Full match report by: Chris Spencer-Payne
CD Almuñécar City travelled to Puntalon yesterday to play their final away fixture and their penultimate game of the season.
Puntalon were the team that Almuñécar beat at their home ground which sent yesterday’s hosts on a detrimental run of bad form that threatened to derail their season.
The home team could still make the playoffs if they were to beat Almuñécar which meant that yesterdays game was easily their most important tie of the season. Because of this they were clearly up for the challenge.
They started well, pressed high and quickly forced Almuñécar into making bad, snap decisions meaning the visitors couldn’t get an early hold of the game like they have so many times this season.
The early pressure put on Almuñécar amounted to an early chance in the fifth minute of the game. Puntalon managed to squeeze a ball through the Almuñécar defence to send their attacker through on goal who slotted the ball past Nacho to make it 1-0.
From there the game didn’t get better for Almuñécar as the home team kept the pressure up and just three minutes later, Puntalon doubled their lead to make it 2-0.
Almuñécar were clearly not at the races and it showed.
A dull, scrappy first half performance had some daylight shed on it as the best player on the pitch, Baka, hit the ball on the half-volley and beat the goalkeeper with ease to make it 2-1 in the 43rd minute. A perfect time to score as it has the connotations of the ability to put the opposition under pressure.
At least it would have been the perfect time to score if not for Puntalon paying a long ball into Almuñécar’s half straight from kick-off. It was a wild attempt to regain their two goal advantage before the half was over. The ball was flicked on and their attacker was sent through once again as he managed to spring the offside trap before hitting the ball past Nacho at his far post.
Puntalon entered the break 3-1 up and clearly looking the better of the two teams.
Almuñécar improved in the second half as they changed their formation from a 4-3-3 to an old fashioned 4-4-2 but their attempts to get back into the game were to no avail.
The next bit of action didn’t arrive until the 70th minute as Nacho claimed a loose ball and broke his finger in the process. It was a terrible break and one that forced him to be collected by an ambulance and taken to the local hospital. Luckily for Almuñécar, they had Shem at left back who is used to covering for Nacho’s absence between the sticks. He also kept a clean sheet.
The last bit of drama came late on as Almuñécar had a perfectly acceptable goal disallowed for offside. This was followed by a straight red card, received by the Puntalon striker who scored the third.
He was awarded the colour red for foul-mouthing the referee and followed up the sending off by smashing up his bench and completely losing his temper towards the referee, the linesmen and his changing room.
The game ended 3-1. A hugely disappointing result for Almuñécar as they gained only their second loss of the season. However, it was a massive result for Puntalon who can now qualify for the playoffs.