Second Division A - Day 31

Four games on Saturday evening in the second division, although none of the top six sides were involved. Ciudad Murcia took advantage to close up on the leading group with a 0-1 win at Tenerife, a result which leaves the Canary Islanders on the verge of the relegation zone. There were virtually no chances in a dull first half, with Fagiani blocking an effort from Paco Esteban and Maikel putting a good chance over the bar at the other end. Local keeper Bernardo saved well from Gibanel and Goitom after the restart, and both sides were left with ten men soon afterwards, Raúl Medina getting sent off for an elbow on Ricardo and the young Tenerife midfielder following him down the tunnel a few minutes later for a second bookable offence. With ten minutes to go Goitom finally beat Bernardo, and it was all over for the Canary Islanders when the referee turned down their penalty appeal for hands near the end.

Numancia are level with Ciudad though after a last minute win over Eibar, who every day are looking more and more like relegation candidates after 18 years at this level. Mairata went close as the Basque side got off to a good start, but they faded away and went behind when Palacios headed Tevenet's cross past Etxeberría on the hour mark. New signing Magallanes appeared to have saved them a point when he fired a long shot in off the post two minutes from the end of normal time, but Juan Carlos Moreno headed the winner from Montenegro's free kick in the last minute to give Antoni Goikoetxea's side the three points.

Real Madrid Castilla are also firmly ensconced in the top half of the table after a convincing 0-3 win over Poli Ejido. De la Red gave the youngsters the lead in only the third minute, beating Kike with a shot from the edge of the area, but the locals could have equalised had Cobeño and Arbeloa not cleared efforts from Pedro Vega and López Ramos soon afterwards. Second division top goalscorer Soldado added a second before the break though after Negredo played on Valero's cross, and Negredo wrapped things up with a second half penalty after the striker himself was brought down by Kike. Both sides ended with ten men after Juanma and Felipe were sent off within a minute of each other near the end.

Elsewhere Sporting Gijón and Hércules shared the points in a 1-1 draw, a result which favours the visitors who had been struggling in the lower reaches of the table. Visiting keeper Sergio Sánchez did well to stop efforts from Juan and Calandria early on, and his side took the lead in the thirteenth minute when Quique Mateo ran in to beat Roberto. Ciriaco Cano brought on Biagini at half time, and the Argentine forward levelled the scores after Sastre's header came back off the crossbar. There was no further score though, and local left back Dorado was sent off in the last minute after an altercation with Quique Ratón. (01.04.06)

Almería moved up to second place in the table pending the evening's matches after a 2-4 victory at Levante on Sunday lunchtime. Following the 5-1 result between the two sides earlier in the season the match promised goals, and the first came in the seventh minute when Ortíz beat Aizpurúa from the edge of the area. The keeper did well to stop efforts from Uche and Ortíz a few minutes later, but Camacho made it all square with a header from Sandro's cross on the half hour mark. Crusat took advantage of slack defending to restore the lead though soon after the restart, and Galca made it three from a free kick with less than an hour on the clock. Soriano took advantage of another defensive mistake to score his side's fourth, and a last minute strike from Ettien came to late to alter a result which puts more pressure on local coach Mané.

Recreativo hold on to top spot after drawing 1-1 at Elche later in the evening. Either side could have scored in a lively start, Raúl Martín testing visiting keeper Toño and Gastón Casas rattling the crossbar at the other end from a free kick. Nino put the home side ahead with a shot which deflected in off Bouzón a few minutes before the break, but Casas took advantage of a mix up between Txiki and Unanua to equalise, and could have given his team the lead on the stroke of half time when he got the ball in the net only to see the strike ruled out for offside. The pace dropped off somewhat after the restart, although Uche, Casas and Nino all had chances to win it for their respective sides.

The Andalusians have been caught on points though by Gimnastic Tarragona, who continue to break all records away from home with a 0-1 win at Real Murcia. Sergio Kresic's side have been having problems scoring goals recently, and although they had the better of the first half only a couple of efforts from Pedro León caused any problems for Rubén. The coach pushed defender Cuadrado up front at the break, and he went close with a header soon after the restart. But Abel Buades gave a warning to the hosts with a long shot, and with ten minutes to go Nàstic were awarded a penalty after Ismael was brought down by keeper Juanmi, who was shown a red card. Buades converted the spot kick, and after Murcia were reduced to nine men when Pignol picked up a second booking it was all over and the Catalans had completed their tenth game away from home without defeat.

Lorca moved up to fourth in the table with a 3-2 win over Castellón, their fifth victory in a row in the Francisco Artés stadium. Alvés put the Murcia based side ahead on the quarter hour mark after Fernando Vega set him up, but Jonan García equalised just before the interval with a low shot. The locals were left with ten men when alvaro was shown a second yellow card soon after the restart, but Maldonado collected a pass from De Carlos to restore the lead and Ramos beat Oliva with a chip to make it three. Aurelio pulled one back near the end, and the visitors hit the bar in injury time before they too were left with ten men after Jonan was sent off.

Valladolid seriously damaged Xerez's hopes of promotion and kept alive their own after a 3-1 victory over the Andalusians. Alfredo Merino's side ended their goal drought in style with three in the first half an hour, Alvaro starting things off after Tete could only push out a shot from Pedro López. Llorente got the second after Alvaro set him up, and Alvaro got his second of the night and his team's third with an angled shot. The young midfielder thought he had completed a hat-trick on the stroke of half time only to have his strike ruled out for a non existent hand ball, and Llorente also had a goal disallowed early in the second half. Camuñas got a late consolation for the visitors with a low shat past Bizzarri in injury time.

Lleida moved away from the danger zone with a 3-0 victory over an Albacete side who themselves are now only a point above their opponents in the table. Bilic and Camacho both went close for the Catalans before Bilic headed them in front a few minutes before the interval. Peña wasted a chance to equalise after the restart, but Bilic got his second of the night after a good team move and Oscar Rubio wrapped things up with a shot from outside of the area into the top corner of the net a few minutes before the final whistle.

Elsewhere Racing Ferrol climbed out of the bottom four to the detriment of Tenerife after beating fellow strugglers Málaga B 2-1. The Galicians went ahead with a Joselito header after Juan Carlos and then Pezzarossi headed on a long throw, and Pezzarossi got the second on the stroke of half time after Juan Carlos hit the post. Juan Veiga's side slackened off after the break though, and Borja and Diego Castro tested Bouchard and Abel hit the bar before Perico got one back with an angled shot ten minutes from the end. (02.04.06)