Kike Márquez, centre, celebrates Delmonte's goal.
Kike Márquez, centre, celebrates Delmonte's goal. / Julio Rodríguez

An unlikely end to Marbella's losing streak

  • Two goals in the first 15 minutes yield a 2-1 win against a potent Cartagena

After six consecutive games without a victory, Marbella's winless spell is finally over. In a home fixture on Sunday, Miguel Álvarez's team held on to their early lead until the end, convincingly withstanding the physical strength and quality of the league's second best team, Cartagena.

The first goal, which came in the tenth minute, was testimony to the recently instated manager's reputation as a set piece specialist. A free kick, seemingly unthreatening due its distance from the Cartagena goal, unexpetedly created a 1-0 lead when Añón shot the ball into the area, for Kike Márquez to service centre-half Delmonte, who beat the Cartagena keeper, Marcos, at the back post.

Marbella goalkeeper Manu Fernández was rapidly forced into action straight after the home side's goal, as Cartagena wasted no time in pushing for an equaliser. However, on his home debut, Fernández effortlessly blocked numerous shots before iniciating the counter-attack that concluded in the second goal of the game. With the keeper's service, Goti made an impressive run from the half-way line into the opposition's penalty area, where his shot was converted into an own-goal by a misdirected clearance from defender Ramírez. In just two minutes, to the shock and excitement the home fans, Marbella had gained a two-goal lead.

For the remainder of the first half, the hosts continued to dominate possession, while the visitors made very few chances. A Cartagena penalty in the 41st minute had the potential to upset things, but Rivero was unable to ameliorate a frustrating half for his team, having his shot thwarted by the right post.

The second half was a demonstration of the reasons why Cartagena is placed second in the Segunda B table. Just seven minutes after play resumed, a cross from Jesús Álvaro fed the Moisés goal that reduced the home side's lead.

The rest of the half saw Cartagena launch offensive after offensive. Miguel Álvarez attempted to reenergise his team with the substitutions of Zé Turbo and Beitia for Mérida and Petcoff respectively, but to no effect. The home side enjoyed just one significant chance, which was provided by Kike Márquez on the counter-attack, however it only briefly relieved the Marbella defence as subesquent shots from Cartagena's Zabaco and Sergio García almost found equalisers.

Nevertheless, Fernández weathered the torrent of shots, with the help of his defence, to help hosts to their first victory in seven weeks. The final result means that Marbella retain their fourth place in the table with revitalised hopes of promotion.