jueves, 14 de junio de 2012

El FC Cartagena cierra la temporada. By Steve.

Cartagena won their final div 2a match of the season, on Sat 2 Jun at Recreativo Huelva, when goals by Collantes and Anton Alvero secured a deserved 2-1 victory. It also meant rare back to back victories, in a season which was practically doomed from the start. When club president Paco Gomez decided not to renew the contract of highly successful, and popular, manager Martinez (JIM) at the end of the previous season, eyebrows were raised when his replacement was announced. 

Paco Lopez had a very poor track record with lower league clubs, and the appointment was not well received in Southern Murcia. So, when the first 6 matches (5 league & 1 Spanish FA Cup) at the start of the season were lost, it was no surprise that Lopez was shown the door! The new incumbent was none other than ... Lopez, this time of the Javi variety! Although it took 4 attempts for his team to win a match, there was a definite improvement in their play, and even lifted them to the dizzy heights of 2nd to bottom, before he too was given the bullet. The last game of the year brought a defeat at Xerez, and after only 13 games in charge, Lopez mark 2 was history. 

Enter manager no 3 - a more high profile character by the name of Carlos Rios. Rios was given the unenviable task of saving a side that were firmly rooted in the relegation zone, and he had 24 matches in which to do it. Although the first 3 matches yielded 2 wins and a draw, a barren run following a victory over Sabadell on 19 Feb would follow. By the time Numancia were narrowly beaten on 6 May, it was a case of too little too late. Despite the enforced relegation of Villarreal 'B', a 3rd to bottom (20th) finish was not good enough, and the lifeline which has been thrown to them was squandered. SIXTEEN sending offs, countless number of bookings and suspensions that followed, plus many important penalty misses, tell the tale of how frustration grew within a team, that found it hard to score goals, whilst leaking them by the bucket full. 

Failure to avoid the drop, has also cost Carlos Rios his job, with a new manager appointed last week. Jose Francisco Grao, aka 'Pato', joins the club from Orihuela, with a clear mandate - return Los Albinegros to div 2a at the first attempt! But, next season it's a return to div 2b, after only 3 years up with the big boys in Spain's equivalent of the Championship. Joining them will be Villarreal 'B', Alcoyano and Gimnastic Tarragona, whilst Galician sides Deportivo La Coruna and Celta Vigo return to the La Liga. Hoping to fill the 3rd promotion place, via the playoffs, are Valladolid and Alcorcon, who will compete in a 2 legged final.

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FC Cartagena. Peña "Goto Cartago" fundada en 2002