Second Division A - Day 34

Only two games in the second division on Saturday evening, including a fixture between Cádiz and Ciudad Murcia, who both started the weekend in joint fourth place, albeit fifteen points behind the top three. The locals went ahead early on, Pavoni beating José Juan with a spectacular volley. Armando made a couple of good saves from Goitom at the other end either side of half time, but the keeper was at fault later in the first half when he misread a long shot from Ayoze which went over his head into the net. A draw appeared to be on the cards until the fourth minute of injury time, when Cristian Díaz got ahead of his marker to head Gibanel's free kick into the net for the winner.

Castellón took a step further away from the relegation spots after beating Las Palmas 2-0, their sixth game in a row without defeat. Both goals came in the second half after a dull first 45 minutes, Natalio putting the home side in front after a shot from Tabares came back off the post. The Canary Islanders threw everything forward, but Tabares wrapped things up after picking up a pass from Natalio in the last minute. It was a third defeat in a row for the visitors, who now find themselves back in the fight to avoid relegation. (21.04.07)

Almería only need a couple more wins to go up after coming from behind to beat Poli Ejido 3-1 on Sunday lunchtime. Tena had headed the visitors into the lead from Predro Vega's corner on the half hour mark. But the visitors were left with ten men when Sunny was shown a second yellow card early in the second half, and Crusat set up Michel two times in the next five minutes to turn the scoreline around. And Corona made sure of the three points with a third goal after Bermejo played the ball in to his path near the end. (22.04.07)

With eight games still to go, Valladolid made sure of promotion to the first division with a 0-2 victory at Tenerife on Sunday evening. Víctor opened the scoring midway through the first half after Capdevila set him up, and local keeper Bernardo had to make several saves before substitute Manchev wrapped things up with a chip over the keeper three minutes from the end. That made it seven wins in a row and 28 games without defeat, breaking the record books for the quickest promotion ever. Tenerife ended the game with ten men after Oscar Pérez was shown a second yellow card with twenty minutes to go, and they ended the weekend in thirteenth spot.

It won't be long though before Valladolid are joined by Almería and by Real Murcia, who beat Xerez 3-0 to consolidate third place and maintain the fifteen point gap over the chasing pack. Jofre gave them the lead with virtually the first shot of the game shortly before the interval, and Aranda added the second from the penalty spot after keeper Chema was sent off for bringing him down in the area midway through the second half. And substitute Noel-Williams headed past replacement keeper Julio Iglesias in the dying minutes for the final scoreline.

The teams below the top three have virtually given up the chase, and it was draws all round for those in the top half of the table. Albacete drew 1-1 with Salamanca despite playing 80 minutes with ten men after Noguerol was sent off for a foul on Braulio. Despite the numerical inferiority, Calle put them ahead late in the first half after receiving the ball with his back to goal. But Zé Tó headed the equaliser from a Tomás cross ten minutes from the end, and numbers were evened up when Carlos Vela was also shown a red card shortly before the final whistle.

A 1-1 draw as well between Hércules and Sporting Gijón, a result which left the locals in midtable and the Asturians just two points above the drop zone. Moisés hit the woodwork for the home side once in each half, but Sporting took the lead seven minutes before the break when Michel's shot took a deflection off a defender to wrong-foot Falcón. Sendoa latched on to Calandria's headed pass to level the scores after the restart, but after Raúl Cámara was sent off for a second bookable offence both sides settled for a point.

A 2-2 scoreline between Alavés and Numancia ended the visitors' hopes of catching the leaders, and left Dmitri Piterman's side just a point above the bottom four. The locals missed a couple of early chances, but were then hit by two goals from Gorka Brit on rapid breakaways in the last ten minutes of the first half. De Lucas headed one back though before the half time whistle from Edu Alonso's cross, and things swung further in Alavés's favour when Sietes was shown a second yellow card with half an hour still to go. It was not until the last minute though that Carpintero saved a point after Ogbeche had played the ball on.

The two bottom sides Vecindario and Lorca also played out a 1-1 draw, a result which left them both a step closer to relegation. Both goals came in the first quarter of an hour, Ciani putting the Canary Islanders ahead after a series of rebounds, and Ramos equalising with a shot from outside of the area. Ramos put Keleman to the test a couple of times after that, but the hosts could have taken the three points had Mirosavljevic not missed a sitter and Borrero not had a goal disallowed near the end.

And the two teams above them also met, Real Madrid Castilla running out 3-1 winners over Ponferradina to move level on points with Las Palmas, although Michel's side are still in the drop zone on goal difference. Granero gave them the lead with a hotly disputed penalty in the tenth minute, and Negredo got the second from Mata's corner soon after the restart. De la Red headed a third late on from Borja Valero's cross, and then hit the post before Baha's late consolation with the game already in injury time.

Only ten points separate Castilla from fourth spot however, and anything could happen over the next two months. Málaga seem to have turned the corner though after a 2-0 victory over Elche, making it seven points from their last three games. Calleja finished off a good team move to open the scoring early on, but it was not until a quarter of an hour from the end that Chengue Morales headed a second past Caballero after Stosic and Calleja combined to set him up. The win takes them level with their opponents in the table. (22.04.07)