Alavés stay three points clear at the top of the table after a 2-3 win at neighbours Bilbao Athletic on Thursday, and a victory on Sunday against Numancia will see them promoted. The Vitoria based side appeared to be cruising in the Lasesarre stadium (a temporary venue whilst the San Mamés stadium undergoes building work) when Kiko Femenía and Sergio Mora put them two up at the break, the first after two previous shots were blocked, and the second after Dani Pacheco crossed in following a short corner. However Laguardia was sent off soon after the restart after picking up a second booking for giving away a penalty, and although Fernando Pacheco saved Unai López’s spot kick, Gil got one back a few minutes later when the keeper could only push out an Aketxe free kick. Midway through the second half Santamaría made it all square with a second penalty after Pelegrín fouled Villalibre, but some four minutes later Manu García fired home the winner after a good team move, and the visitors, and they held on despite having Dani Pacheco red carded as well near the end.
Leganés are back up to second after they won 0-1 at Oviedo later in the evening, and they too could be promoted at the weekend if they can beat Llagostera, and Nàstic (currently a point below them) don’t do likewise at Lugo. Garitano’s team had only taken two points from their last three games, but with an hour on the clock Gabriel fired a shot past Rubén Miño after a Timor free kick fell to him, and Serantes saved a late Susaeta penalty after Mantovani brought down Toché to ensure the victory for the Madrid based team. The two direct promotion spots will now be between Alavés, Leganés and Nàstic though after Zaragoza could only draw 1-1 at neighbours Huesca. Dongou gave the Maños the lead after Pedro put him through midway through the first half, and they seemed to be heading for a win when Machís was sent off for a second yellow card on the stroke of half time. However substitute Samu Sáiz made it all square for the hosts on the hour mark, saving a valuable point which takes them five points above the relegation places. Zaragoza themselves are up to fourth in a four-way tie with Córdoba, Osasuna and Alcorcón, and Girona and Oviedo are just behind them in the fight for the remaining play-off spots. (26.05.16)
Nàstic took a big step towards a second successive promotion after they beat direct rivals Osasuna 1-0 on Wednesday evening. Naranjo got the only goal late on with a well struck free kick to take the Catalans up to second, above Leganés pending their game at Oviedo on Thursday. It now looks like a three horse race between Alavés, Leganés and Nàstic for the two direct promotion spots (all unfancied at the start of the season!), although Zaragoza and Oviedo could still have an outside chance if they can win tomorrow. Córdoba meanwhile are back up into the top six, level with Osasuna and Alcorcón, after they won 0-3 at Mirandés. All the goals came after the break, Markovic setting up Fidel for the opener on the hour mark. Cisma got on the end of a corner to make it two, and Raúl de Tomás wrapped things up with a free kick which deflected in off a defender. The Andalusians are however six points off the direct promotion spots, a point above Girona, who drop out of the play-off spots to seventh.
Further down the table Albacete have been relegated after a last minute 2-1 defeat at fellow strugglers Ponferradina. The Manchegans appeared to have at least saved a point with a quarter of an hour to go when a goal from Portu cancelled out Berrocal’s second half strike. However with the match into the fourth minute of time added on Aguza got the winner with a shot which went in off the post. Llagostera need a small miracle to save themselves as well after a 0-0 draw against Almería left them five points adrift. The visitors were inches away from winning it when Quique hit the post in the dying minutes, but the result means they drop back into the relegation spots, now two points below Ponfe and Mallorca. Numancia are mathematically sure of staying up though after they beat Lugo 1-0, substitute Pablo Valcarce getting the only goal after Aquino set him up a couple of minutes before the interval. (25.05.16)
A midweek round of fixtures in the second division, with three games on Tuesday to start things off. Alcorcón are up to fifth after beating Tenerife 2-1, David Rodríguez putting them ahead on the quarter hour mark following a corner. Moutinho fired one back with a long shot soon after the restart, but Máyor got on the end of Toribio’s cross to restore the lead, and any hope the visitors had of saving the match was ended when Carlos Ruíz was sent off with seven minutes to go. Girona drop a point below Alcorcón to sixth after they were held to a 0-0 draw at Valladolid, .the result virtually ensuring that the locals stay up for another year. Not that that brought any joy to coach Alberto López, as the club announced that he would be replaced by Paco Herrera next season. Tenerife’s defeat means that they cannot reach the play-off spots, and Elche are virtually out of the running as well after they lost 2-1 at Mallorca, the defeat leaving them five points below Girona. Lago Junior gave the islanders the lead after a good team move midway through the first half, and Pol Roigé made it two after Javi Jiménez failed to clear a corner with twelve minutes to go. However Vergos scored for the visitors near the end, and there were some nervous moments for the home fans before the final whistle. The win though takes Fernando Vázquez’s side three points clear of the relegation zone pending the rest of the mid-week games. (24.05.16)