Thursday, August 19, 2010

A couple left and Elche finish their season.

Having given up trying in the dismal home defeat against Murcia, and with that any pretence of quite liking top flight Spanish football. Elche had two further fixtures to endure before dropping the curtain on 2009/10, an away trip to Gimnastic de Taragona (Nastic) and finally hosting Real Sociedad at home in their final game.

Nastic scramble home their opener
Way down near the bottom of the classification, on paper Nastic looked beatable, but, such is the way with clubs scrapping for survival, three points are never a foregone conclusion, especially where Elche CF are concerned. Having blown the opportunity to contend for promotion, our heroes had nothing to play for except pride and the possibility of a few more euros for gaining a place in the final table. Nastic on the other hand were desperate to stay in the division and the way they played it showed. Elche, with something very close to a full strength side, slipped to a disappointing 3-1 defeat by conceding twice, halving the deficit and conceding again five minutes after scoring. Even with these three very welcome points, Nastic still weren't out of the shit and would have to wait another nailbiting week to secure their Segunda A safety.Centre Back Samuel notched the single Elche goal on 73 minutes.

Real Sociedad fans soak up the Elche sun
A week later on a balmy Saturday evening, Elche closed out their season with the visit of Champions elect Real Sociedad from the Basque country. Those that bothered to turn up witnessed a clinical dissection of quite a decent Jorge Molina, the Elche centre-forward who helped himself to all four goals as Elche ran comfortable 4-1 winners. In the process, the six foor three striker from just down the road in Alcoy ended up comfortably the top scorer in the League. A goal to the good at the break, Elche turned on the style in the second half and the sizeable away contingent left disappointed, it mattered not because other results elsewhere fell kindly for them and one of the best supported teams in the league were crowned worthy champions. Full time 4-1

Top scorer Molina
From a fairly dismal start to the 2009/10 season, culminating in the sacking of manager Claudia Barragan after a lifeless performance in the local derby, Elche turned things around and eventually finished in a noteworthy sixth place and ahead of outfits such as Rayo Vallecano and Villarreal B. To put things in perspective, immediately above them sat long term promotion hopefuls Real Betis and Cartagena. On a personal note I've watched the Elche B side for two or three years now, and two younger players stood out  some months ago as being a couple to watch. As the season neared completion both tall lanky midfielder Javi Paños and his one time Elche Ilicitano colleague, blonde centre back Raul, both got games in the first team and didn't remotely look out of place.  Paños especially appears to have a bright future

Final statistics - Elche CF

Played 42 Won 18 Drew 9 Lost 15  Goals for 67  Goals against 57
POINTS 63 - Sixth place


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