Second Division A - Day 22

Numancia extended their lead at the top of the table after coming from behind to beat Las Palmas 1-2 on Saturday evening. Marcos Márquez put the Canary Islanders ahead after Nauzet set him up early on, but then got himself sent off for elbowing an opponent later in the first half. Gorka Brit scored twice in the second half to turn the scoreline around, the first from Carmelo's pass and the second following a corner. But the locals could have equalised had Jacobo not saved a last minute penalty from substitute Fukuda after the Japanese striker was fouled.

The other four games on Saturday evening all ended 1-1, including the match between struggling Poli Ejido and third placed Sporting Gijón. Poli's new coach Castro Santos (who's son Diego was playing for the other team) saw his side take the lead through Gerardo midway through the first half after Pedro Vega set him up. But Barral equalised for the Asturians after the break, and they held on despite having Kike Mateo sent off for a second bookable offence with ten minutes to go.

Fifth placed Elche drew 1-1 with Albacete, Peña putting the Manchegans ahead with a spectacular volley from a corner early in the second half before Coelho equalised from the penalty spot just four minutes later. It was not a good night for visiting full back Diego Alegre, who gave away the penalty and then got himself sent off a few minutes later. Sevilla Atlético stay in sixth place after they drew 1-1 at Tenerife. Juanjo scored for the Andalusians on the stroke of half time after picking up a pass from Armenteros, but his strike was cancelled out by an Ayoze penalty soon after the interval after Nino was brought down inside the area.

And the match between Alavés and Gimnàstic also ended 1-1, Campano giving the Catalans the lead with a long shot in the eighteenth minute before Aganzo headed a second half equaliser from Gabri's cross. The result keeps both just above the drop zone pending Sunday's matches. (26.01.08)

Málaga lost a bit of ground on Numancia after they were held to a dull 0-0 draw by Salamanca on Sunday lunchtime. Nine months ago the two sides played out the same result, and keepers Biel Ribas and Goitia were mere spectators in the first half. David Rodríguez had a penalty claim turned down and Acuña cleared off the line from Weligton after the break, but that was about it. (27.01.08)

Real Sociedad failed to take advantage though after they were beaten 1-0 by Castellón later in the day. Oberman got the only goal for the home side after picking up an assist from Txiki six minutes in to the second half, and local keeper Carlos Sánchez did the rest with his fourth clean sheet in a row. Castellón have taken ten points out of twelve since coach Pepe Murcia took over a month ago.

Celta move above Real to fourth after a 0-2 victory at Córdoba. Canobbio latched on to a loose ball in the area to open the scoring with just over a quarter of an hour gone, and the visitors were lucky to be let off a penalty after the break when Rubén handled in the area, Arteaga getting himself sent off instead after picking up a second booking for protesting. Jesús Perera wrapped things up with the second goal on a breakaway near the end.

Granada 74 are just two points behind Celta after they beat local rivals Cádiz 2-1. Fagoaga fired the home side into an early lead, but Dani headed the equaliser just three minutes after the restart. Granada were awarded a hotly disputed penalty though with three minutes go after Teixeira Vitienes (brother of the first division referee) ruled that Gonzalo Vicente had cut out an Elvis cross with his hand, and Luque stepped up to convert the spot kick.

Controversy just down the road at Jerez as well, where hosts Xerez beat Hércules 4-3. Tote put the Alicante based side ahead with under a minute on the clock, and they were 1-3 up at the break, Yordi heading an equaliser and Ismael and Farinós (from the penalty spot) restoring the lead. But Llorente Carcado awarded two more penalties to the locals which Yordi converted to complete a hat-trick, and then sent off Tote, who had to be held back by his coach Andoni Goikoetxea to prevent him from punching the referee! Verdés scrambled home the winner with a couple of minutes to go, and Llorente left the visitors with nine men after sending off Mariño in injury time.

Xerez climb up to within a point of safety, and bottom club Racing Ferrol stay two points behind them after coming from behind to win 1-3 at Eibar, their first victory in 16 games. Altuna put the Basque side ahead shortly before the break, but Medina and Pereira turned the scoreline around in the first five minutes of the second half. And Cami got the third in injury time with a speculative long punt which went through the hands of keeper Cuéllar. (27.01.08)