Second Division A - Day 33

Third placed Eibar failed to capitalize on an early start after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Xerez on Saturday evening. The Basque side were missing two of their key players, Llorente who was suspended and David Silva who was on international duty with Spain's under 19 side, and without them they were unable to take advantage of the many chances they created. The visitors were always dangerous on the counter-attack though, and Iraizoz had to be at his best to keep out efforts from Francis and Mena in the first half. Enrique Martín's side pulled back even further after the break to defend their point, and they held on despite the pressure from the locals, for whom Oskitz headed the best chance wide a quarter of an hour from the end. It was a disappointing result, but Mendilibar's team are still sure of a place in the promotion spots by the end of the weekend as the result took them four points above the sides immediately below them.

Elche lost ground on the leaders after they were beaten 1-0 by Real Murcia later in the evening. It was a tense match between neighbouring sides, and after a series of fouls and hard tackles the game erupted into a brawl between players ten minutes from the end. The visitors had dominated the first half with Rubén Suárez commanding play, but they were unable to take advantage of any of their chances. Murcia went close when Varela shot over the bar early on, but otherwise they didn't do much until midway through the second half, when Iván Alonso ran on to a long ball from Acciari to score the only goal of the match. Elche finished the game with ten men after Turiel picked up a second booking, and they ended the game now eight points off the top three. The locals move out of the relegation spots, leaving their city rivals Ciudad Murcia in the bottom four pending their game on Sunday.

Almería also moved away from the danger zone after beating Pontevedra 1-0, a second win in a row for new manager Paco Flores.The game got off to a lively start, with local keeper Valerio having to save from Fede Bahón in the first minute and Esteban Navarro shooting wide at the other end seconds later. Valerio was in action later in the first half to turn an effort from Javi Rodríguez for a corner, and Rodríguez hit the post in another attack after the break. Moso was also called upon a couple of times in the visiting goal, but with the game seemingly heading for a draw the keeper was finally beaten in the second minute of injury time by a free kick from substitute Sahnoun. The defeat put an end to the Galicians' run of three wins in a row, and they could be back at the bottom of the table if Córdoba can pick up a point or more at Celta on Sunday.

Terrassa sink further down into the bottom four though after they were beaten 4-2 by Catalan neighbours Lleida. Sergio Rodríguez got the first two for the locals in the first half, the first a chip over the keeper and the second after Borrell set him up. However they were left with ten men after Rubén picked up a second yellow card soon after the restart, and almost immediately substitute Cazerine headed a goal back. Nakor restored the two goal advantage though a minute later, heading home Crusat's cross, and Oscar came on to hit the bar, and then a few minutes later get his side's fourth after Morales misjudged a corner. Quique Martín got another late consolation goal for the visitors, but by then they were well beaten.

Elsewhere Sporting Gijón and Tenerife cancelled each other out in a 1-1 draw which leaves both sides safely in mid-table. The Asturians took the early initiative, and went into the lead in the twelfth minute when Calandria and Ismael combined to set up Juan. The visitors equalised though ten minutes later when Cristo beat Roberto on a rapid counter-attack. The Islanders well organized defence kept Sporting at bay in the second half, in particular after Calandria was sent off for a second bookable offence, and Roberto had to save from Vitolo to ensure at least a point for his side. (16.04.05)

Recreativo moved to within a point of the promotion places after beating Valladolid 2-0 on Sunday lunchtime. Only four points separated the two sides at the beginning of the day after the visitors' revival under new coach Marcos Alonso. But the home side dominated the first half, Viqueira hitting a post early on and Verza shooting just wide before the interval. Ten minutes in to the second half the Andalusians took the lead, Jonathan scoring his third own goal of the season after heading into his own net in a failed attempt to pass back to Bizzarri. And Xavi Jiménez made it two a few minutes later after the keeper could only push out an effort from substitute Gastón Casas. (17.04.05)

Surprises at the top of the table though, where none of the top three clubs managed to win this weekend. The biggest shock of all came at the Balaidos stadium on Sunday evening, where leaders Celta were beaten 0-1 by bottom side Córdoba. The Galicians came out strongly and should have scored early on, particularly from a Contreras header which Saja somehow managed to keep out. But the visiting defence held on, and ten minutes in to the second half referee Clos Gómez awarded them a hotly disputed penalty when Sergio headed clear a cross but left Ruano lying on the ground. Fernando Vázquez threw on extra attackers but then found himself with ten men after Nagore picked up a second booking. And it could have been worse had Monteagudo not crashed a long shot against the bar near the end.

Second placed Cádiz could only close up a point on the Galicians though after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Salamanca, a result which keeps Andoni Goikoetxea's team just above the relegation spots. The new coach put out a defensive side, and the locals only really caused any worry for keeper Tom once in the first half when Mirosavljevic shot just wide early on. Gorka Brit could have put the visitors ahead though either side of half time when he brought a good save out of Armando before the break, and then fired a couple of long shots wide after the restart. But Jonathan Sesma should have won it for the hosts when Velázquez set him up in front of goal later on, the forward failing to find the target with the goal at his mercy.

Alavés made it a five team race for the top three berths though after coming from behind to beat Málaga B 3-1 later in the evening. Geijo gave José María Bakero's side the lead when he headed home Abel's free kick in the seventh minute. But the locals equalised ten minutes before the break when Bodipo beat Manolo with a header after Sarriegi flicked on a corner, and Nené put them ahead with a twice taken penalty before the half time whistle after Jesús Gámez handled in the area. Three minutes in to the second half De Lucas wrapped things up after a good run through the middle of the defence, and Navarro, Bodpio and Santamaría could all have added to the lead as the visitors threw in the towel near the end. The result takes Piterman's side level with Recreativo and sends the Andalusians down into the bottom four.

Ciudad Murcia moved above Málaga B thanks to a better goal difference after taking a point from a 0-0 draw at Gimnastic Tarragona. The Catalan side had not won since Luis César signed a new contract five games ago, and the coach opted to play Bolo up front to try and change things. However the ex Bilbao and Rayo striker wasted the only chance of the first half, and the visitors were let off a penalty when Amaya blocked Pinilla's cross with his arm. The second half continued in the same vein, Godino missing the only chance to give Ciudad the three points when he shot over the bar after local keeper Valencia could only parry an earlier shot.

The result left Nàstic's neighbours Terrassa further down in the drop zone, and the Catalans were left without a manager after Juanma Lillo resigned earlier in the day.

Racing Ferrol moved clear of the danger zone with a 2-0 win against Poli Ejido, the third victory in a row for the naval port side. After a dull first half, Juanito could have given the Galicians the lead when he missed an open goal, and top scorer Mario Bermejo headed another chance against the bar a few minutes later. But with twenty minutes to go David Franch gave his side the lead with a deflected shot, and Bermejo made it two six minutes later with a low strike, his 22nd goal of the season. (17.04.05)