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Marbella promotion hopes come to an end

Goalkeeper Manu Fernández was forced off injured with a serious knee problem.
Goalkeeper Manu Fernández was forced off injured with a serious knee problem. / Julio Rodríguez
  • Another defensive mistake condemned Marbella to their fourth consecutive defeat with a 1-0 home loss to Villanovense

Marbella's dreams of playing in the Segunda División next year are over after a 1-0 defeat to Villanovense at the Estadio Municipal on Sunday.

Carlos Fernández's third-minute goal turned out to be the winner and saw Marbella's losing streak continue.

The visitors put the pressure on the nervous hosts from the start, and were instantly rewarded when the lightning quick Carlos Andújar's cross from the left was tucked in at the near post by Carlos Fernández for his twelfth goal of the season.

It was a moral blow for Marbella but they reacted well, with Luis Rioja and Asier Goti causing the most problems for Villanovense in wide areas . Moreover, the hosts' best chances in the half would come from balls into the box.

Unfortunately, Emmanuel Okoye failed to get a touch on Goti's inch-perfect delivery into the six-yard box, before the Nigerian spurned another chance in the 17th minute when he fired straight at keeper Wilfred after being put through one-on-one from a long ball.

Cries of the players not deserving to wear the shirt rang out around the ground as the Marbella supporters began to vent their frustrations at their side's imprecision in possession.

That was not the only pain Marbella, and Manu Fernández in particular, would suffer in the first half, as the goalkeeper injured his right knee on his fall from claiming a high ball, and was consequently put into an ambulance on a stretcher as Bernabé replaced him.

The second half was more of the same from the hosts, with misplaced passes and defensive chaos which could have cost them another goal the prominent features.

Marbella spent more time in the opponent's half in the second period, but failed to create as many chances as they did in the first half, with Okoye the only player to test Wilfred with an effort, even though Zé Turbo's endeavour did draw applause from the disillusioned home support.

The visitors meanwhile failed to capitalise on a couple of breaks that they managed to create, but they would not be left to rue their misses as Marbella fell seven points behind the top four with just two games remaining.

Marbella, who have won just once in the previous eleven games, will now face tenth-place Jumilla CF away on Sunday.