CD TORREVIEJA – 0 CD ALMAZORA – 2
BY STEVE HIBBERD
Mystery surrounded the absenteeism of Torry manager Pedreno, for this vital relegation battle at Nelson Mandela Stadium on Maundy Thursday. Having served a 2 match suspension, we all expected to see him back in the dugout, barking out instructions to his troops, but surprisingly he was nowhere in sight.
His team were already bereft of skipper Javi Meca (a rock in defence who was sorely missed), and long serving full back Vicente, so to lose their highly inspirational manager was a blow they could have done without. Martin took over the captains armband and led by example, but alas javi and Vicente´s replacements weren´t up to the task. Time and time again this season, lack of discipline has cost Torry dearly, but will they ever learn – I don’t think so!!
Teams directly below them had mixed results, with Almoradi losing, Muro drawing, but Bunol won, meaning Torry are now 3 points from safety. It now boils down to whether they can earn enough points to secure survival from the 4 remaining games (2 away & 2 home), starting with a visit to Recambios Colon (who are only 5 points better off) next weekend.
As they don´t have strength in depth, this will surely depend on whether they can remain free of suspensions and injury to key players.
It was the hosts who started with more urgency, as in the first 10 mins, Lewis twice had efforts which were way off target. Almazora showed they weren’t here just for a point, as they looked a well organised unit, both up front and in defence, overlapping well during counter attacks. Fondos should have opened the scoring for them on 12 mins, his close range shot was screwed horribly wide, then midway through the half, Nico´s rasping drive from edge of the box slammed against the post.
Torry´s defence were at sixes and sevens, none more so than when Calzado´s soft headed clearance fell to Ricardo, but luckily with the goal at his mercy, he blazed both high and wide. Pastor embarked on a threatening run on 38 mins, appearing to be brought down inside the penalty area, but ref Lopez Larrosa thought otherwise, controversially waving play on.
Calzado did his best to present the visitors the opening goal on 48 mins, giving away the ball to Nico, but once again the gods showed him mercy as the visitors striker shot wide with just keeper Jose Carlos to beat. The inevitable arrived on 54 mins, Fandos striking a superb 20 yard drive which looped over the head of Jose Carlos and into the net. Twas nothing less than Almazora deserved, then from a corner 13 mins later, their captain Cifu headed wide at the near post from a corner.
Nico was on fire, forcing Jose Carlos to make a good save, as Torry´s foul count rose dramatically, which saw Calzado join Pastor in the refs book. Sub Luis Carlos squandered a rare Torry attack, a glorious opportunity but his tame shot was easily saved by Ruben. Shortly afterwards, a Kana long range free kick just missed the target, as Torry were at last showing some urgency.
On 84 min Lewis was guilty of missing another chance, then straight up the other end, a deep Ricardo free kick eluded the Torry defence, only for Nico to fire home at the far post. With time ticking away, Luis Carlos crossed from the right, but alas Lewis summed up Torry´s performance when he headed over from close range.