Sunday, March 14, 2010

The midfield maestro and a doddery old bugger

The last time Santa Pola and El Campello locked horns back at the end of October, the home side ended 'Pola's seven game unbeaten start to the season. The game was hardly a classic, but that I suppose, is what you get when a man's game is refereed by a bloke who looked like someone's son. Liberally scattered amongst the five goals, only two of which were scored by Santa Pola, were about twenty cards, including two dismissals for El Campello who just about managed to cling on and grab all three points.

Rather curiously, when the two teams met for the rematch at the Manolo Macia a week ago, Santa Pola were once again in the middle of their second unbeaten run, the fixture was match six of the Marineros latest string of results avoiding defeat. To be quite honest, El Campello are a bit of a shite team and I had this nagging fear they were going to repeat the trick. I needn't have worried. The long awaited spring had gotten off to yet another false start, a couple of days earlier the town had enoyed decent temperatures and sunny days, no such luck on Sunday March 7th though. A murky, overcast morning more reminiscent of November, which also threated rain, was probably perfect for a murky overcast kind of a football match. Thankfully, not many people bothered to watch because half an hour after kick off the local derby featuring Elche and Hercules started just down the road.

A sombre start with an impeccably observed minute of silence to commemorate the passing of the Mother of one of the young academy players kind of set the scene really, it seemed to be that kind of morning. At about 1135 La Ribera referee Rodriguez Castello whistled to start proceedings, and, aside from a thirty minute Santa Pola purple patch, during which they racked up only a single goal, not a fat lot really happened until the very end when things got nice and tasty as everyone left the field. More anon. Marcos showed the strikers how to do it a quarter of an hour in, set up by Pedro Miralles he stroked the ball past a stranded Jordi for his first goal in fourteen games and four months. To be honest, 'Pola could and should have been about nine goals up at the break, they were that good and that dominant, at half time though only Marcos seperated the teams.

With Santa Pola a single goal is rarely adequate, clearly, Campello manager Jose Campillo had done his homework because the visitors gave the home side a bit of a doing in the second half which began to bubble up quite nicely. For long periods the away side pinned their hosts in their own half without ever really going close. Both sides traded bookings and substitutions, the introduction of Mario Fernandez gave Santa Pola options up front and caused problems for a tiring Campello back four. Sometimes, a yellow card or even a red seems an inadequate punishment for some footballing misdemeanours, one of which the burly Californian was an unsuspecting victim of. Taking the ball into the corner, like you do when you're trying run the clock down, Fernandez knew little about the scything hack from behind by Lopez that completely cleaned out both of his legs and left him in a bemused heap. The cowardly wanker who did it accepted his booking and simply wandered off with a smug look.

Eventually, just as the sun was setting, or so it seemed, Sr.Castello blew for time having added on about ten additional minutes. His whistle was the cue for an outraged Campello bench to start a pushing and shoving match with their opposite numbers; meanwhile, up in the stand, a potty old twat from Campello was bellowing all sorts of nonsense at a couple of Guardia Civil who, by now, had stepped in to separate the warring factions. Eventually, order was restored and the geriatric bloke was jeered out of the ground by a couple of insolent local youngsters.   Full time 1-0 and the streak continued for another week.

Top - Marcos did the business
Middle - Paloma with some mad skills
Bottom - Adriano gets stuck in

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