Second Division A - Day 24

Only two games in the second division on Saturday evening, with Levante consolidating third spot after a 0-1 victory at neighbours Elche. The Valencia based side got off to the better start, although Rubén Suárez came close to giving the locals the lead on a quick breakaway. Cavallero had to keep out efforts from Martí and Nino either side of half time as the home side fought back, but Aragoneses saved well from Congo at the other end before Carmelo caught him out with a long shot to open the scoring. Suárez got himself sent off for a second bookable offence near the end, but even so the hosts came close to equalising, Cavallero making two more important stops from Nino and Martí in the dying minutes.

Elsewhere Tenerife moved away from the danger zone with a 1-4 win over bottom club Málaga B. Jesús Vázquez headed the Canary Islanders into the lead from a Cristian Alvarez corner against the run of play with a quarter of an hour on the clock, and although Pina equalised on the stroke of half time after Diego Castro set him up, Cristian Alvarez restored the lead after the restart on a quick breakaway. Soon afterwards Keleman saved well from Ador, who had a goal disallowed later on for a borderline offside. But Maikel added two more late on, the first from Ayoze's cross and the second with a shot on the turn, to give the Canary Islanders only their second away win of the season. (11.02.06)

Recreativo had a chance to move up to top spot when they played Sporting Gijón at home on Sunday lunchtime, but in the end they were held to a 0-0 draw and ended the weekend still in second spot. The Asturians had the better chances in the first half, Toño saving from Biagini and Pablo Lago having a penalty appeal turned down. Local coach Marcelino threw on all his fire power in the second half against his old side, but Roberto saved well from Cheli and in the dying minutes from Calle to ensure a point for the visitors.

The battle for the promotion spots has opened up after the top two both failed to win this weekend. Leaders Xerez levelled the scores twice against struggling Castellón but ended up losing 3-2. Lucas Alcaraz's side went close early on when Oliva saved from Geijo in the seventh minute, but almost immediately Raúl Sánchez put the local side ahead when he connected with a cross from Héctor. Bajic headed home Ismael's free kick to level the scores minutes later, but Tabares restored the lead before the half time whistle after Raúl Sánchez set him up. The Andalusians equalised again after the restart when Moreno headed Ismael's centre past a committed Oliva, but Raúl Sánchez picked up a long ball from Dealbert to strike home the winner ten minutes from the end. Xerez ended the game with ten men when Gerard was sent off for a second bookable offence in injury time, but they still ended the weekend in top spot, ahead of Recreativo thanks to a better goal difference.

Lorca closed the gap with a 0-1 win against neighbours Real Murcia, and they stay in fourth spot behind Levante having gone eight games now without defeat. The home side had the better chances in the opening minutes, Jauregui saving twice from Iván Alonso and Julio Alvarez hitting the post a couple of times in one attack. Jauregui also had to keep out Richi after the break, but Sergio Kesic's side were caught out soon afterwards when Ramos beat Juanmi with an angled shot, and they ended with ten men after substitute Salgueiro was sent off for kicking an opponent.

Lorca stay a point ahead of Gimnastic Tarragona, who beat Valladolid 3-2 to keep up their push for promotion. Visiting keeper Bizzarri made saves from Ismael Irurzun, Reyes and Ekpoki before Ismael got on the end of David García's cross to open the scoring. Abel Buades headed a second from a free kick before half time, and Ismael got his second of the night soon after the restart, again heading in a free kick. Víctor pulled one back following a corner a few minutes later, and although Marcos Alonso's side had Pedro López sent off for a second booking, Sousa reduced the gap to one goal with another header in the last minute.

Almería also kept themselves in the running for the top spots with a 1-0 win over Hércules, who have not won in ten games. The locals were on top throughout the first half, with Kale Uche going close twice and Lozano almost catching out Jimmy Schmidt with a free kick. Uche also hit the crossbar with a wayward cross, and with five minutes to go to the break Michel gave them the lead from the penalty spot after Ortíz was brought down. Quique Mateo came close to equalising a couple of times either side of the break, but when Valerio saved a last minute effort from Toché it was all over. The defeat cost the job of local coach Juan Carlos Mandía, who was sacked the following day.

Albacete maintained their recent good form with a 2-1 victory against Eibar, taking their unbeaten run to five games. All three goals came in the first half, with Mario Bermejo converting a hotly disputed penalty after Ferrón was brought down in the fifth minute. Santamaría and Ferrón combined to set up Juanlu for a second midway through the half, but local keeper had to be at his best to keep out Jaime and Mairata before Azkoitia headed one back just before the break. Both sides had chances after the restart, but in the end the three points went to César Ferrando's side, leaving their opponents further down in the drop zone.

Ciudad Murcia beat Real Madrid Castilla 0-1 despite ending the match with eight players. Referee Perdigones Pacheco stole the limelight, showing thirteen yellow cards and four reds (including one for the visiting delegate), starting by sending off Kome for a hard tackle on Felipe in the twentieth minute. Ciudad took the lead close to half time when Crisitian Díaz headed home Luque's free kick, but a couple of minutes later Raúl Medina had to go for a second bookable offence. Miguel Angel Portugal threw on all his fire power, but even when Assemoassa was shown a red card for a foul on Valero there was no way through, and after ten minutes of extra time the game came to a sad end.

Numancia made it three wins in a row after a 1-0 victory over Lleida. The home side had the better chances in the opening minutes, with Tevenet and Azkorra both bringing good saves out of Rangel. Antonio had to clear off the line at the other end from Nakor with the keeper beaten, but two minutes before half time Del Pino got what was to be the only goal of the match with a diving header after Palacios played on a cross. Andoni Goikoetxea's side controlled the game after that, although they did have a couple of scares right at the end after Antonio was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Poli Ejido moved out of the relegation spots with a 0-1 victory at Racing Ferrol, who themselves drop down in to the bottom four as a result. Stephen Sunday went close for the visitors with a header early on, and they took the lead in the twelfth minute when Pedro Vega beat Bouchard with a free kick. The Galicians were left with ten men midway through the first half when Boureau was shown two yellow cards in quick succession, and apart from an effort from Juan Carlos close to half time they hardly troubled Kike and his defence. (12.02.06)