Monday, April 12, 2010

Night, night lights out.

Santa Pola, having finished the previous week with a couple less than a full set, returned home seven days later for Jornada 27, this time against handily placed Mutxamel, the team that didn't look very good at all when cantering to a 3-1 win on an arctic afternoon in November. Thankfully, aside from the travelling party and various officials from the team, they didn't bring any away fans and so, we were all spared the misery of that cackling hag and her old man from the first game. Santa Pola appreciated the fact too because without that fucking horrible distraction they played really well.

Santa Pola haven't lost a game since way back at the end of January, admittedly there have been one or too two many drawn games, but, collectively the side have acquired a resilience and a steely determination not to lose. In matches gone by conceding early would knock the confidence and thereafter, games would be a bit of a struggle. Not so today. Mutxamel had the temerity to open the scoring from the penalty spot inside ten minutes when the unlucky Pedro Miralles was yellow carded for a handball inside the box he knew very little about. Pony-tailed veteran Pepe slapped the ball to the right hand corner as 'Pola goalkeeper Julio blew his 50/50 by diving the wrong way. It was almost as though the local players thought to themselves, "cheeky bastards, how dare they score"

Unwittingly, Mutxamel had just pulled the tail of a dangerous dog and found themselves themselves pegged back very soon after when Paloma was first to the loose ball after Chema was hit late and hard and with very little subtlety by Mathi. As the ‘Pola players helped Paloma celebrate slipping the ball inside Robert, who could have done far better, Mathi was booked for the spiteful hack he thought he’d got away with. Way too often we criticise the umpire but today those present witnessed excellent officiating by Benidorm referee Perez Diaz. The goal settled the Santa Pola nerves and their slow start was soon forgotten as they proceeded to take their opponents to the cleaners without managing to add more to their single strike.

The half time break came and went and 'Pola continued in the same vein, not missing suspended defenders Carlos and Monsa largely because Mutxamel rarely ventured forward because their strikers were playing deep, helping out a defence who were on the back foot from the off. Defender Wata tried the patience of referee Diaz once too often and was red carded for a caveman challenge on Paloma, thereby leaving his team a man short and even deeper under the Santa Pola cosh.

Somehow Mutxamel stayed level for the forty minutes it took them to mount their first attack of the half, it was a good chance too that Caturla slapped over on the volley. Realising immediately he had just squandered a great opportunity the wasteful forward thumped the ground in frustration. As Santa Pola continued to batter the visitors senseless their American star Carlos Fernandez was knocked out cold following a sicking clash of heads with Bruno, who eventually got groggily to his feet. The Californian midfielder was much less lucky, after lengthy treatment on the pitch surrounded by concerned colleagues, including his alarmed brother, centre-forward Mario, he was stretchered to a waiting ambulance and thence out of the ground. In a subdued atmosphere the remaining five minutes were played out in a low key fashion, and, in spite of an excellent effort from the home side the game meandered to a tame 1-1 draw.

For Santa Pola the signs have been there in the past few games, playing this well somebody, sometime soon was about to cop a good hiding!!

Top  - Mario Fernandez (12) tangles with penalty scorer Pepe
Middle - You're nicked sonny - Wata has to go
Bottom - Paramedics attend the unlucky Carlos Fernandez

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