Second Division A - Day 40

Gimnastic Tarragona are the first side to ensure their place in the first division after holding Xerez to a 0-0 draw. The Catalans won promotion for the first time in 56 years, just two seasons after coming back up from the second division B. The home side were not playing for anything other than pride after losing their early momentum in the league, but the first chance fell to Colorado who almost caught Rubén Pérez off his line. However Buades went close twice as Nàstic took control, and Tete had to be at his best to keep out Diego Torres just before the break. The keeper also stopped efforts from Pinilla and Ekpoki after the restart, but Rubén Pérez was called upon a couple of times near the end in a frantic finish. Some 12,000 fans watched the game on a giant screen in the centre of Tarragona, and celebrations went on long in to the night.

Recreativo are looking good for the second promotion spot, but third place is still up for grabs between two or three teams. Ciudad Murcia put in their claim with a last minute1-0 win over city rivals Real Murcia in their shared Condomina stadium later in the evening, and they move up to fourth pending the games of Levante and Lorca tomorrow. Both keepers were in action to save from free kicks by Luque and Pedro León early on, but the "locals" appeared to have the advantage when Tato was sent off midway through the first half. However the "visitors" went closer after that, with Iván Alonso hitting the bar after the restart before Falcón got on the end of Luque's corner to head the winner in injury time. Murcia finished the game with nine men after Acciari was also shown a red card at the end.

Sporting Gijón made sure of staying up after beating already relegated Racing Ferrol 3-1. The Asturians went behind early on when Juanito took advantage of slack defending to beat Roberto, but after that they dominated the game and equalised with a hotly disputed Biagini penalty after Beranger fouled Calandria. Racing were left with ten men when Baha was sent off, and a few minutes later Biagini got on the end Juan's cross to put his side ahead. Calandria wrapped things up with a shot from outside of the area with seven minutes to go.

Tenerife and Elche both inched further away from the danger zone with a 0-0 draw, although the Canary Islanders in particular are still not safe. It was a dull match though, the only chances in the first half falling to Cristian alvarez and Angel for the locals and Luis Gil for the visitors. Tenerife defender Fagiani got himself sent off for retaliating just three minutes after the restart, but his side held on to take a valuable point which keeps them six above Lleida pending their game on Sunday. (03.06.06)

Recreativo Huelva will join Nàstic in the first division next season after a convincing 0-3 win over Numancia on Sunday lunchtime. Urged on by around a thousand visiting supporters, the Andalusians hit the post through Aitor before Mateo got on the end of Viqueira's free kick to open the scoring five minutes before the interval. Viqueira added a second himself after making himself room to beat Juan Pablo ten minutes after the restart, and substitute Gastón Casas rounded things off with a third goal with fifteen minutes to go. Recre were back in the top flight just two seasons after being relegated. (04.06.06)

The third promotion spot remained wide open though after Levante and Lorca both failed to win, and Ciudad Murcia's victory the day before means that only three points separate the three sides. Levante were trailing at bottom club Eibar right up until the second minute of injury time, when Diego Camacho deflected in a wayward shot from Riga to make it 1-1 and hold on to third spot. The Valencia based side had never won in nine previous visits to the Ipurúa stadium, and only Cavallero kept them in the game before César headed home a corner a quarter of an hour from the end to put the Basque side ahead.

Lorca threw away an early lead to lose 1-2 against Lleida, who are still on track for an amazing escape act. Maldonado had given the Murcia based side the lead when he chipped the keeper in only the second minute, but Jacobo picked up a pass from Santos to make it all square midway through the second half, and Bilic got the winner in a last minute counter attack to give David Vidal's team their second win in a row. The Catalans have a difficult end to the season though, with games against Almería and Levante to come.

Lleida are now only two points behind Castellón and three behind Tenerife, and it looks like one of the three to go down. Castellón were held to a 2-2 draw by a Málaga B side who had already been relegated some time ago. Aurelio put Pepe Moré's team ahead following a corner midway through the first half, but just a minute later Andreu equalised with a long shot. Tabares took advantage of a defensive mistake to restore the lead after the restart, but Boselli made it all square again with five minutes to go.

With two games to go, only the top nine teams are completely safe from relegation, although Poli Ejido seem to be sure of staying up after a 0-1 win against a disappointing Valladolid. Pedro Vega got the only goal of the game midway through the first half with a long free kick, and both sides had a player sent off in the second half, local keeper Bizzarri getting his marching orders for a foul outside of the area and Pedro Largo following him a few minutes later.

Hércules are also just about sure of a second season at this level following a 2-1 victory against Albacete. The Alicante based side were two up at the interval, Turiel heading home a corner and Moisés picking up a pass from Kike Mateo to beat Sanzol, and could have gone further ahead when Miguel hit the post after the restart. But Ferrón got a goal back with twenty minutes to go to set up a nail biting finish in which David Pirri and Schiavi were shown the red card.

Elsewhere Almería still have a mathematical chance of going up after coming from two down to beat Real Madrid Castilla 3-2, although they would need a remarkable combination of events to do so. New under 21 international Negredo scored twice in the first half for the visitors, the first after Balboa set him up and the second with a shot from the edge of the area. But Jonathan picked up a pass from Ortíz to pull one back soon after the restart before Francisco equalised with a spectacular shot from around the halfway line, and Ortíz himself volleyed home the winner later on, just a couple of minutes after Castilla's Arbeloa was sent off. (04.06.06)