Marbella suffered a serious setback in their promotion play-off hopes after a 2-0 defeat to Jaén at the Estadio Municipal La Victoria on Saturday evening.
The result saw Miguel Álvarez's side drop out of the play-off positions for the first time this season, although their hopes are not over given that they are level on points with fourth-placed Villanovense.
Jaén were at the races from the very start, controlling possession and consequently creating the first chance just three minutes in, which saw a deflected effort from an unmarked Vitu pass just wide of the post. Marbella's quality up front meant that they could deliver a sucker punch to the hosts at any given moment, and only the hand of Jaén keeper Felipe Ramos prevented Añón from doing just that from a shot just before the ten-minute mark.
Marbella's confidence grew as a result and they created more dangerous situations, the best of which saw Okoye smash his effort against the post after running with the ball from the halfway line in the 27th minute, while Vitu's hard-work reaped little reward in terms of clear-cut chances for the hosts.
The second period followed much the same pattern as the first, with Jaén again creating the first chance of the half, which Víctor Andrés put narrowly wide. The visitors then counteracted Jaén's initial dominance, but were once again denied the lead by Ramos, who tipped Kike's effort on to the post.
The game was opening up but surprisingly it was from set pieces that the game was decided. A one-two between Rodríguez and a teammate gave Ordoñez room to cross, and his ball in found Rafa Mella who headed past Manu in the Marbella goal with twenty minutes to go.
Marbella tried to respond and pin the hosts into their own penalty box, but seven minutes later Santi Villa's killed the game from a direct free-kick. Marbella failed to respond immediately to set up a tense finish as Jaén ran out comfortable and deserved winners.
Next up for Miguel Álvarez's side is the visit of second-bottom Atlético Sanluqueño on Saturday, when they will hope to get back into the top-four with a win. Kick-off is at 5pm at the Estadio Municipal.