Second Division A - Day 32

Valladolid took another step towards promotion with a 1-3 win at Real Madrid Castilla on Saturday evening, their 26th game in a row without defeat and their fifth victory in a row. Negredo got on the end of Mata's cross in the seventeenth minute to cancelled out Llorente's early headed strike, but Llorente got his second of the night on the stroke of half time after Víctor set him up, his fifteenth of the season. Víctor added the third himself soon after the restart, beating Codina with a shot from outside of the area, and visiting keeper Alberto was only troubled by an effort from Bueno late on.

Real Murcia moved back up to second, above Almería pending their game on Sunday, after beating their city neighbours Ciudad Murcia 2-1. The visitors needed a win to have any hope of promotion despite starting the weekend in fourth spot, but they fell behind to second half strikes from Gallardo and Aranda, the first after good work by Jofre and the second after Gallardo found the striker's head with a pinpoint cross. Rafita scored a late consolation with a shot into the top corner of Notario's net, but it was too late to change the result.

The top three were further helped by bottom club Vecindario, who beat fifth placed Xerez 2-1 to end their run of five defeats in a row. Morales opened the scoring for the locals shortly before the break with a header following Yeray's corner, but the Canary Islanders were left with ten men early in the second half when Mirosavljevic was inexplicably shown a red card, and Arruabarrena took advantage to equalise soon afterwards. Yeray got the winner however with a late penalty after the referee ruled that a defender had handled the ball to put the pressure on visiting coach Pepé Murcia.

Vecindario are still seventeen points away from safety though after Málaga beat fellow strugglers Lorca 4-0 to move out of the relegation zone. The Andalusians dropped into the bottom four for the first time last weekend after only winning once in their last eight games, and they reacted well. By half time they were two up, Hidalgo heading in a Jesús Gámez cross and Calleja firing in a second from a direct free kick before the break. Gámez got on the end of Hidalgo's free kick to make it three a quarter of an hour in to the second half, and Hidalgo wrapped things up with his second of the night soon afterwards.

Elsewhere Albacete clocked up a 0-1 win at Hércules, a result which leaves both sides in mid-table. The Manchegans had never won in twelve previous visits to the Rico Pérez stadium, but Javi Martínez was hardly troubled by the local attackers throughout the match. And with ten minutes to go Biagini got on the end of a corner to beat Falcón and give his side a much needed win. (07.04.07)

Cádiz lost more ground on the leaders after drawing 1-1 with Sporting Gijón on Sunday lunchtime. Diego Castro put the Asturians ahead in the tenth minute after the defence failed to clear Gerardo's cross, but visiting keeper Roberto had to make three or four important saves before he was finally beaten by an individualist goal from Pablo Hernández shortly before half time. Neither side could add to their tally after the restart though, and in the end both had to settle for a point.

Every week the three promotion spots are looking clearer, and Almería seem destined to join Valladolid and Real Murcia in the top flight next season after beating Las Palmas 2-1 later in the evening. All three goals came in a four minute period midway through the first half, Trashorras starting things off for the visitors with a well struck free kick. A minute later though Corona headed in Soriano's cross to equalise, and Ortíz set up Uche for what was to be the winner two minutes later. Otherwise there was little further action until Crusat hit the bar near the end.

Salamanca find themselves joint fourth after a 0-2 victory at Alavés, who are now only two points above the relegation zone after six weeks without a win. Braulio opened the scoring on the half hour mark after Jorge Pina set him up, and Aloisi wasted a chance to equalise when he fired a soft penalty at Tete after Dani Tortolero fouled De Lucas just a minute in to the second half. The locals were left with ten men when Gaspar was sent off for a foul on Carlos Vela, and the young Mexican striker wrapped things up after a mistake by Pablo Casar in the last minute.

Elche kept their heads above water with a 1-0 win over Ponferradina, a result which leaves the visitors further down in the bottom four. Chances fell to Rubén Vega and Oscar Díaz at either end before Fajardo beat Rubio after the keeper could only push out a shot from Peragón close to half time. The locals should have extended their lead after the restart, particularly when Douglas missed a last minute penalty after Bellvis had been fouled in the area.

Castellón move three points clear of the relegation spots after a 3-1 victory over Numancia. The home side were three up at the break, Pepe Mora heading home an Antonio López free kick early on and Aurelio getting the second from the penalty spot after Héctor Bosque was fouled. Natalio made it three from Pedro's pass and Nakor wasted a couple of chances after the restart before Bolo got a late consolation for the visitors.

Tenerife also breathed a sigh of relief after they beat Poli Ejido 3-1. Visiting keeper Kike saved an early penalty from Ayoze, but he could do nothing when a defender deflected a long shot from Blanco past him on the half hour mark. Pedro Vega equalised from the penalty spot after Blanco fouled Paco Esteban with twenty minutes to go, but Robusté was sent off a few minutes later for a foul on Ayoze, and the Canary Islanders took advantage to score two more from a Juvenal free kick and an effort from Cristo.

The results mean that Castilla now occupy the fourth and final position in the drop zone. (08.04.07)