Elche CF In, Out & In

Elche CF along with their rivals in La Liga Smart Bank, Spain’s 2nd division, are packing in the games to conclude this season.
On Monday 15th Elche had an away trip to Estadio El Toralin Ponferradina, over 7 hours by road this town is officially the coldest place in Spain. Elche took the lead, when 40 year old Captain Nino volleyed home a thunder bolt. Seconds before half
time Elche conceded a dangerous free kick, and the resulting cross was met with a well placed bottom corner header by Ponferradina’s Russo, which out of position goalie Edgar couldn’t reach. In the second half, the home team stole the win from a crowded box shot, when the ball found the right boot of oncoming Valcarce to give the home team a 2-1 victory.
Coach Pacheta and the players had one draw and one defeat since the restart. As Friday night’s match approached, we were hoping to complete the collection with one win. We spent the week out of
the play off positions, so the pressure was on for the must win home game against play off placed Girona FC. Watching via the TV, the Estadio Marinez Valero had a new look with superimposed crowds, plus the cardboard cut outs of the season ticket holders.
The first 45 mins was a tough watch. Each side had one chance, and each failed to take that chance. Girona’s striker Stuani, cut inside the box from the right and hit a strong shot straight at Edgar the goalie. Either side of him and it would have been a certain goal. Elche’s chance came from Calvo’s header which sailed centimetres over the right corner of the Girona goal. It was 0-0 at half time.
The 2nd half was a different game. Straight from the kick off Girona sent in a long range shot with a bounce which nearly deceived Edgar. From the corner Elche broke up the right. Josan took off, finishing near the goal corner surrounded by 4 defenders.
He found the strength and vision to send a high, up and over cross to the waiting new kid on the block, young Dani Escriche. On 47 minuets Dani calmly headed the ball in for 1-0 lead. A great assist and goal. Girona were not put off and responded with a goal, only to have it over ruled as a clear off side. As the match continued Elche were having to do more and more defending and Edgar pulled off some superb saves to keep Elche 1-0 up, until the final
whistle.
Elche now have 50 points and are back in the play off positions!
The next match is on Tuesday 23rd at home against Deportivo La Coruna and then again on Saturday 27th away at Las Palmas.