With the two week winter break approaching, the last round of second division games of the year are being played out between Thursday and Saturday, Xerez and Villarreal kicking things off with a 0-0 draw on Thursday evening. Cavenaghi hit the post and Chema had to save from Uche early on, but otherwise most of the chances fell to the locals, particularly after the break when Tato hit the post and Marquitos the crossbar. The poor state of the pitch prevented much flowing football, but the Andalusians were unlucky not to take the three points after Iñiguez cleared off the line from Tato with Palatsi beaten, and Lucas Porcar missing an open goal after the young keeper was left stranded when he inadvisably came out of his area to clear. (20.12.12)
A fifth 0-1 victory in six games for leaders Elche, this time at Real Madrid Castilla on Friday night, and Fran Escribà's side move nine points clear of second placed Girona pending their game on Saturday. Chances were few and far between, Coro shooting wide and Manu saving from Iván before the break, and Juanfran almost catching out the keeper with a shot from inside his own half after the restart. The visitors were left with ten men when Rivera picked up a second yellow card, but with the game in the fourth minute of injury time Edu Albácar got the winner, beating Jesús with a wide free kick. Elche go in to the two week recess with a ten point lead over third place, currently occupied by Alcorcón after they won 0-1 at previous incumbents Almería later in the evening. Nagore got the only goal in the tenth minute after Juli won the ball in midfield to set him up, and Esteban had to save from Miguélez a few minutes later. Manu Fernández responded keeping out a header from Charles later in the first half, and both keepers were in action again after the interval, in particular to save from Babín and Aleix Vidal. (21.12.12)
Elche ended the weekend eight points clear at the top of the table after second placed Girona were held to a 4-4 draw at regional neighbours Barcelona B. The Catalans were grateful for a point however after they came back from three down to level the game right at the end. An Araujo header from a corner and a long run by Deulofeu either side of half time put the locals two up, and although Benja headed one back from David García's cross, Deulofeu beat Dani Mallo from a wide angle to restore the two goal cushion. When Rafinha headed in Luis Alberto's wide free kick with a quarter of an hour to go it appeared to be all over, but two goals from substitute Acuña closed the gap once again. And with the game in injury time Luso equalised in controversial circumstances, Luso clearly pushing Rafinha out of the way before heading in a corner on the far post. The Barcelona players surrounded referee Sureda Cuenca, and keeper Oier was shown a red card for threatening behaviour, but the result stood.
One of the big winners of the weekend though were Ponferradina, who moved up in to the play-off spots after a 1-0 victory over Murcia. The León based side hit the woodwork a couple of times they went ahead, the first when Jorge turned a cross on to his own post before the break, and the second after the restart when Nano rattled the crossbar. However it was not until seven minutes from the end when Urko Vera got on the end of an Iván Moreno cross to head home the only goal of the match, giving Claudio Barragán's side their sixth win in a row. Ponfe stay a point ahead of Las Palmas, who extended their unbeaten run to ten games after a 2-0 win over Mirandés. Vitolo opened the scoring with just under half an hour gone after the defence failed to clear a Javi Guerrero cross, and Momo wasted a chance to make it two when Goitia saved his penalty kick after Iribas handled in the area early on in the second half. However Thievy wrapped things up with eight minutes to go, the ex Espanyol striker beating the visiting keeper after picking up a return pass from Cristantus.
Sabadell drop further behind the promotion challengers however after they were beaten 0-1 by Lugo. The Catalans should have taken the lead on the quarter hour mark when they were awarded a penalty after Raúl Fuster brought down Anibal inside the area, but José Juan saved Lanzarote's spot kick. And twenty minutes later they went behind, Oscar Díaz taking advantage of a poor pass by Moha to shoot past keeper Nauzet. Lluis Carreras threw on all of his fire power after the break, but the Galicians held on for a third win in a row which takes them to within a point of their hosts in the table. Recreativo are now level with Sabadell after a 0-2 victory at regional rivals Córdoba. Both teams had been having their problems recently, Sergi Barjuán's side having gone five games without a win, and the locals having failed to win at home for three matches in a row. The visitors went in front though some ten minutes before the interval, Chuli picking up an Alexander assist to beat Javi Jiménez, and Morcillo headed the second from a Jesús Rubio free kick soon after the restart. Any chance of a comeback by the home team ended when Aguilar was sent off for a second bookable offence with ten minutes to go. Further down the table,
Hércules stay firmly anchored to the bottom of the pile after they lost 1-3 to Numancia. A change of coach has had little effect, and within a quarter of an hour they were two down, Natalio picking up Bedoya's pass to score the first, and then beating Falcón again after the keeper had saved his spot kick following a foul on the striker by Cabrera. Juanma headed a third from a wide Antonio Tomás free kick, and although Portillo scooped the ball over Herrerín shortly before half time to give the locals some hope, the scoreline remained unmoved after that. Hércules drop a point below Racing Santander, who drew 1-1 at Guadalajara to end a run of six defeats in a row. Koné gave the Cantabrians the lead in the fifth minute, beating Razak with a shot on the turn, but Vicente made it all square on the half hour mark after Erice set him up. It was all too much though for new coach José Aurelio Gay, who got himself sent off before the break. Huesca also drop further down in to the relegation spots after they were beaten 1-0 by Sporting Gijón. Sangoy got the only goal of the game with an impressive lob over keeper Luis García from wide out on the right, and Bilic could have wrapped things up when he hit the post a few minutes later. The Asturians were left with ten men however when Gergory picked up a second yellow card, and the result was in doubt right up until the final whistle. (22.12.12)