Second Division A - Day 26

Almería moved up level with Murcia pending their game on Sunday after coming from behind to beat Castellón on Saturday evening. Acasiete had turned a cross from Agirretxe in to his own net in only the eight minute of the game, and the visitors, who are currently in the relegation zone, could have added to their scoreline before the break. But Emery made three attacking substitutions in the second half, and with twenty minutes to go one of the replacements Mena set up Crusat for him to level the scores. And another of the substitutes Francisco got the winner a few minutes from the end to open up a five point gap with fourth place.

Cádiz moved up to that fourth spot after beating Salamanca 2-0. Both goals came early on, on loan Valencia midfielder Pablo Hernández opening the scoring after a first effort was blocked, and then setting up Pavoni for a second on the quarter hour mark. Raúl López hit the bar with a cross come shot before the break, but after that the locals shut up shop, with Armando only troubled by two or three efforts from Roberto, Braulio and Quique Martín.

The Andalusians overtake Numancia, who were held to a 0-0 draw at Real Madrid Castilla. Michel's side are struggling to avoid relegation, but they had the better of the match. Negredo went close a couple of times early on and Mata tried his luck either side of half time. Only an effort or two from Moreno caused any work for Codina at the other end, but although Juanra was sent off ten minutes from the end, the youngsters could still not break down a well ordered defence.

Alavés moved up to seventh after a 1-2 victory at Tenerife, who stay down in the bottom half of the table as a result. Aloisi started things off for Piterman's side beating Bernardo in the fifty minute after the keeper could only push out a previous shot, and the Canary Islanders were left with ten men when Marc Bertrán was sent off shortly before the interval. Even so Angel equalised with an angled shot after the restart, and they appeared to have saved a point before De Lucas chipped Porato to win the game late on. (24.02.07)

Elche continue their recovery under David Vidal, and they came from a goal down to beat Las Palmas 2-1 on Sunday lunchtime. Marcos Márquez scored for the Canary Islanders in only the second minute, and they could have increased their lead before Gastón Casas latched on to a loose ball to equalise before the break. Casas got his second of the day though with a shot into the top corner of the net with twenty minutes to go, and Caballero made a vital save in injury time from David González to ensure the three points (25.02.07)

Although there is still a long way to go, the promotion spots already appear to be tied up, with the top three five points clear of the rest and showing no signs of letting up. Leaders Valladolid were held to a last minute 1-1 draw by Xerez, but they are still five points clear of second place after their twentieth league game without defeat. Sisi gave them the lead shortly before half time after Alvaro Rubio and Manchev combined to set him up, and García Calvo hit the bar after the restart. But with the game in the fifth minute of injury time, Moreno headed in Jorge Luque's corner to save a point for the visitors.

Real Murcia moved back above Almería to second place after a 3-1 win over Hércules. Iván Alonso put Lucas Alcaraz's side two up, the first on the quarter hour mark after picking up a pass from Antoñito, and the second midway through the second half after lobbing keeper Falcón and heading in to the net. Piti got one back two minutes later with a shot by Piti from outside of the area, and Moisés came close to equalising when he hit the post. But in the last minute Graff gave away a penalty on Richi, and Aranda fired in the spot kick.

Meanwhile one of the chasing sides Ciudad Murcia were beaten 1-0 by Ponferradina, who are now only one point away from safety. The president of the Spanish government José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who is from the neighbouring León and who had promised to visit when they were promoted, was in the stands to watch Raponi get the only goal of the game with an angled shot late in the first half. Luque hit the bar at the other end in the second half, but Amaya was sent off near the end and the locals eld on for an important victory.

Bottom club Vecindario beat Albacete 1-0 to record their first win since the first week of January, although they are still ten points away from safety. The only goal was scored by Carlitos, who picked up a pass from Mirosavljevic to beat Sanzol in the twentieth minute. Both sides ended with ten men after Mirosavljevic and Cañas were sent off for fighting near the end.

Vecindario are now six points behind Lorca, who took the lead against Poli Ejido through Jorge Sánchez early on, but who in the end were beaten 1-3. Víctor Salas got all three goals for the visitors, the first on the half hour mark after a defensive mistake, the second from the penalty spot thirty minutes later after Barroso was sent off, and the third just five minutes after that on the counter-attack. The home side were left with nine men when Capi picked up a second booking, but Sundae was also sent off for the visitors by an over-zealous referee Herráez Prieto, who was booed off the pitch. The defeat cost the job of coach José María Salmerón, who had only taken over a few weeks ago.

Málaga are still not clear of danger after they could only draw 1-1 with Sporting Gijón, ending the weekend just four points above the bottom four teams. Both goals came in the first five minutes, Congo opening the scoring for the Asturians with an angled shot and Gascón replying for the locals with a header from Hidalgo's corner. (25.02.07)