Second Division A - Day 11

Almería moved to the top of the second division for the first time in their history after beating their local rivals Poli Ejido 3-1 on Saturday evening. A capacity 12,000 crowd saw both sides hit the woodwork before Francisco volleyed the locals into the lead in injury time at the end of the first half. Calado made it all square with a direct free kick after the break, but the home side won it with two goals in three minutes, César Jiménez heading them back in front and Francisco getting his second of the night on a rapid counter-attack. It was Almería's third win in a row, and they take first place pending Numancia's game at Cádiz on Sunday.

Alavés moved provisionally back up to fourth spot after a 1-0 win over Las Palmas in the only other game played on Saturday, their fourth victory in a row in the Mendizorroza stadium. The only goal came ten minutes after the break when young substitute Kiko beat Cicovic with a shot from the edge of the area. Both sides had men sent off soon afterwards, visiting captain José Antonio for a second yellow card and local striker Rubén Navarro three minutes later for an elbow on an opponent, and home side keeper Gaspercic made two vital saves late on from Rubén Castro. (08.11.03)

Third placed Levante played out a dull 0-0 draw at Getafe on Sunday lunchtime, but still held on to the last promotion spot. Although the game got off to a lively start it soon fizzled out, and only a shot against the post from local midfielder Alberto and a couple of efforts from visiting substitute Cuéllar gave the fans any cheer. This was the home side's fifth draw in a row and their fourth of the season which ended goalless.

The other game played at midday on Sunday was quite the opposite though, with Málaga B getting their first ever win at this level with a 5-2 victory over managerless Xerez. Despite the sacking of Carlos Urué midweek, over a thousand fans made the short trip from Jerez de la Frontera to see their side hold on until just before the break, when full back Calderón put the locals ahead. Paco Esteban made it two from Juanma's cross twenty minutes in to the second half, and although Moreno twice pulled headed goals back, each time Esteban scored again to complete his hat-trick. And Puigdollers scored a fifth in injury time to complete the rout and take his side off the bottom and up a couple of places in the table.

Almería's top spot was confirmed on Sunday evening after leaders Numancia were beaten 2-0 by Cádiz. The Soria based side were looking for their sixth win in a row, but were hit by a goal in the first minute when Abraham Paz followed up after the defence failed to clear a free kick. Morales shot just wide for the visitors and Luis saved an effort from Oli at the other end before half time, but three minutes after the restart Jonathan Sesma got on the end of Dani Navarrete's cross to make it two and wrap things up. Cádiz move back up to fourth, just a point now behind Levante.

Sporting Gijon moved up to sixth with a 1-0 victory over Terrassa, who ended the weekend back at the bottom of the table. It was not a great game though, and the only goal came from a dubious penalty scored by Bilic five minutes before the break when Rubén was adjudged to have fouled the Croatian striker. The players and crowd observed a minute's silence before kick off in memory of Oviedo player Armando who was killed in a car crash earlier in the week, and Anglo-Ukrainian businessman Dmitri Piterman was in the stands watching what could be his new team. Although Sporting's management are against the idea, they certainly need him. The club are near to bankruptcy and the staff and players have not been paid in four months and will be striking this week in protest.

Tenerife added to the woes of managerless Rayo Vallecano with a 2-1 win, their first victory in eight games. The Canary Islanders seemed to be up against it when they had Edu Moya sent off for aggressive behaviour in a brawl amongst the players which led to a red card as well for assistant coach Sese Rivero. However when things died down they scored from the very next play, Mario turning the ball past his own keeper after a Roberto Carlos free kick was not properly cleared. Bolo made it all square when he deflected a wayward Luis Cembranos shot in with his heel, but Kiko Ratón hit the winner after the break to send the Madrid based side down to next to bottom in the table.

Another of last season's relegated sides, Recreativo Huelva, are not doing much better than Rayo either. Their 0-2 defeat at the hands of Córdoba cost the job of manager Paco Herrera, and they dropped down the table to thirteenth. The visitors themselves changed their manager a week or so ago, and Miguel Angel Portugal looks like staying on after moving over from the technical staff to give them their second victory in a row. Fleurquín put them ahead just before the interval, heading home a corner, and Pulpo González got the second on the hour mark. The fans started to abandon the ground twenty minutes from the end, and Herrera followed them an hour later, never to come back.

A depleted Elche moved back up to the top half of the table after a 0-1 win at Eibar. With ten of their first team squad out, the East coast side put out a makeshift line up, but they scored the only goal of the game midway through the first half when Arnal got on the end of Granero's cross to beat Spanish under 20 keeper Riesgo. Earlier in the match Cuevas had headed Eibar's best chance over the bar, and visiting keeper Dani Mallo turned Dani's late shot away for a corner to hand the Basques their first home defeat of the season. Elche's Raúl Pérez was sent off near the end for a second bookable offence.

Salamanca beat a struggling Algeciras by the same score to send the Andalucians down to third from bottom spot. The home side had the best of the play but couldn't get past a well organised defence, with Bayarri wasting the best chance when he failed to get past Stelea. The visitors sat back waiting to score on the breakaway, and they got the only goal with a spectacular shot by Pepe Domingo from 35 yards out ten minutes from the end.

Ciudad de Murcia and Leganés drew 1-1, a result which left both down in the lower reaches of the table. The home side took the initiative but came up against an excellent Leyenda, and when they did manage to beat the keeper, Macanás was there to clear. Calandria put the visitors ahead just after the break after keeper Tete couldn't hold on to a long shot, but Camuñas equalised a minute later with an individualist goal. Leyenda saved the day near the end, getting a hand to a quickly taken Turu Flores free kick. (09.11.03)