Second Division A - Day 36

Real Murcia could be mathematically promoted next weekend after a 1-0 victory over neighbours Lorca on Saturday evening. After a dull first half, coach Lucas Alcaraz changed his front two to bring on English striker Noel-Williams and ex Sevilla forward Antoñito. And it paid off when Noel-Williams got on the end of Abel's free kick to head his side into the lead with just over an hour gone. Up to that point only one effort from Javi Rodríguez had caused any work for Notario, and the locals could have added to their tally later on, Jauregui saving from Gallardo and Abel, and Noel-Williams hitting the post after Antoñito set him up. The defeat leaves Lorca twelve points away from safety.

Meanwhile fourth placed Ciudad Murcia were held to a 1-1 draw at Hércules. The only chances in the first half were for the visitors, Sergio Aragoneses (now back in the side after recovering from cancer) made important saves from Ayoze and Gibanel. José Juan was tested for the first time by an Albacar free kick soon after the restart, but Manolo took advantage of a defensive mistake to put Ciudad ahead a few minutes later. Tote saved a point for the Alicante based side with five minutes to go after good work by Moisés, but when Mantecón was sent off for a second bookable offence they defended up to the final whistle.

Albacete are up to fifth after a 2-1 win over Sporting Gijón, who themselves are just one point above the drop zone after nine games without a win. Both sides could have scored before Calle gave the Manchegans the lead, heading in from close to goal after a good team move midway through the first half. Barral hit the post at the other end, but on the hour mark Albacete went further ahead after Sporting keeper Roberto dropped the ball to the ground thinking he had heard an offside whistle, and Pablo García ran it in to the net. Congo headed a late consolation for the Asturians, but too late to change the result.

Elsewhere regional rivals Numancia and Salamanca inched closer to safety after a 0-0 draw, a result which keeps both in the top half of the table. Julio Alvarez and Braulio had chances at either end in the opening minutes, and Gorka Brit headed against the bar soon afterwards. But there were no more opportunities until later in the second half, with Braulio going close with a header and Bolo bringing a good save out of Tete at the other end.

Vecindario are the first team to be relegated after a 1-4 defeat at the hands of Elche left them 20 points adrift with six games to go. Gastón Casas picked up a pass from Peragón to put the visitors ahead in only the seventh minute, and he returned the favour when his free kick came back off the post allowing Peragón to score the second twelve minutes later. Casas got his second of the night just a minute after the restart, and Fajardo made it four before Xisco got one back with a late penalty after a defender handled in the area. The result takes David Vidal's side up into the top half of the table, albeit that they are still only six points above the drop zone.

Real Madrid Castilla are out of the bottom four though after a 2-1 victory over Málaga, who they move level with on points. The visitors took the lead with half an hour on the clock when Pablo Couñago poked the ball past Codina after Rosado's header came back off the post. Michel made two attacking changes at the break though, and five minutes after the restart Negredo held off his marker to equalise. A draw appeared to be on the cards though until De la Red picked up a return pass from Bueno to get the winner in injury time.

Castilla's place in the relegation zone is taken by Alavés, who threw away an early lead to lose 1-2 to Las Palmas. De Lucas put the Vitoria based side ahead in the ninth minute from Arthuro's headed pass. But Marcos Márquez equalised on the half hour mark with his eighteenth of the season after rounding Pablo Casar to score, and Trashorras headed the winning goal from Castillo's free kick in the last minute of the game. (05.05.07)

Almería are just one win away from promotion after coming from two goals down to beat leaders Valladolid 3-2 on Sunday lunchtime. Manchev missed an easy chance and Michel hit the post at the other end before Víctor opened the scoring from Sisi's pass midway through the first half. Víctor set up Sisi for a second goal five minutes before the break, but assists from Crusat one minute either side of half time allowed Soriano and then Kalu Uche to beat Alberto and level the scores. Twenty minutes in to the second half Iñaki Bea turned Kalu Uche's cross past his own keeper, and although Víctor and Manchev did their best to beat Westerveld later on, they couldn't prevent their record 29 game unbeaten run from coming to an end.

For what it's worth, Xerez are now fourth after a 1-2 win over local rivals Cádiz later on Sunday evening. Geijo put the visitors ahead in the first minute when he headed home a corner, and Castaño got the second a few minutes in to the second half after Marcos Navas set him up. Lobos hit the bar later on, and Vella finally got one back for the locals with a shot from 35 yards out seven minutes from the end. Xerez coach Miguel Angel Roldán was sent off for protesting.

Ponferradina kept their slim hopes of survival alive after beating Tenerife 0-1, their first away win of the season. Local keeper Bernardo had some work to do before the break, and Pereira got the only goal twenty minutes after the restart, picking up a pass from Rubén Vega to score. It was a good start for caretaker coach Jesús Tartilán, and the win takes the Castilla-León based side to within four points of nineteenth placed Alavés, and four of Sporting, Málaga and Castilla.

Meanwhile Castellón and Poli Ejido edged away from the danger zone after drawing 0-0. The visitors had the better of the first half without creating any real chances, but their hosts could have won it when Oberman headed against the bar after the break. However after Mario Rosas was sent off for a foul on Robles, both sides settled for a point. (06.05.07)