Second Division A - Day 30

Murcia opened up a five point gap at the top after beating Elche 1-0 in the only game played on Saturday evening. David Vidal's side took the lead in the eighteenth minute when Maciel won the ball off Rondo a played a deep pass in for Tito to score. And after that their well ordered defence kept out their opponents with an effective performance, with Reinke only really tested in the local goal by a Luque free kick in the second half. Loreto could have extended Murcia's lead in the first half, but in the end it was not necessary and the leaders throw down the gauntlet to the chasing pack. Elche slide further down the table, and will probably find themselves in the bottom half of the table by the end of the weekend.

Zaragoza are making it difficult for themselves to return to the top flight, and they took another step backwards after losing 1-2 to Las Palmas on Sunday lunchtime. After a dull first half they fell behind when the Canary Islanders new signing Tomás beat Lainez after Baiano headed on. Throwing everything forward they left gaps at the back, and Rubén took advantage to add a second goal on the counter-attack twenty minutes from the end. Kolmjenovic closed the gap a few minutes later but the visitors held on, even when left with ten men after Tomás was sent off for a second bookable offence with ten minutes to go. Zaragoza stay fourth, but the leaders could open up a bigger lead when they play later in the evening.

A last minute goal from Getafe captain Vivar Dorado saved a point in a 1-1 draw against Almería in their Sunday morning kick off. The home side hardly had a shot at goal in all the first half, and the visitors took the lead on the quarter hour mark with an individualist effort from Luna. Ramós and Ortíz wasted chances to go further ahead after the break, and they ended up paying for it when Vivar Dorado's long shot beat Barbero in the ninetieth minute. Almería climb temporarily out of the bottom four, but should be back down there when all games finish in the evening.

Albacete stayed within two points of Murcia after a 0-1 victory at Poli Ejido on Sunday evening. The home side needed a win to have any remote chance of promotion, and Mazzoni had two chances to put them ahead shortly before the break, the first from close up which Roa saved and the second a header from a corner which went just wide. The introduction of Duré midway through the second half was a turning point for César Ferrando's side though, and after bringing two good saves out of Kike, he set up Jesús Perera for the winning goal eight minutes from the end. It was the striker's eighteenth goal of the season, and extends Albacete's unbeaten run to thirteen games. Ejido drop to eighth spot, eleven points now off the promotion spots, and to make matters worse they ended with ten men after Patri picked up a second booking near the end for arguing.

The top two open up a four point gap over third placed Levante, who were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Xerez. Zaragoza's defeat at lunchtime meant they were assured of remaining in the top three, and a 16,000 crowd turned up in their "Ciutat de Valencia" stadium to cheer them on. There was a promising start when Olías headed against the post in the second minute, but they faded as the half went on and Rafa had to save well from Calle to keep the scores level at the break. Levante hit the post again through Chota at the start of the second half, but Schuster's side defended well after that to keep up their seven game unbeaten run and consolidate their fifth position in the league.

It was a good day for the Canary Island sides, with Tenerife following up on Las Palmas' win by beating Numancia 2-0 later in the day. David Amaral's team had only taken three points from their last four games, but they took the lead against their ultra-defensive opponents on the stroke of half time when the delightfully named Kiko Ratón headed on Jordi's long ball. Visiting manager Máximo Hernández made three quick changes in the second half, but Kiko Ratón scored his second of the night in a rapid passing move to leave Numancia down on the edge of the drop zone, just above Almería thanks to their better goal difference. Tenerife and Las Palmas ended the weekend in sixth and seventh places respectively, both seven points behind the top three.

Three matches ended in 1-1 draws on Sunday, including the one between Córdoba and Sporting Gijon in the Nuevo Arcángel stadium. The home side took the lead on the half hour mark when visiting keeper Valencia took a free kick without looking, Serban nipping in to intercept the ball and score into an empty net. Soría almost made it two before the interval when he headed against the post, but ten minutes in to the second half he got himself sent off after bringing down Manel in the area, Villa converting the resulting penalty. The Asturians took advantage of the extra man to put the pressure on their opponents, but Jauregui produced some fine saves and the game ended shortly after Manel headed just wide following a corner. Sporting ended the day in ninth place, heading a group of eleven teams only separated by six points.

Salamanca and Leganés drew by the same result, and both stay two points above the bottom four. The home side had only won once in fifteen games before this one, but the presence of Miss Salamanca (runner up in the Miss Spain contest) taking the honorary kick off drew an interested crowd. With a quarter of an hour on the clock Roberto Fresnedoso got the ball in the net only to see it ruled out for offside, and Lawal hit the post with a long shot at the other end, also pulled up by an over-officious referee for a positional offside. Redero headed the locals in front though from a corner on the stroke of half time, and D'Alessandro ordered his men back to protect the lead. However Lawal made it all square with an individualist effort a quarter of an hour from the end, the referee once again upsetting the crowd waving away appeals for a hand ball from Villa in the build up.

Oviedo are looking more and more like candidates for relegation, and they did themselves no favours losing 1-2 to Eibar, a result which takes them back down to last position. Aitor put the Basques two goals ahead with a header from Manuel Angel's cross before the break and an opportunist strike on the hour mark, and Fran pulled a goal back later with a shot from outside the area which beat Basauri, who had replaced the injured Moso in the first half. Eibar could have gone further ahead when Lediakhov hit the woodwork near the end, but they had already done enough to record their third win in a row to move away from the danger zone.

Racing Ferrol climbed above Oviedo after beating Badajoz 2-0, their first win in eighteen games. Visiting keeper Baines had to leave the field with an injury very early on, and his replacement Poli gave away a soft goal a few minutes later when his failed clearance fell to Méndez for him to score. the Extremadurians piled on the pressure and Rodri and Nene came close to equalising. But with a quarter of an hour to go Gatti was sent off for a second bookable offence, and Toril gave the home fans something to cheer about for the first time this year with a seconf goal from a free kick. Racing are now only three points behind their opponents, who drop to twentieth place.

Compostela moved two points away from the drop zone with a late 2-1 win over nine man Terrassa, and if they can solve their financial problems they may well yet survive. The Gallicians should have gone ahead with a quarter of an hour on the clock when David Sánchez brought down Maikel in the area, but after the visiting defender was sent off, Maestro saved Lima's penalty kick. despite playing with ten men the Catalans took the lead, Monty taking advantage of a defensive mix-up to score after the break. Sequeiros levelled the scores though a few minutes later, and after Fernando was sent off as well, it was Sequeiros again who struck a last minute winner from Fabiano's free kick.