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Marbella draw with La Roda to leave them three points adrift of leaders Lorca

Goalscorer Kike Márquez attempts to dribble past the La Roda defender.
Goalscorer Kike Márquez attempts to dribble past the La Roda defender. / Julio Rodríguez
  • Javi Bolo gave the visitors the lead midway through the first half, but Kike Márquez equalised for the Marbella side a minute after the break.

Marbella could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to La Roda on Sunday, leaving them three points behind leaders Lorca, who earned a 1-0 victory away at San Fernando.

The heavy rain had a major influence on the first half, and it was La Roda who adapted better to the unpleasant conditions, playing a more direct game and winning more balls in the air. Their initial dominance nearly told, but Marbella keeper Bernabé managed to divert an effort behind which the travelling supporters thought had gone in.

La Roda's defence pushed up and denied Marbella any space to create attacks, which consequently exerted a lot of pressure on the home side's defence, and their direct game eventually paid dividends, after Javi Bolo converted a long ball from the right past a helpless Bernabé.

The hosts reacted but were unable to equalise before the break, with an effort from Petcoff and several set-piece situations proving fruitless for Marbella. However, Añón, who scored the winner at El Ejido last week, came closest to levelling for Marbella when his effort crashed against the bar, whilst Andrés Sánchez could not make the two chances that fell to him count.

However, the hosts eventually broke through a minute after the break, with Kike Márquez managing to break the offside trap before slotting in low past goalkeeper Pulpo. Marbella were now the dominant force in the game and looked the most likely to score the next goal. And they almost got it through Márquez, but he was denied this time by La Roda defender Connor after a swift break led by Petcoff.

Marbella's energy levels naturally started to drop, which allowed La Roda back into the game. Megías' effort was expertly saved by Bernabé as La Roda's long-ball game started to result in dangerous shots.

Nevertheless, it was Marbella who had the best chance to win the game in the last 10 minutes, but Lolo's header in the 85th minute went just wide of Pulpo's left-hand post.

The result also leaves Marbella level with Cartagena, who suffered a surprise 2-1 home defeat to Mérida.