Segunda Roundup: Tightening at both ends of the table

Sempre Endavant! - Juan Anton de Salas

The top two teams going into the weekend both lose, while at the bottom of the table both Hercules and Racing narrow the gap between themselves and safety. 12 games to go!!

Another exciting weekend in the Segunda. Not the last-minute heroics of last week, but only two draws among the bunch.

The big surprise was Elche's 3-1 loss at Soria. The game was scoreless at the half, but in the space of 18 minutes after the restart Juanma and Pedro Martin scored for the home side, while Elche players Coro and Hector Verdes also put the ball in the net. Unfortunately, Verdes scored an own goal. The illicotanos were missing Generelo, Etxeita and Pelegrin through suspension, and admittedly can afford to take their foot off the gas a bit, but their lead is down to 10 points.

Alcorcon are now second. Ex-Villarreal B man Kike Lopez and Sergi Enrich found the net at Anduva in the first half, and Mirandes couldn't find a way back. Kike and Juanito will miss the next match with yellow cards, though. As for the home side, with Racing's draw they are now only three points above the relegation zone and have Girona, Villarreal, Barcelona B and Almeria in their next four matches. Oof.

Almeria lost their second successive match, this time 4-1 at Córdoba. The key plays here came just before halftime--first López Garai scored to give the home side the lead, then Almeria's Soriano received two yellow cards in the space of two minutes. Garai and Renella scored early in the second half to put the game out of reach. The Califas are only four points out of sixth place and have a favorable schedule the remainder of the way. If they can keep scoring and pick up a few points on the road, watch out for them.

Girona picked up an impressive three points on the road at Huelva, I have to say, especially as I have been expecting them to falter of late. Richi and Toni Moral scored early to deflate the home side. The Catalans host Mirandes next week, so should be feeling confident of three points.

Villarreal won a close, hard-fought game at Huesca. If anyone from Huesca is reading this, I apologize for expecting the pitch would be of Sabadell or Xerez quality--in fact, it was excellently maintained and the weather wasn't as bad as predicted either. The home team had some chances from set pieces, but Juan Carlos stood tall (so to speak) in the Submarine net, and an 80th-minute Jony Pereira goal gave the visitors the three points. Bruno Soriano picked up a ridiculous second yellow for an accidental handball, but since these sorts of decisions are hardly ever overturned expect him to miss the Huelva match this week.

A wild start at Ponferradina. Mayor scored in the first minute, but Guadalajara scored in the fifth and seventh minutes to take the lead. Yuri scored his 13th goal of the season for the home side in the 70th minute to give Ponfe a share of the points, but to be honest a draw didn't help either team.

And all is not yet lost in Alicante, as Braulio scored twice to lead Hércules to a 3-1 win over Sabadell. Lanzarote scored his 13th of the season for the visitors. They're still five points from safety, but seem to be playing better than most of the teams around them of late.

Other results:

Sporting Gijon 5-2 Barcelona B

Las Palmas 2-0 RM Castilla

Real Murcia 0-1 Lugo

Racing Santander 1-1 Xerez

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