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Second Division - Day 14

Gimnàstic's brief winning streak under new coach Jorge D'Alessandro came to an end when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Guadalajara in the Friday night game. The Catalans were on top throughout, with Longás bringing a good save out of Saizar and Powel shooting just over the top in the first half. After the restart the visiting keeper had to be at his best to save from Sergio Juste, Luna and others, and Peragón also wasted a couple of easy chances. Other than a couple of dangerous crosses from Ernesto Nàstic's defence was not troubled, although the lack of fire power means that they stay in the bottom four for another week at least. (18.11.11)

Hércules extended their lead at the top of the table thanks to a 0-1 victory over third placed Celta on Saturday evening. The Alicante based side had already won eight games this season by a single goal, and after Iago Aspas went close for the locals, Urko Vera got his head in the way of a wayward shot from Mora to open the scoring. After that Juan Carlos Mandiá's side sat back to defend, and other than a second half header from Joan Tomás which Falcón dealt with without too many problems, the Galicians could not find a way through. Once again a goal was enough for the locals and with a 14-6 record in their 14 games this season, Hércules are looking to find a way back to the top flight by way of a solid defence.

With Almería playing on Sunday, Valladolid took advantage to take over second spot after winning 2-1 against Villarreal B. With Javi Guerra injured, Manucho was given a rare start up front. And the ex Manchester United striker took the opportunity to score twice, the first a header from Nauzet's corner with a quarter of an hour on the clock. Oscar, Nauzet and Manucho all tested Diego Mariño before Manucho picked up a pass from Peña to score his second of the afternoon after the break. And that was about it until the second minute of injury time, when Jesús Rueda turned a cross from Jaume Costa in to his own net to set up a nervous last few moments.

Córdoba stay just a point behind Valladolid after beating Alcorcón 3-1, their fourth place the best in their history at this stage of the season. It was another rainy evening in Andalusia, but the locals dominated the conditions well, and Borja García put them ahead midway through the first half with a shot from the edge of the area which took a deflection off Ángel Sánchez. Borja finished off a good team move for his second of the match just two minutes after the restart, and although Saúl got one back with a shot from a wide angle with twelve minutes to go, López Silva put the game beyond the visitors' reach with a lob over the head of Manu Herrera late on.

Murcia's ten match unbeaten run has come to an end though, and they drop out of the play-off spots after losing 0-2 to Barcelona B. Eusebio's side had the better chances in the first half, Alberto doing well to save from Sergi Roberto and Rodri. Oier had to keep out Chando and Pedro at the other end after the break, but twenty minutes in to the second half Montoya and Jonathan Soriano combined for Deulofeu to give the visitors the lead. Alberto was in action again to stop Soriano and Tello soon afterwards, but with four minutes left Tello beat the offside trap to run on to Rafinha's through ball and score his team's second.

Sabadell move back level with Murcia, just a point outside of the top six, after drawing 1-1 at neighbours Girona. Lluis Carreras's side had not won in five games after their good start to the season, but they went in front with a spectacular first time volley on the far post by Lanzarote in tenth minute. The at times waterlogged pitch made play difficult, but Moha ran on to a through ball to level the scores shortly before half time. The visitors were left with ten men when Olmo picked up a second booking with four minutes to go, and Girona could have won it when De Navas kept out Juanlu near the end.

Sabadell remain two points clear of Numancia, who could only draw 1-1 against bottom club Huesca. The home side had several chances to go ahead in the first half, Nano rattling the woodwork in the first minute and new keeper Luis García making several first class saves. It was the visitors though who opened the scoring, Gilvan finishing off after Camacho chipped keeper Edu Navarro two minutes after the restart. Nano made it all square with a shot which took a deflection off a defender a couple of minutes later, but García and his defence held fast after that to pick up another point in their fight for survival.

Las Palmas also failed to take advantage of poor results of the teams above them, a 0-0 draw against struggling Xerez leaving them level with Numancia in the rankings. Jonathan Viera caused a few problems for the visitors early on, and felt himself unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when Cordero brought him down in the area in the twentieth minute. But Lombán replied with a couple of dangerous free kicks, the second hitting the bar shortly before half time. Quiroga also hit the woodwork after the interval, but in the end both teams had to settle for a point.

Xerez are just a couple of points off the drop zone after Alcoyano beat Recreativo 2-1. The locals couldn't have had a better start, Gato converting a penalty in the sixth minute after Borda brought down Paco Esteban in the area, the defender getting himself sent off after picking up a second booking for the foul. Esteban had a goal disallowed soon afterwards for a borderline offside, but then got himself sent off as well shortly before the break after stepping on Zambrano. With an hour on the clock Alvaro put the home side two up following a corner, but a few minutes later Juan Villar picked up a pass from Pablo Sánchez to get one back. And even though Recre were left with nine men with ten minutes to go after Cifu picked up a second booking, Villar almost saved a point for the Andulasians when he hit the post in the last minute. (19.11.11)

Hércules ended the weekend five points clear of the rest after second placed Almería were held to a 0-0 draw by neighbours Cartagena on Sunday evening. Chances were few and far between, the visitors only getting near to Esteban's goal once when Toni Moral turned Kijera's cross over the bar midway through the first half. Ulloa and Vidal were unable to beat Reina at the other end, and Txiki was lucky to be let off a penalty claim when the ball hit him on the arm shortly before half time. Vidal and Ulloa both missed chances again early on in the second half, and after that the two keepers were mere spectators.

Below Hércules the league is as tight as usual though, with only three points separating second placed Valladolid from seventh placed Deportivo, who drop out of the play-off spots after losing 3-2 at Elche earlier in the day. The locals went two up in the first twenty minutes, Angel picking up Nicki Bille's pass to open the scoring and Acciari heading the second from a corner. Depor came back after the break however, Guardado beating Juan Carlos with a shot from outside of the area and Lassad making it all square after the keeper could only push out another shot from the Mexican winger. But soon afterwards Xumetra cut through the visiting defence to score the winner and take his side above their opponents to fifth. (20.11.11)