Marbella were knocked off the top of their Segunda B group on Sunday after a goalless draw against Recreativo de Huelva gifted the momentum back to Cartagena in the title race.
Despite an optimistic start from David Cubillo's players, performance levels declined as the game progressed, while their opponents grew into the game and were much stronger in the second half.
Marbella dominated the first half an hour and were denied a penalty just four minutes in after minimal contact on Manel from Nano.
Saúl González proved to be a constant threat. Five minutes after the penalty incident, Recre centre-back Morcillo was taken off due to injury. This gave Marbella an advantage from set pieces and Saúl could have scored twice from consecutive corners in the 12th minute.
Recreativo's first and only shot at goal during the first half came from Isi Ros, who approached goal from the right wing but the chance was snuffed out by keeper Wilfred as the angle closed.
In the 26th minute came the best chance of the first 45, as Saúl crossed from the right for an unmarked Óscar García whose shot from the penalty spot was blocked by keeper Nauzet.
In the second half, Cubillo's players started making too many mistakes on the ball. Although their opposition were weak in the attack until that point, Marbella conceded numerous corners, which ended up being the main threat from the home team.
Cubillo made changes to stem the Recreativo tide; the final substitution saw the introduction of Paulo Vítor in the 83rd minute and he quickly fired a shot on goal that was pushed away well by Nauzet.
However, as the final minutes approached, Marbella were firmly on the back foot and had to stand up to another series of corners in a final attempt to win the game for the hosts.