lunes, 30 de abril de 2012

Un rival superior. By Steve.

IT'S TOUGH AT THE BOTTOM 
REAL VALLADOLID - 2 FC CARTAGENA - 1 
BY STEVE HIBBERD 

This top v bottom div 2a clash, proved to be possibly the most entertaining away fixture that Los Albinegros have featured in all season. Even though they are all but relegated, the players wearing all yellow (Valladolid's strip of blue and white stripes, necessitated a kit change for Carlos Rios men) gave their all. I'm convinced that had Reina been the first choice keeper all season, Cartagena would not have leaked half as many goals as they have. Reina was one of 3 changes from last weeks encounter with Almeria, and it was he who single-handedly, for long periods, kept his side in the game. As early as the 2nd min, Reina was alert to a dangerous move, saving well at the feet of Guerra. 

Three mins later, the same combination produced another top drawer save, then from the next attack, Reina tipped a long range effort over the bar. In a one sided battle, Reina could only watch as another shot inched past his far post, as somehow the visitor made it to the half hour mark with their goal still intact. The gods were certainly smiling on Cartagena on 36 mins, for how Valladolid striker Bueno shot wide of an open goal, only he will know! On 40 mins, Reina pulled off a magnificent double save from close range shots, then from the resulting corner, he acrobatically clawed away Oscar's goal bound header. Valladolid did eventually get the ball in the net, but their effort was rightly disallowed for offside. Unbelievably, on the stroke of half time, with their FIRST shot at goal, Cartagena opened the scoring, courtesy of a magnificent 30 yard screamer by centre back Abraham Paz. The game turned on a 56th min substitution, involving the introduction of Manucho for Valladolid. 

He had been on the pitch barely 2 mins, when he converted a right wing cross at the far post, but luckily for Cartagena, an eagle eyed linesman spotted he was offside. His next offering, was to seize on a wayward pass by Reina, although the keeper did atone for his error, by blocking the close range effort. But his biggest contribution so far, arrived when he was sent sprawling in the penalty area, just as he was about to score a certain goal. Referee Torres not only awarded a clear cut penalty, but also red carded the hard working Kijera for his part in the incident. When Nauzet made no mistake with the spot kick, it was case of deja vu, as Cartagena were forced to play out the remaining 28 mins with only 10 men. Although they battled magnificently, being a player short started to tell on the visitors, who should have gone behind on 77 mins, but thankfully Jofre missed a sitter at the far post, from yet another first class cross by Valladolid wide players. Totally against the run of play, Braulio found himself in a glorious 1 on 1 situation, but instead of taking his time, he chose to shoot straight at the keeper. 

Then from the rebound he twice more found his goal bound efforts blocked by last ditch defending. As so often happens, this missed golden opportunity proved costly. With less than 5 mins on the clock, Jofre made up for his earlier miss, by striking a fierce long range drive, which took a slight deflection required to wrong foot Reina, and sail into the back of the net. When you are down at the bottom, life sure ain't easy!! Next week, Cartagena have again been chosen by Marca tv, as one of their live matches. This home div 2a match against mid table Numancia, will be at Cartagonova Stadium on Sat 5 May, ko 4pm.

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FC Cartagena. Peña "Goto Cartago" fundada en 2002