Second Division A - Day 9

Ciudad Murcia moved back up to third spot pending Sunday's games after a 2-0 win over bottom club Vecindario on Saturday night. Saizar opened the scoring midway the first half, getting on the end of a Ceballos long throw to head past Keleman. The Canary Islanders didn't have a shot at goal until Michel and Roberto put Jaime to the test around the hour mark, but Goitom had a penalty appeal turned down at the other end before Luque got the second with a shot from the edge of the area. Three minutes later Vecindario were left with ten men when Ayoze picked up a second booking, and it was all over.

Alavés are just two places below Ciudad after beating Castellón 2-0. The visitors were hoping to dedicate a victory to their coach Pepe Moré, who was recovering in hospital after suffering from severe angina midweek, but they couldn't get going as their hosts dominated the first half. Ogbeche missed an easy chance, Astudillo hit the bar and Oliva tipped another effort from Toni Moral over the top, and five minutes after the restart Aloisi finally broke the ice after the keeper had saved two previous efforts. And Rubén Navarro and Gabri could both have increased the lead before Moral wrapped things up from a tight angle in injury time.

Curiously none of the five away sides who played today managed to score a goal, with struggling Elche losing 1-0 at Valladolid. Only a couple of efforts from Llorente livened up a dull first half, but the home side took the lead just two minutes in to the restart when the striker headed home Sisi's cross, the referee waving away claims that the ball had gone out of play prior to the goal being scored. Gomis prevented Capdevila from getting a second, and Elche didn't wake up until near the end, when Oscar Diaz and Fernando Niño brought good saves out of Alberto.

Elche ended the weekend in next to bottom spot, but Lorca moved away from the danger zone with a 1-0 win over Ponferradina. Local keeper Jauregui kept out a Risso header, but otherwise most of the play was up at the other end, with Jauregui's opposite number Rubio keeping out efforts from Isaac, Ramos and De Carlos before Javi Rodríguez got on the end of Ramos's pass to head home what was to prove the only goal of the game ten minutes in to the second half.

The match which created the most interest on Saturday was the Canary Islands derby between Las Palmas and Tenerife, the first after a two year break, with 20,000 or so fans turning up at the Gran Canaria stadium. But although there were opportunities for both sides, the game ended 0-0. Ricardo hit the post for the visitors from an early free kick and Raúl Sánchez missed an easy chance close to half time, and Nauzet and Cristo Marrero brought good saves out of Bernardo either side of the interval. And the locals came close to a much needed win when Maric hit the post with a long shot near the end. (21.10.06)

Xerez extended their lead at the top of the table after a narrow 1-0 win over neighbours Málaga on Sunday lunchtime. Geijo was playing for the first time against his old club since the court ruling that he should stay in Chapín this season, but after testing Arnau early on he got himself sent off with only eighteen minutes on the clock. Both sides had chances before Camuñas put the locals ahead, turning the ball in to the net after David Prieto had played on Luque's corner with twenty minutes to go. After that though the game turned nasty, and there were further red cards for Xerez's Bajic and Arruabarrena and Málaga's Sandro and Ador, as well as for visiting assistant coach Barral.

Real Murcia stay level with Xerez after beating third placed Sporting Gijón 0-1 later in the evening. Visiting keeper Notario had to be at his best to keep out Michel and Congo in the first half, and Pedro León opened the scoring with a hotly disputed free kick a minute before the break, virtually the only shot at goal by Lucas Alcaraz's side in all the match. A red card for Jofre left Murcia with ten men for the whole of the second half, but Notario was superb and the referee further upset the home fans when he turned down a last minute penalty appeal by Congo.

The top two moved four points clear of the rest, but the fight for the third promotion spot is wide open, with no less than 16 teams separated by five points. Albacete moved back above Sporting into the top three after thrashing Cádiz 4-1, their first win in four games. Buades headed the locals into the lead following a corner in only the first minute, and César turned a David Sánchez free kick past his own keeper for the second a few minutes later. Buades got his second of the evening midway through the first half, again from a Sánchez free kick, and Abraham Paz headed one back from another corner before the break. The Andalusians were left with ten men when Raúl López was shown a straight red card on the hour mark, and Sánchez wrapped things up after picking up a Ferrón pass in the dying minutes.

Salamanca are in fifth spot, level on points with Albacete and Ciudad, after coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Hércules. The Alicante based side went ahead with a controversial Benítez penalty midway through the first half after the referee ruled that Roberto had been fouled, but Braulio beat Sergio Aragoneses six minutes later to make it all square. The heavy rain was making conditions almost unplayable, but Zé Tó missed an open goal and Farinós replied with a dangerous free kick either side of half time. Moisés headed the visitors back in to the lead after the restart, but Dani Tortolero got on the end of a Quique Martín free kick to save a point later on.

The other two games on Sunday also ended all square, with Numancia and Almería drawing 1-1. Mario Bermejo connected with Crusat's cross to open the scoring on the half hour mark, but Juan Carlos Moreno equalised after controlling Julio Alvarez's cross shortly before the break. Visiting keeper Westerveld stopped efforts from Del Pino, Moreno and Alvarez in the second half, and although Crusat was sent off in the last minute for a second bookable offence, Almería held on to extend their opponents' run without a home win to three games.

The game between Poli Ejido and Real Madrid Castilla finished 0-0, although it was a lively match with chances for both sides. Toedtli and Negredo hit the woodwork at either end before the break, and keepers Kike and Codina were in constant action throughout. A shot from Adrián (son of Castilla coach Michel) grazed the crossbar after the interval, and Usero could have won it for the hosts had he been able to find the target when free in front of goal two minutes before the final whistle. (22.10.06)