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Second Division - Day 23

Las Palmas stay three points clear at the top of the table after a late 2-1 victory over Mallorca in the last game on Saturday evening. The Canary Islanders had drawn their last two games, and they went behind in the twentieth minute when a shot by Arana took a deflection off Marcelo Silva before entering the net. The locals didn’t really trouble Cabrero until the end of the first half, when Hernán hit the crossbar and then came up against the keeper on the rebound. With an hour on the clock however Arana got himself sent off for a second bookable offence, and Araujo, Nauzet and Viera all tested the visiting keeper before debutant Ortuño leveled the scores with a low shot inside the post. The visitors held on however until the last minute, when Pau Cendrós picked up a second booking for giving away a penalty on Araujo, and Momo stepped up to fire home the resulting spot kick.

Betis lost ground on the leaders though after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Numancia, and Sporting Gijón took advantage to move above the Andalusians on goal difference after a 0-2 victory at sixth placed Ponferradina. Pepe Mel’s side were up against it after Regalón headed in a corner for their hosts with a quarter of an hour gone. Rubén Castro and Xavi Torres had gone close before that though, and some ten minutes later Castro equalized after picking up a return pass from Jorge Molina. Regalón had a second goal disallowed for offside after the break, and Torres headed wide later on, but in the end a draw was a fair result. Sporting kept up their unbeaten away record this season with a victory in the Toralín stadium, Nacho Cases opening the scoring with a first time volley with less than twenty minutes gone. Cuéllar had to save from Yuri before the break, but Isma López wrapped things up at the start of the second half, cutting in from the left to fire an angled shot which Kepa couldn’t stop from entering the net. It was Ponfe’s first home defeat of the season, and they could be out of the play-off spots if Zaragoza can get a result at Osasuna on Sunday.

The other four game all involved teams in the lower reaches of the table, Sabadell ending the day firmly anchored to the bottom of the pile after a 1-4 defeat against local rivals Barcelona B. Munir gave Eusebio’s side the lead in the eleventh minute, steering a shot past De Navas in the eleventh minute after collecting a centre from Grimaldo, but Anibal headed the equalizer from a Collantes cross with ten minutes to go to the break. Just three minutes later though Sandro restored the lead after Cristian García was sent off for bringing down Dongou, and Halilovic and Dongou scored two more either side of half time to take some of the pressure off their coach. Sabadell’s neighbours Llagostera are back down in the bottom four though after they lost 2-0 at Leganés, who move up to eleventh spot as a result of their win. Both goals came early on in the second half, new signing Chuli crossing in for Ruymán to turn the ball past his own keeper René, and then heading the second himself from Aguirre’s cross a few minutes later.

Albacete moved to within the brink of escaping the drop zone after a 3-2 win over Tenerife, who themselves are now only just above their hosts on goal difference. Chumbi fired an early penalty against the crossbar after Albizúa had handled in the area, and soon afterwards Quique Rivero got on the end of an Albizúa cross to put the visitors ahead. Chumbi made up for his mistake though scoring twice for the locals, the first midway through the first half after Pulido headed on a corner, and the second in the first minute after the break with a header from Samu’s corner. Pulido headed a third from Antonio’s cross on the hour mark, but Cristo reduced the gap following another corner some ten minutes later, and the Canary Islanders could have saved a point had Cristo and Carlos Díaz not had goals disallowed for questionable offside decisions. Racing Santander meanwhile climbed out of the relegation spots after they won 0-2 at Mirandés. The match was played in an intense snow-storm, with parts of the stadium inaccessible due to recent flooding, but strikes by Koné and Mariano in the last half hour gave the Cantabrians a much needed win. (31.01.15)

The Sunday mid-day match between Osasuna and Zaragoza was postponed due to a snow-bound pitch, although the final decision wasn’t taken until a quarter of an hour before kick-off, with both teams and some 300 visiting supporters at the ground. The game has provisionally been rescheduled for ten days’ time, although weather conditions in the region are expected to stay bad for some time.

That just left three matches for the evening, Girona moving back up to second spot, above Sporting and Betis on goal difference, after a 3-0 victory over Alcorcón. The Catalans had not picked up the three points at their Montilivi stadium since November, but they had won their last three away games, and they tested Falcón several times before the break. All the goals came after the restart though, Ramalho opening the scoring after Antonio Martínez could only head a wide Alex Granell free kick back towards goal. A few minutes later Sandaza finished off after Cifuentes and Felipe Sanchón combined to set him up, and after Dejené was sent off for a second bookable offence, Sanchón himself got the third near the end, rounding the keeper to score following a good run by Sandaza.

The other two matches ended without goals, Valladolid dropping two points behind Girona after they were held at home by Lugo. For once Rubi’s side were unable to get past a well-ordered defence, their best efforts a strike by Marc Valiente which was disallowed for offside, and a couple of shots by Oscar which Dani Mallo kept out. A valuable point for the visitors, but after eight games without a win they find themselves just a point above the drop zone. Recreativo have not won in ten though, and the Huelva based side drop to next to bottom spot after they could only draw 0-0 against Alavés. It was a dull match for the fans, the first effort on target not coming until well into the second half, when Toribio headed Lanzarote’s cross straight at local keeper Rubén Gálvez. Rubén Mesa came up against Manu Fernández at the other end soon afterwards, but in the end both coaches settled for a point. (01.02.15)

Zaragoza beat Osasuna 0-1 in a match which was postponed from two weeks’ ago due to a snowbound pitch, a fourth win in a row for Popovic’s side consolidating their sixth position in the table. Ruíz de Galarreta got on the end of Pedro’s cross to score what was to prove the only goal shortly before the break, although the locals felt themselves unlucky to have a penalty appeal turned down when Vujadinovic was pulled down in the area near the end. (10.02.15)