Second Division A - Day 41

Tenerife inched away from the relegation spots with a 2-2 draw against Real Murcia on Saturday evening. The Canary Islanders found themselves two down just three minutes after the restart when Richi added to Iván Alonso's early strike. But youngster Angel Rodríguez came on to beat Juanmi with a low volley and then hit the post, and Ayoze levelled the scores on a counter attack seven minutes from the end. The result leaves Bernd Kraus's side four points ahead of Lleida pending their game on Sunday, but unless the Catalans lose, Tenerife will still have to win their last game against Albacete to be sure of staying up. The Murcia fans booed their team off at the end, but at least the point means they are now clear of the relegation battle.

Meanwhile Castellón moved above Tenerife in the table with a 1-2 victory at Real Madrid Castilla, although they too are dependent upon Lleida's game to know their fate. Tabares gave the visitors the lead in the twentieth minute following a corner, but Sergio equalised before the break with a direct free kick. Tabares put his side back in front though around the hour mark, and the hosts ended the game with nine men after Javi García was shown a straight red and then Soldado was also sent off for a second bookable offence.

Valladolid are finally safe 0-1 win at already relegated Racing Ferrol. Alfredo Merino's side needed a point at least to be sure, but they went ahead when Tote headed Chema's cross past Nanni midway through the first half. Tote rattled the woodwork before the break, but otherwise the match was notablt dull in front of a small, demotivated crowd.

Leaders Recreativo Huelva may be forgiven for losing their first game at home in 16 months, their 1-2 defeat at the hands of neighbours Xerez coming after a week of celebrations following confirmation of their promotion last weekend. Camuñas opened the scoring for the visitors after picking up a return pass from Geijo just before half time, but Xavi Jiménez equalised before Geijo headed the winner. Recre finished with ten men after Gastón Casas was shown a second yellow card near the end.

Goals galore at Málaga B, where the locals ran out 5-4 winners against Numancia. Ador and Perico put the hosts two up by the break, but Juan Carlos Moreno got one back before Usero restored the two goal cushion five minutes in to the second half. Two goals from Montenegro in three minutes squared the match, but Abel put the Andalusians back in front from the penalty spot after Otxoa handled, and Ador got his second of the night before Pineda rounded off the scoring late on.

A completely different picture at Elche though, their 0-0 draw with Sporting Gijón ensuring the Asturians another year of second division football but not quite enough for the hosts to do the same. Julian Rubio's side had the better chances, visiting keeper Alejandro keeping out efforts from Nino and Pere Martí either side of half time, Cachorro hitting the bar in the second half and Toledo having a goal disallowed late on, but in the end the scoreboard was not troubled. (10.06.06)

The third promotion spot will not be decided until the last weekend after third placed Levante and fifth placed Lorca drew 0-0 on Sunday lunchtime. The locals had the better of the first half, but they were lucky to go in at the break with the scores level after Alexis handled in the area and Cavallero saved Sava's kick from the resulting penalty. Riga and Courtois both failed to take chances after the restart, and Cavallero had to save again from a Sava header later on to keep his side three points above their rivals. (11.06.06)

The last relegation issue was settled later in the day after Lleida lost 3-1 at Almería. The Catalans went behind when ex Espanyol striker Jonathan picked up a pass from Bermudo to beat Miguel on the quarter hour mark, but they still had a chance of survival when Bilic equalised from the penalty spot after Galca fouled Oscar five minutes from the end. However Jonathan restored the lead three minutes later and Kalu Uche wrapped things up in the dying minutes, much to the relief of clubs such as Tenerife and Castellón who were expecting a nerve racking last day.

Almería also did a big favour to Levante, who are due to play at the Camp d'Esports next week with the third promotion spot at stake. Mané's side now only need a point to go up after their other close rivals Ciudad Murcia were held to a 2-2 draw at Albacete (Levante have a positive head-to-head record against Ciudad). Abel Resino's side appeared to be on the way to a win which would have taken them level with Levante when Luque opened the scoring early on and then their opponents had Mingo sent off for a hard tackle on Goitom. But Mikel beat the offside trap to head the equaliser with thirteen minutes to go, and Aranda put the hosts ahead before Raúl Pérez levelled the scores again.

Meanwhile already promoted Gimnastic Tarragona moved above Recre to the top of the table after drawing 1-1 with Hércules. Kicking off before Lleida's match, the visitors were not out of danger, and they dominated the first half against a team packed with reserve players. Kike Mateo finally put the Alicante side ahead twenty minutes from the end, but Morales fired a long shot in off the crossbar to save a point for the Catalans.

Bottom club Eibar recorded their first win in seven games, beating Poli Ejido 0-1 to move to within two points of Málaga B and Racing Ferrol. The hosts were still not sure of staying up when the game started, but their opponents mastered the windy conditions well and Azkoitia hit the bar early on. Marco Navas replied with a shot against the post after the restart, but Azkoitia got the winner near the end after good work by Solabarrieta. (11.06.06)