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NO SCORE BORE DRAW FOR ELCHE

Elche 0 Lugo 0
Elche drew goallessly for the second consecutive match, this time at home to tenth-placed Lugo from Galicia, who soon seemed to set their stall out for a point at fortress Martinez Valero, where Elche have only been beaten once t…

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Edu clearing upfield for Elche

Elche 0 Lugo 0
Elche drew goallessly for the second consecutive match, this time at home to tenth-placed Lugo from Galicia, who soon seemed to set their stall out for a point at fortress Martinez Valero, where Elche have only been beaten once this memorable season. A decent crowd of 13,345 saw Elche field their strongest side, winger Xumetra this time replacing Aaron from last week’s somewhat fortunate draw at Racing Santander.

Elche just couldn’t get going with any purpose, Angel and Coro starved of the ball, as neither Rivera or Generelo in central midfield, nor Fidel and Xumetra wide seemed capable of supplying them. Lugo dominated the midfield, and it was the Galicians who had two good chances in the first half, a deep cross was volleyed by Zamora but saved well by Herrera, the second a low cross both Etxeita and Herrera touched but slid straight across the goal with fortunately no-one to put it in.

Just like last week it was 40 minutes before Elche even had a direct shot, and once again it was the wayward Fidel who skied his effort well over. The crowd’s whistling that greeted the half-time whistle was partly at the negative defensive tactics of Lugo, endlessly passing it to and from their goalkeeper, and partly frustration against the Elche team’s basic lack of any creative activity. Would this sad home display continue into the second half?

The same team came out to resume the same service, but something surprising happened after only five minutes. Elche club captain Generelo (who I don’t rate) was taken off in favour of the hard-working Mantecon, and guess what? At last we began to see some action, particularly down the right between Xumetra, Suarez, Coro – oh, and Mantecon. The free kicks and corners rained in from Albacar and Suarez as usual aiming for the heads of the big boys Etxeita and Peligrin, but the visitors’ defence had done their homework on Elche and literally headed them off every time. For both sides the subs continued as Fidel had fiddled ineffectively for far too long and Carles Gil replaced him.

For the last fifteen minutes big Berry Powel finally came on up front for Angel, who as usual had run his socks off. Having a big, useful target man like Powel is a luxury Elche seem to think they can do without these days, but he is difficult to mark and suddenly, at last the Illicitanos looked as though they might actually win the game. Although Elche huffed and puffed nothing really exciting happened, but Lugo did hit the top of the bar with one thundering effort: but if it wasn’t good news at one end, that resolute Franjoverde defence that has served them so well this season did it again to keep yet another clean sheet, and keep the points steadily coming in.

While it is a worry that the goals have dried up it’s gratifying that those teams beneath Elche are struggling themselves. Last week’s lively-but-lowly opponents Racing Santander pulled off a great win away to second-placed Alcorcon to take them temporarily clear of the drop zone, but also meaning Elche’s point makes the difference at the top thirteen precious points, with Sunday games to come: but at least Elche have a minimum eleven point lead at the top. At the bottom, Murcia are one place above the four that will go down, which includes Alicante’s Hercules – ooh er…

Next week Elche are home again, this time to bottom-placed Xerex – surely there must be some home goals?

Mucho Elche!

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/38479/

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