Second Division A - Day 30

Second placed Real Murcia took another big step towards promotion with a 3-1 win over Sporting Gijón on Saturday evening. Jofre started things off early on, beating three men before shooting into the roof of the net. But Castro had a penalty appeal turned down before Aranda added the second from the penalty spot after Samuel handled in the area a quarter of an hour from the end. Congo had a goal disallowed at the other end, but Noel-Williams made it three with a low shot, his first goal since joining from Burnley in the winter, and Sastre completed the scoring with an injury time consolation for the Asturians after Omar set him up.

Murcia's position was helped as well by defeats for two of the teams just outside of the promotion spots. Cádiz lost 1-2 to Albacete, who move to within a point of their opponents in the table after picking up five wins in their last seven games. All the goals came in the second half, Calle starting things off from the penalty spot just a minute after the restart after Bezares was sent off for a foul on the ex Recreativo striker. Despite the numerical inferiority, Miguel García equalised with a second penalty after De Paula was fouled, but Calle struck the winner in the second minute of injury time after picking up a pass from Biagini.

Salamanca were beaten 2-0 by Hércules, a result which takes the Alicante based side away from the danger zone. Kike Mateo headed the locals into the lead from Carmelo's cross with twenty minutes gone, and although Redondo had to clear off the line from Zé Tó with the keeper beaten, Carmelo could have increased the lead when he hit the post after the restart. Substitute Moisés wrapped things up though with a header from Albácar's corner a quarter of an hour from the end to give his side their first win in five matches.

The biggest crowd of the day though was at the Canary Island derby, where Tenerife ran out 3-1 winners over Las Palmas. Youth international Iriome scored twice in the first half hour, the first with only two minutes gone after picking up a pass from Ricardo, and the second after connecting with Ayoze's cross. Márquez brought a good save out of Bernardo after the restart, and soon afterwards Trashorras pulled one back from a centre by Viyuela. But five minutes later Pindado fouled substitute Cristo in the area, and Ayoze converted the kick to ensure three points which takes his side above their rivals in the table. Local defender Clavero was sent off in injury time, and visiting coach José González was also shown a red card for protesting in the first half. (24.03.07)

Valladolid extended their unbeaten run to 24 games after a 0-1 victory at Elche on Sunday evening. Víctor got the only goal in the first half, the veteran striker chipping Bouchard midway through the first half for his twelfth of the season. Medilibar's side dominated the game from there on, although Alberto had to make important saves from Peragón and Coelho at the end of each half to ensure the three points. Elche finished though with ten men when Pere Martí was sent off in the last minute, and they ended the weekend just two points above the drop zone.

Third placed Almería stay two behind Murcia after beating Numancia 3-0. Ortíz opened the scoring with half an hour on the clock after Michel played on Corona's cross, and Crusat got the second on the stroke of half time after Ortíz set him up. Soriano went close soon after the restart, but Crusat wrapped things up after a good team move midway through the second half to take his side ten points clear of fourth place.

With the four teams below the top three all failing to win, Ciudad Murcia now find themselves in that fourth spot thanks to their 0-1 victory over bottom club Vecindario. Goitom scored the only goal on the half hour mark, beating Keleman from close up after the keeper could only push out Amaya's header. It could have been more though, Keleman saving a second half penalty from Luque and Ortega hitting the post a few minutes later.

The relegation spots are by no means decided though, and there were victories for four of the teams caught up in the struggle to avoid the drop. An early goal from Pablo Couñago from Molinero's final pass gave Málaga a 1-0 win over neighbours Xerez, their first victory in seven games. Hidalgo had hit the post before the goal, but Goitia had to make a couple of saves, including a Luque free kick, to make sure of the win.

Real Madrid Castilla stay above Málaga though after coming back from a goal down to beat Poli Ejido 4-1, their first home win in 2007. The visitors opened the scoring when Pedro Vega chipped Codina midway through the first half, but Adrián got on the end of Mata's cross to equalise four minutes later. Ejido were left with ten men when though when Ramos picked up a second booking after the restart, and Mata volleyed the locals into the lead before Negredo finished things off with two more, the first which Robusté turned into his own net and the second from Adrián's pass. The visitors ended with nine men after Arano was also sent off in the last minute.

The good results for the teams above them mean that Castellón stay down in the bottom four despite beating Alavés 2-0. Antonio López put the locals one up in only the sixth minute after winning the ball off a defender before beating Porató, but local keeper Oliva had to save from Rubén Navarro and others before Mario Rosas wrapped things up a quarter of an hour from the end.

Ponferradina remain two points below Castellón after a last minute 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Lorca, who themselves are now eight points behind the León based side. Baha fired the locals ahead shortly before the interval, but Javi Rodríguez headed home Xavi Moro's free kick to equalise before the half time whistle. The game appeared to be heading for a draw until Risso getting headed in a corner in injury time. (25.03.07)