Second Division A - Day 29

Four matches on Saturday in the second division, three of which ended all square. Almería drew 1-1 at Albacete to consolidate their second spot, although they could well have won had Mané not been sent off midway through the second half. Before that they had dominated the match, with Peña putting through his own net under a challenge from Corona to give them the lead close to half time, and the home side's third choice keeper Javi Martínez putting in a great performance in the absence of the injured Sanzol and Valbuena. But immediately after Mané was shown the red card for a tackle on Juan Carlos, Buades turned in Biagini's cross after Westerveld failed to hold on to the resulting free kick to save a point for his side.

Ciudad Murcia were held 0-0 by Castilla, even though the Real Madrid B side had Sergio Sánchez rather harshly sent off by rookie referee Piñeiro Crespo with only around ten minutes gone. Michel and his players were also unhappy that Piñeiro then failed to see local keeper José Juan handle outside of the area later in the first half, Iván Amaya heading Negredo's effort off the line on the rebound. But the referee upset the locals as well, disallowing a strike by Goitom for a dubious offside ten minutes from the end.

Hércules and Castellón drew 2-2 in their regional derby, a result which leaves the visitors still in the relegation spots. The hosts took the lead on the quarter hour mark when Calandria connected with Kike Mateo's pass, but Antonio López hit the post at the other end before Nakor levelled the scores with a shot which took a deflection off Sergio a few minutes later. Antonio López put the visitors ahead three minutes after the restart after good work by Nakor, but Dani Pendín was sent off seven minutes from the end, and Moisés headed the equaliser from Albácar's free kick.

The only side to win on Saturday were Las Palmas, a 3-1 victory over Gran Canaria neighbours Vecindario taking them away from the danger zone. The game was virtually over when Trashorras scored twice in the first twenty minutes, the first from a Marcos Márquez cross and the second after a long run, his shot taking a deflection off Dorta to wrong foot Keleman. Xisco went close a couple of times for the visitors, but second division Pichichi Márquez headed the third from Arriaga's cross a couple of minutes in to the second half, and Mirosavljevic's late strike was scant consolation for the away side. Las Palmas ended with ten men after Cobas picked up a second booking in the last minute. (11.03.07)

Real Murcia consolidate their position in the top three with a 1-2 win at fourth placed Numancia on Sunday lunchtime, the result taking them two points back up above Almería. The locals had won their last six home games, but although they had the better chances early on, Iván Alonso headed Lucas Alcaraz's side into the lead shortly before the break. Kenji Fukuda rattled the woodwork with a spectacular volley immediately after the restart, but Pedro Léon made it two with a well struck free kick before Fukuda got one back with an angled shot midway through the second half.

Valladolid set a new second division record of 23 games without defeat after beating Ponferradina 1-0 on Sunday evening. They struggled a bit though early on, especially after losing García Calvo and Manchev to injuries in the first half hour, and Baha wasted a chance to give the León based side the lead before the break. The only goal came from the penalty spot on the hour mark, Víctor converting the spot kick after Cifuentes was sent off for handling in the area.

The top three have opened up an eight point gap over three clubs, including Xerez, who occupy fourth spot after coming from behind to beat Elche 2-1. All the goals came in the last twenty minutes, Peragón putting David Vidal's side ahead with a low shot past Chema. Visiting keeper Bouchard had to make first class saves from Luque, Moreno and Arruabarrena though before Moreno headed the equaliser with four minutes to go, and Pedro Rios fired the winner into the top corner of the net in the last minute of normal time.

Cádiz are level with Xerez and Numancia on 44 points after drawing 1-1 at Alavés. Both sides had chances in the first half, but it was not until local coach Mario Luna brought on Aloisi early in the second half that the game took off. The Australian striker tested Armando before setting up Ogbeche for the opening goal, but then headed an Abel Buades free kick into his own net a few minutes from the end to make it all square. The Vitoria based side ended a man short after Astudillo was shown a second yellow card in the dying minutes.

Salamanca are just a point behind the three chasing sides after beating struggling Lorca 2-1. Quique Martín put them ahead from the penalty spot on the quarter hour mark after Català handled in the area, and Carlos Vela got the second five minutes later after good work by Martín and Braulio, the young Mexican striker's first goal in four and a half months. But Israel pulled one back with a low free kick before the half time whistle, and local keeper Tete had some work to do after the restart to ensure the final result.

Poli Ejido are one point further back from Salamanca after a 4-1 win over a disappointing Málaga. The visitors got off to a good start, Hidalgo beating Kike with a long shot in only the sixth minute, but Ortíz equalised soon afterwards with an equally distant shot, and Toedtli gave the home side the lead after beating Goitia five minutes in to the second half. Tena headed the third from a corner a few minutes later, and Moreno wrapped things up with another shot from outside of the area near the end. Málaga are now just a point above the drop zone after having only picked up two points in their last six games.

Meanwhile Tenerife drew 1-1 at Sporting Gijón to move three points clear of the Andalusians in the table. Manolo Preciado's side have not won at their Molinón stadium since the turn of the year, and they went behind to an Ayoze free kick ten minutes before the interval. The coach brought on strikers Omar and Barral to join Karanka at the break, but it was only after Pablo Sicilia was sent off for a foul on Gerardo that they equalised, Jorge latching on to a loose ball following a free kick to beat Bernardo late on. (18.03.07)