

Earlier in the day Las Palmas and Valladolid cancelled each other out in a 1-1 draw, and both lose ground on Girona. With so much at stake it was a tense match, and neither side created too many problems until twenty minutes from the end, when Casto failed to clear the ball following a corner, and Roger and local defender Dani Castellano bundled the ball over the line. Roger wasted a good chance a minute later when his attempted lob went straight to the keeper, and play went up the other end, Araujo’s shot taking a slight deflection off Chica to wrong-foot Javi Varas. The visiting keeper had to make late saves from Dani Castellano and Guzmán, but in the end it was a point apiece which keeps the Canary Islanders a point above their opponents in the table. The top five have opened up a seven point gap over the rest though, Zaragoza moving back level with sixth placed Ponferradina after a 1-0 victory over Numancia. The Maños had dropped out of the play-off spots after only winning one of their last ten games, but they picked up the three points thanks to a single goal by Jaime Romero after Ruíz de Galarreta and Borja set him up on a quick breakaway midway through the first half. Bono had to save from Iñigo Pérez and Julio Alvarez after that, but Borja missed a good chance to increase the lead near the end.

With seven games left to play, several teams are within reach of that sixth spot, Leganés for example now five points away after a 0-0 draw with Mirandés in the last match of the evening. Although the game got off to a lively start, everything slowed down after the first ten minutes, and only a shot by local striker Chuli caused any problems for either keeper from then on. Further down the table Sabadell moved out of the relegation zone for the first time in five months after coming from behind twice to beat Racing Santander 3-2. Quique put the Cantabrians in front on the half hour mark following a quick breakaway, and although Collantes levelled it from the penalty spot a few minutes later after Pedro Orfila handled in the area, Sylla restored the lead at the start of the second half with a header from a corner. Soon afterwards though Aníbal made it all square again with a free kick which took a deflection off the defensive wall, and with just over an hour gone Kiko Olivas got the winner after keeper Mario allowed another corner to slip through his hands . The result takes the Catalans a point above their opponents in the table. (26.04.15)

Betis are on track for a quick return to the top flight, and they took another big step towards their goal after a 1-2 victory at Alavés on Saturday evening. Pepe Mel’s side have been unbeaten away from home for eleven games, and they took an early lead when Jorge Molina latched on to Rubén Castro’s pass to steer a shot past Guaita. Visiting keeper Adán had to make important saves after that though from Barreiro and Manu García, but Molina hit the bar after the restart, and with twenty minute to go Castro made it two with a well struck free kick. Medina set up Toti to get one back however some ten minutes later, and Adán and his defence had to be at their best to prevent the locals from saving a point later on. The four teams below Betis play on Sunday, but sixth placed Ponferradina missed a chance to close the gap on them after they were beaten 2-1 by bottom club Barcelona B. All the goals came after the break, Grimaldo curling a free kick past Kepa to open the scoring in the fiftieth minute. Acorán equalized with ten minutes to go with a shot from wide on the right which deflected in off keeper Suárez, and two minutes later the locals were left with ten men when Palencia picked up a second yellow card. However soon afterwards Munir ran on to Juste’s long ball to restore the lead with a lob over the keeper, and although Grimaldo was also red carded for a second bookable offence, the youngsters held on for their first win in twelve games.

Barça B move above Recreativo pending their game on Sunday, and Osasuna are out of the relegation zone after a 2-1 victory over Albacete, their first win in thirteen. Oier gave the Pamplona based side the lead in only the second minute with a shot from outside of the area, and although Portu headed one back some ten minutes in to the second half, Raoul Loe headed the winner following a corner with eight minutes to go. Mallorca meanwhile clocked up their first victory in seven after coming from behind to beat Tenerife 2-1. Maxi Pérez put the Canary Islanders ahead with just over half an hour gone after Cabrero could only push out a shot from Suso, but Xisco combined with Marco Asensio to level the scores soon after the restart, and with twenty minutes to go substitute Joselu got the winner after Pereira laid the ball across from the by-line. Elsewhere Lugo and Alcorcón stay safely in mid-table after they cancelled each other out in a 0-0 draw earlier in the day. David Ferreiro and Luis Fernández went close a couple of times for the locals and David Rodríguez responded for the visitors, but in the end both teams settled for a point. (25.04.15)