Elche's draw on Friday took them a step closer to going up, but the other direct promotion spot is now wide open after second placed Girona were surprisingly beaten 2-4 by bottom club Xerez on Saturday evening. The Andalusians had not won in 25 games, but they took the lead with just under a quarter of an hour gone when a slip by Dani Mallo allowed Marquitos to fire the ball back in to the net. Jofre made it all square with a low shot from the edge of the area, but Marquitos got his second of the day after running on to return pass from Bruno Herrero, and Jose Vegar made it three before the break after Herrero put him through. A minute after the restart Lucas Porcar scored a fourth after Mallo could only push out a Marquitos cross, and although Felipe Sanchón got another one back from the penalty spot with a quarter of an hour to go after Porcar blocked a free kick with his arm, and Raúl Cámara got himself sent off soon afterwards, the visitors held fast for a win which at least restores them a bit of their lost pride.
Girona are now just two points ahead of Alcorcón, who meet Villarreal on Sunday, and Almería, who beat Lugo 3-5 in another high scoring match. Iago Díaz opened the scoring with just over half an hour gone after Esteban could only push out a shot from Oscar Díaz, but Christian headed in a Corona free kick to level the scores on the stroke of half time. Four minutes after the restart Falqué slid in Christian's centre to put the visitors in front, and Charles turned in a cross from the right wing to make it three a few minutes later. Manu got one back from the penalty spot after Charles handled the ball in the area following a corner, but Calvo charged down José Juan's clearance to restore the two goal cushion soon afterwards. With five minutes to go Iván Pérez got a third for the locals after a mix up between Trujillo and Esteban, but Aleix Vidal wrapped things up when he ran through to beat José Juan in injury time.
The last play-off spot would appear to be between Las Palmas and Ponferradina, both of whom played out scoreless draws on Saturday. Las Palmas drew 0-0 at struggling Huesca, a result which keeps them two points ahead of the Castilla-León based side in the table. The Canary Islanders had the better chances, but debutant keeper Zabal made some important saves, in particular one in each half from Thievy. Ponferradina failed to take advantage after they too could only draw 0-0 at Mirandés. They have Santamaría to thank for even saving a point though, the visiting keeper stopping Pedro, Sergio Suárez and others as the home side came looking for a win which would take them clear of the relegation zone.
Córdoba's chances of catching Las Palmas virtually ended after they lost 3-0 at Sporting Gijón. The Asturians themselves had already given up hope of a play-off spot after three defeats in a row, but they took the lead in only the second minute when Carmona beat Alberto García with a shot from the edge of the area. With ten minutes to go to the break Guerrero got the second after the visiting keeper could only push out an effort by David Rodríguez, and after the restart Juan Muñoz hit the bar before Guerrero put Santi Jara through to score the third. Xisco did head against the bar near the end, but otherwise the Andalusians caused few problems for Cuéllar, and they ended the day nine points off the play-off spots.
Further down the table Murcia stay in the bottom four, still two points behind eighteenth placed Mirandés, after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Sabadell. Collantes opened the scoring for the Catalans on the half hour mark, and although substitute Cristian García made it all square early in the second half, Onésimo's side had to settle for a disappointing point. Sabadell are virtually safe though, and Numancia and Guadalajara are also heading that way after they drew 2-2. The locals twice took the lead, Juanma heading in a wide free kick in the sixth minute and Del Pino scoring with a spectacular volley on the hour mark, but both times Vicente struck to peg them back, the first a long run before the break and the second with an angled shot a few minutes from the end. (11.05.13)