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Archive Reports 2018/19 - Tercera Division

 

MAZARRON FC 2 - ATLETICO PULPILENO 4  (19.5.2019)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Mazarron went into the game without captain Adrian Campoy and midfielder Heredia through suspension but took an early lead against play-off chasing Pulpileno.

On 6 minutes Diego was fouled on the left and Jose Da's free kick found its way through a host of players before beating the Pulpi keeper at the near post. Mazarron had the better of the early stages but Nacho conceded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area which was headed well over.

After 18 minutes another free kick, this time from the right was headed back to the far post where a Pulpi forward could only shoot straight into the hands of a grateful Pena. However, Pulpileno equalised on 21 minutes when the ball was played down the right before being crossed into the middle for Guillermo to fire past Pena who perhaps could have done better.

As the visitors came more into the game a superb left wing cross eluded two or three onrushing forwards before going out to safety on the far side. Randry was lucky to escape with just a yellow card after he appeared to lash out at a Pulpi player who made the most of it with a theatrical fall to the ground.

Jaime replaced Xavi after 36 minutes and two minutes later Pena made a good save to keep out a fierce strike. Little was seen of Mazarron as an attacking force in the rest of the half apart from a couple of wasted free kicks.

Pena kept Mazarron in the game just two minutes into the second half with another great save from a shot just inside the area. Then he made a brave stop after his poor clearance let in Pulpi again. However the visitors regained the lead on 51 minutes when Nacho was penalised for a tackle in the area and Diego comfortably beat Pena with the spot kick.

Mazarron equalised on 68 minutes when Jose Da's free kick found Andreo on the left. He played the ball inside to Diego who slipped it back to Randry and he hit a left foot screamer from 35 yards in to the roof of the net for a goal of the season contender.

Unfortunately two late goals from Ibrahime in the 79th and 83rd minutes scuppered hopes of at least a point for Mazarron and to make matters worse Basi was sent off in injury time. He was crudely tackled on the touchline and reacted by throwing the ball at his opponent.

Four defeats and a draw in the last five games of the season put a damper on what has been a decent return to the Tercera for Mazarron who finished in the top half of the league in 10th place. Pulpileno missed out on a place in the play-offs after Churra's win at La Union.

Team; Pena; Gato; Randry; Nacho; Xavi (Jaime); Andreo; Basi; Salva Ballesta (Alejandro); Borja (Manuel); Diego; Jose Da.

LORCA DEPORTIVA 3 - MAZARRON FC 1  (12.5.2019)

Mazarron gave a spirited performance against a team who still have a chance of being champions of the Tercera Division but, on the day. they were second best.

The visiting supporters were delighted to see Basi back in the starting line up and even more delighted to see him playing in his preferred striking role. He combined well with Heredia after six minutes but the midfielder's cross was headed clear. Lorca were looking dangerous on the attack and a superb left wing cross just eluded everyone and went out for a throw in.

In the 15th minute the referee awarded a penalty to Lorca in baffling circumstances. The ball was played out of the Lorca defence to the right wing when the referee suddenly pointed to the penalty spot and booked Adrian Campoy presumably for an off the ball incident in the penalty area with the ball some 40 yards away. Jose Antonio stepped up to fire the ball into the roof of the net to give the home side the lead.

They could have increased their lead five minutes later when a right wing cross was headed over the bar. Mazarron were being forced back on the defensive with Jose Da, one of the two wide players supporting Basi up front, playing as an additional right back most of the time.

On 38 minutes Andreo won the ball in midfield and found Salva Ballesta on the left. He cut inside and shot wide of the far post, However, the home team continued to attack and Antonio Pena had to come to the rescue with two excellent saves before the interval.

Diego replaced Xavi early in the second half and Manager Juanjo, at long last, changed tactics moving Jose Da alongside Basi as a second striker. The move paid dividends almost immediately with Jose Da chipping the ball over the last defender for Basi to run on and fire a right foot shot into the net off the far post to the delight of the travelling supporters.

However two minutes later Juanjo brought on Borja in place of Salva Ballesta to disrupt the newly formed partnership up front before it had time to flourish further and the dangerous Basi was banished to the right wing. It was the end of Mazarron as an attacking force.

Four minutes later a free kick on the half line found a Lorca forward in acres of space in the left and his cross was headed home by an unmarked Manuel. On 67 minutes a mistake by Diego almost let in Lorca again but Pena came to the rescue with another outstanding save.

The Mazarron keeper had to be alert on a number of occasions, racing from his line as an extra defender to clear the danger. On 78 minutes a Lorca free kick was headed well over the bar. Mazarron's only other half chance was a header from Adrian Campoy from a Randry free kick which was wide of the target.

In injury time Lorca made the game save when Pena again raced off his line but this time was unable to prevent Antonio steering into the net.

Team: Pena; Gato; Randry; Campoy; Nacho; Andreo; Basi; Xavi (Diego); Jose Da (Jose Antonio); Heredia; Salva Ballesta (Borja).

Man of the Match: Antonio Pena.

MAZARRON FC 0 - CARTAGENA FC "B" 4  (5.5.2019)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Mazarron gave one of the worst first half performances seen in many years when they conceded four goals in the first 25 minutes against a Cartagena side struggling to avoid relegation.

With the hard working midfielder Andreo inexplicably relegated to the substitutes bench Mazarron were completely overrun in midfield and the normally excellent defence was at sixes and sevens as the Cartagena players surged forward at will. Mazarron lost possession in their opponents half after eight minutes and the ball was quickly transferred downfield and Alberto stroked the ball home after playing a clever 1-2.

On 12 minutes a long ball caught Adrian Campoy flatfooted and Jose Antonio took advantage to fire a shot past the helpless Antonio Pena to make it 2-0. Things got even worse three minutes later when Mazarron conceded a needless free kick on the edge of the penalty area and Alberto scored his second goal direct from the free kick.

With Mazarron supporters urging Manager Juanjo to make changes Cartagena broke again down the right and a perfect cross into the centre saw Adrian racing in unmarked to make it 4-0. Juanjo immediately introduced Andreo in place of Xavi but it was too late, the damage was done.

Surprisingly no changes were made at half time as Manager Juanjo stuck to his rigid formation of playing one up with two players wide on the right, both of whom are always too far from the action to support the lone striker. Pedro Casado was having no impact on the game but young strikers Jaime and the experienced Borja remained on the bench.

Randry's mishit shot rebounded to Jose Da two minutes into the second half and his clever backheel almost caught the Cartagena keeper by surprise. Then Randry's cross found Jose Da whose overhead shot was well saved as Mazarron at last began to make some impression.

Diego then headed wide from six yards out before Jaime was finally introduced after an hour but the juveniles leading marksman was immediately banished to the right wing with Casado continuing down the middle. Cartagena were now looking less dangerous as the Mazarron defence began to get its act together and Jose Da shot over the bar after another pass from Randry.

Juanjo then made another strange decision bringing on defender Alejandro to replace striker Pedro Casado when surely he should have introduced the experienced Borja to partner Jaime and play the two down the middle with the team 4-0 down.

This tactical naivety has been a feature in recent months. The play is too stereotyped and there is no plan "B". Supporters have been surprised at a lot of the Manager's team selection decisions and the seeming inability to change tactics and formation when things are not going well. There has been only one win at home since 2nd December and had the team not had such an excellent start to the season, Mazarron could now be looking at a relegation battle themselves.

Team: Pena; Gato; Randry; Campoy; Nacho; Heredia; Jose Da; Xavi (Andreo); Pedro Casado (Alejandro); Diego (Jaime); Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match: Andreo

AGUILAS FC 1 - MAZARRON FC 1  (1.5.2019)

Mazarron earned an excellent point in a 1-1 draw at Aquilas and, in doing so, severely damaged the home team's hopes of a play-off position.

The disappointingly low following of Mazarron supporters had enjoyed some pre-match drinks on a glorious evening but were massively outnumbered in the large crowd at the excellent El Rubial stadium.

The signs were not good when straight from the kick off the ball was passed back to Xavi who launched the ball straight into the crowd. Then a mistake by Andreo almost let in the home side but a left wing cross was fired wide. However, Mazarron settled down and played some excellent football with Jose Da pulling the strings in midfield. On 14 minutes his free kick was only half cleared to him and this time his cross was headed into the roof of the net by Nacho.

After 25 minutes Borja chased a long ball out of defence and forced the defender into a hurried clearance. Diego pounced on the ball and struck a superb shot from 25 yards which hit the post and went wide. Three minutes later Jose Da found Salva Ballesta on the right and his cross was met with a volley from Diego which former Mazarron favourite Soto managed to save with his feet. Almost immediately Salva's pass to Andreo saw the midfielder break down the right but he played the ball back to the edge of the penalty area instead of crossing to the far post where Borja was unmarked.

Aguilas equalised against the run of play after 32 minutes. Mazarron were harshly penalised for a tackle on the edge of the penalty area and, although Juan Cruz made an excellent save from the free kick, Ruben was first to the rebound and hammered the ball home.

Mazarron had given a good account of themselves in an enjoyable first half and were unlucky not to be leading at the interval.

Aguilas should have scored just three minutes into the second half. A long ball out of defence saw their striker seemingly in an offside position but he was allowed to run on and, fortunately for Mazarron, shot well over the bar. Alberto replaced the injured Josema as Aguilas tried to get back into the game and Juan Cruz made another decent save in the hour mark.

On 70 minutes Borja controlled a long ball down the left and sent a difficult swirling cross into the pass of Salva who could only shoot over the bar. A minute later Mazarron should have taken the lead. Borja headed the ball down to Diego who cut inside but miscued his shot from the centre of the goal over the crossbar.

At the other end Aguilas for once broke through the excellent Mazaron defence but the final shot was wide of the target. In the closing stages Aguilas surged forward in search of the winning goal but Adrian Campoy was a rock at the centre of the Mazarron defence which coped with everything that was thrown at them. In the fifth minute of stoppage time the ball was cleared to Andreo who raced half the length of the pitch before unleashing a fierce shot which Soto just managed to turn away to safety as the referee blew the final whistle.

It was a good hard working performance by Mazarron who are playing much better away from the home where the bumpy pitch is not conducive to good football.

Team: Juan Cruz; Josema (Alberto); Gato; Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Andreo; Jose Da; Xavi; Borja (Heredia); Diego (Randry); Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match; Adrian Campoy.

MAZARRON FC 0 - REAL MURCIA "B" 2  (28.4.2019)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Mazarron's poor run of results continued when two goals in the last 19 minutes saw them lose at home to another team below them in the league table. They have won only two of their last ten games but still remain in ninth position.

There was little of note to report in a disappointing first half. A Randry free kick was punched clear by the Murcia keeper on 6 minutes and play immediately transferred to the other end of the pitch where Juan Cruz just managed to get his fingertips to the ball to divert a shot for a corner.

Murcia had a couple of half chances, one of which was easily saved by Juan Cruz, the other headed wide after a cross from the right after 26 minutes. Mazarron's only efforts in the first period were a 30 yard effort by Gato which was well off target and a Campoy header over the bar from a Salva Ballesta corner.

Murcia should have taken the lead in the first minute of the second half but wasted a great chance shooting wide after breaking clear from just inside the Mazarron half. The home team's best effort came after 48 minutes when Salva's free kick found Adrian Campoy whose excellent header was tipped over the bar by the visiting keeper.

On 55 minutes good work by Salva Ballesta on the left saw his cross just deflected by a defender away from the waiting Pedro Casado in the middle and out for a corner. Jose Da replaced Xavi on the hour and Mazarron started to play some decent football for the first time in the game. Jose Da found Diego on the right and his cross into the centre was met by Salva who, unfortunately, was unable to get any power into his shot which was easily saved.

Juan Cruz had to be alert on 64 minutes to tip a dangerous free kick over the bar. However, Murcia took the lead after 71 minutes when Heredia was dispossessed in his own half and despite appeals for a free kick, the visitors raced downfield and Marcos Javier found the corner of the net giving Juan Cruz no chance.

Nacho headed a Jose Da free kick wide before Murcia made the game safe on 84 minutes. The ball was played down the right inside Randry and Alberto ran on to score. It was another below par performance by a Mazarron team who have lost their way somewhat in recent months after a most promising start to the season.

Team: Juan Cruz; Gato (Alejandro); Randry; Adrian Campoy (Borja); Nacho; Andreo; Heredia; Xavi (Jose Da); Pedro Casado; Diego; Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match: Andreo.

MULENO CF 0 - MAZARRON FC 1  (20.4.2019)

Mazarron survived a second half onslaught from Muleno to earn an excellent away victory in a game played in dreadful conditions.

With the ball often sticking on the water saturated surface, Muleno began on the offensive and forced two early corners which the Mazarron defence dealt with efficiently. Then, on 8 minutes a Salva Ballesta corner was missed by the home keeper but fortunately for Muleno the ball was scrambled off the line to safety. Two minutes later Muleno should have taken the lead. Adrian Campoy headed a clearance straight into the path of a home striker whose shot struck the post and rebounded out and the follow up shot hit the bar and went over for a goal kick.

On 12 minutes a free kick from the right was headed down by Salva to Pedro Casado who shot just wide. However, on 17 minutes Mazarron took the lead when another corner from Salva was half cleared to Heredia on the edge of the area and he struck a first time left foot shot into the roof of the net.

Mazarron were now in the ascendancy and first a good run by Andreo earned a corner which was cleared and shortly afterwards Basi ran on to a through ball only to hit his left foot shot just wide. Muleno ended the half in search of an equaliser but their only other half chance saw shot pulled wide of the far post.

There were no changes at half time and Mazarron started on the attack with Basi heading just over from Gato's left wing cross. On 58 minutes a good move down the left from Muleno saw a cross finding their striker unmarked in the area but he scuffed his shot and Juan Cruz made an easy save. Muleno were now pouring forward and pushing Mazarron onto the defensive but their shooting was off target.

Mazarron brought on Jaime for the hard working Pedro Casado. They were relying on quick breaks out of defence and Salva raced through the middle only to see his shot blocked by the home keeper. At the other end Juan Cruz made a great save at point blank range to keep out another Muleno effort.

On 72 minutes captain Adrian Campoy made a last ditch tackle to break up another attack and then Josema was booked as the pressure mounted on a tiring Mazarron. There was an unsavoury incident when Mazarron were trying to make a substitution and the home supporters took exception to what they thought was time wasting. Some stones were thrown at the Mazarron dug out and it will be interesting to see what punishment the Murcia federation will impose on Muleno.

Nacho deflected another goal bound effort for a corner but it was Mazarron who should have increased their lead on 80 minutes when a superb ball from Basi saw young Jaime racing clear from inside his own half but his final shot was blocked by the keeper's feet. Juan Cruz made another save in the closing minutes and the game finished with another Muleno shot cleared off the line.

It was a good team performance by Mazarron who worked tirelessly throughout the game and tried to play some good football in difficult conditions. The win takes Mazarron back up to ninth position in the league table.

Team; Juan Cruz; Josema; Gato; Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Andreo; Basi; Xavi; Pedro Casado (Jaime); Heredia (Randry); Salva Ballesta (Diego)

Man of the Match; Josema

MAZARRON FC 0 - CD ALGAR 1  (14.4.2019)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

The signs were ominous at the kick off with Mazarron opting to play the diminutive Pedro Casado as a lone striker against a tall CD Algar defence who are struggling to avoid relegation.

However, Mazarron gained an early free lick which was played down the right and Heredia's dangerous cross was turned away for a corner. On 7 minutes a Salva Ballesta free kick saw Adrian Campoy out jumping the Algar keeper only to see his looping header go wide. Then Salva Ballesta appeared to be impeded as he ran on to Diego's through ball and he could only scuff his shot wide.

Algar then began to take control of the game and Pena saved easily from Jose Isidoro before the same player tried an audacious lob from 40 yards which almost caught Pena by surprise but fortunately sailed wide of the far post. Adrian Campoy then had to move smartly to prevent former Mazarron player Dani Barrelis breaking clear. At the other end Salva Ballesta also tried a lob from some distance but the keeper got back to clutch the ball gratefully.

After 22 minutes Diego fired wide from 25 yards after good work by Salva but the standard of play from Mazarron was poor as they struggled to overcome the bumpy surface. Algar deservedly took the lead after 35 minutes. Pena had made a good save from a corner and the ball was half cleared to Francisco who rifled the ball home from just outside the penalty area.

Mazarron had a chance when Andreo was fouled on the edge of the penalty area but Randry hit his shot straight into the defensive wall. They were again struggling to string two passes together and relying on the hopeful long ball down the middle for Pedro Casado to chase. The quality of the dead ball situations was poor and It was a disappointing first half performance.

Surprisingly Mazarron made no changes at half time. Salva Ballesta wasted another free kick which was aimed nowhere near any Mazarron player. He had a half chance on 48 minutes when he controlled a long ball down the left before shooting well wide.

Algar almost increased their lead when Pena had to react smartly to turn an inswinging free kick from the right over the bar for a corner. It was then Heredia's turn to waste a free kick when his cross was easily grabbed by the Algar keeper. Randry broke out of defence with a strong run before passing to Salva who cut inside but his final shot was blocked.

On the hour another Algar free kick was headed down goalwards but Pena made a good save diving to his left to push the ball away. Mazarron's best chance came after good work by Andreo on the right. His cross found Randry racing up in the centre of the goal but he could only send his shot wide.

It was virtually Andreo's last action of the game as he limped off to be replaced by Jaime. Algar had another great chance when a right wing corner was headed just over the bar as Mazarron continued to struggle to find any sort of form.

Basi replaced Heredia and then a Salva corner was headed downwards by Adrian Campoy only to see the Algar keeper make a decent save. Even with Basi and Jaime joining Pedro Casado up front Mazarron were still not causing the visiting defence many problems. The game erupted in the 82 minute when Algar's Jose Francisco was sent off after an ugly incident in front of the Mazarron dug out.

Unfortunately, Mazarron could not make the extra player count in the closing minutes and they slumped to another defeat against a team at the wrong end of the league.

Team; Pena; Josema; Randry; Adrian Campoy; Alberto (Jose Antonio); Andreo (Jaime); Heredia (Basi); Nacho; Pedro Casado; Diego; Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match: Pena

MAZARRON FC 3 - CAP CIUDAD DE MURCIA 0  (7.4.2019)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Mazarron stretched their unbeaten run to four games after their first victory since 24th February. The home team were without Basi through injury and Xavi and Nacho who were suspended.

Murcia went straight onto the attack and Pena was forced to make a save in the first minute. The opening exchanges were scrappy on a bumpy pitch but Murcia were looking the more dangerous and were quicker to the ball. The referee did not help the flow of the game blowing up for free kicks at virtually every challenge.

However, it was Mazarron who broke the deadlock on 20 minutes when a long throw by Josema was headed on to Jose Da who, with his back to goal, swivelled and hammered the ball into the net. Five minutes later another long throw by Randry found Andreo who could only glance his header wide of the near post.

Mazarron were now on top and Diego's pass found Salva on the left. He raced forward but his poor cross was easily cut out. The home team increased their lead on the half hour mark when a free kick into the box saw Adrian Campoy controlling the ball and playing it out to the right wing. Although the cross was half cleared Diego stepped up to hit a fierce 25 yard shot into the roof of the net.

On 36 minutes Campoy had to be alert to race across and clear the danger before Pena made two great diving saves to keep Mazarron in the lead at half time. It had been a fairly even first half but Mazarron had taken their chances and probably deserved their lead.

Mazarron forced a free kick and a corner in the early stages of the second half. Pedro Casado replaced Heredia and Jose Da had to leave the field through injury and was replaced by Gato. On 61 minutes Randry hit a left footed free kick just over the bar.

Murcia pressed forward in an attempt to save the game and were almost rewarded after 67 minutes when a free kick was headed on to the bar and the ball dropped down into the grateful arms of Pena who was well beaten by the original header.

The visitors continued to attack and Mazarron defended well to clear another free kick and a corner. However, it was Mazarron who looked the more dangerous in the closing stages as gaps started to appear in the Murcia defence. Randry was causing all sorts of problems down the left wing and on 80 minutes he cut inside but his cross for the waiting Pedro Cadado was just cut out.

Two minutes later he raced down the left wing again and his dangerous cross was half cleared to Salva who shot over the bar. On 83 minutes Diego produced a superb pass over the defence and Randry closed in on goal only to see his lob over the keeper sail just over the bar.

However, Randry was not to be denied and in injury time he chased a long ball down the middle and, as the Murcia keeper collided with his own defender, Randry ran on to place the ball into the empty net.

Team: Pena; Josema; Randry; Adrian Campoy; Alberto; Andreo; Jaime (Jose Antonio); Heredia (Pedro Casado); Jose Da (Gato); Diego; Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match: Andreo

UD LOS GARRES 1 - MAZARRON FC 1  (31.3.2019)

Mazarron gave a magnificent second half performance which deserved more than the one goal they scored through Andreo.

With a number of players struggling with injuries Jose Da and Xavi were thrust into the starting line up although nowhere near 100% fit. Xavi lasted just nine minutes before he had to be replaced by young Jose Antonio from the successful Cadetes team.

Los Garres opened with a 25 yard shot which dipped over the bar before Randry's corner for Mazarron was fisted away for another corner by an under pressure Los Garres goalkeeper. This time Adrian Campoy rose above everyone to power a header goalwards from Jose Da's flag kick only to see the keeper made a good save.

The home team took the lead after 23 minutes when Nacho needlessly held back a Los Garres striker on what appeared to be the edge of the area but the referee awarded a penalty kick. Ignacio sent Pena the wrong way with the spot kick.

Josema raced forward on 31 minutes to hit a shot just wide from the edge of the penalty area and two minutes later good work on the right by Jose Da and Andreo ended with a shot from Jose Da being blocked for a corner. On 34 minutes Andreo appeared to be held in the area but the referee waved aside Mazarron's appeals for a penalty.

Little was seen of Los Garres as an attacking force although an inswinging free kick from the right was headed well wide. Mazarron almost equalised on the stroke of half time when Jose Da's free kick found Adrian Campoy who tried to round the keeper but he just managed to grab the ball at the last minute.

Manager Juanjo made a shrewd positional change at the start of the second half moving Jose Da into a central striking role with Jaime taking up a position on the right. After 51 minutes Jaime cut inside and hit a fierce left foot drive which was clawed away by Camara in the Los Garres goal.

Randry had a dangerous cross cut out and then Jose Da and Jaime combined only to see the final shot diverted for a corner. It was all Mazarron as they continued to surge forward in search of an equaliser. Jose Da's free kick rebounded off the defensive wall but then a mistake by Campoy almost let in Los Garres but Pena raced off his line to clear the danger.

Juanjo then made another bold move, taking off full back Gato and bringing on Salva Ballesta another player struggling with a niggling injury. Mazarron thought they had equalised on 68 minutes when Salva's shot was only parried out to Jaime and the juvenile striker found the corner of the net only to have his celebrations cut short by the sight of the offside flag.

However Mazarron got the goal they thoroughly deserved six minutes later. A long ball down the middle saw Andreo chasing what seemed a lost cause but the Los Garres keeper hit the ball straight at him and it rebounded slowly into the net.

Diego replaced Jaime and then Heredia found Salva racing down the left. His cross was aimed for Jose Da at the far post before a defender just managed to get his head to the ball first to clear for a corner. Diego should have done better on 83 minutes when he cut in from the right but tried to shoot from an acute angle instead of passing inside to the waiting Jose Da.

The referee signalled six minutes of added time just as Mazarron thought they had scored the winner. Salva's free kick was headed into the net off the post by Nacho who had run 15 yards to get to the ball but for some inexplicable reason the flag was again raised for offside.

It was a great performance by Mazarron which saw a welcome return to the passing game and fine attacking football we saw earlier in the season.

Team: Pena; Josema; Gato (Salva Ballesta); Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Andreo; Jose Da; Xavi (Jose Antonio); Jaime (Diego); Heredia; Randry.

Man of the Match: Andreo

MAZARRON FC 0 - SFC MINERVA 0  (24.3.2019)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Already without three key players through injury Mazarron had to use their three substitutes in the first half because of more worrying injuries.

Mazarron opened strongly only to see Andreo mishit his shot well wide of the post. On 9 minutes Randry made a surging run down the left and sent over a dangerous cross which was turned outside for a corner. Minerva should have taken the lead 2 minutes later when their striker ran from just inside his own half but with goalkeeper Antonio Pena advancing towards him he blazed his shot well over the bar.

Mazarron forced three corners in succession without really troubling the visiting defence. Then excellent play by Randry set up Josema whose low cross was cut out. Mazarron lost their main striker Basi after just 24 minutes and he was replaced by juvenile striker Jaime. Two minutes later Salva Ballesta had a half chance but he scuffed his shot wide of the post.

Mazarron suffered another blow when Diego had to be substituted after 37 minutes. Two minutes later Minerva were awarded a penalty for handball but Pena made a great save diving low to his left to claw the ball away to safety. Salva became the third Mazarron player to leave the field through injury a minute before the interval.

It was Pena to the rescue again after 47 minutes when he somehow reacted to push aside an effort which seemed destined for the net. There was little action in the early stages of the second half until Andreo had a penalty appeal turned down after he appeared to have been pushed in the area.

The game erupted in the 69th minute when Mazarron substitute Pedro Casado was sent off for a second yellow card after a foul on Cristian who rolled around as though he had been shot. Mazarron's best effort of the game came on 77 minutes when Randry broke clear and hit a fierce shot which the Minerva keeper could not hold but managed to scramble clear.

After 85 minutes Mazarron had another penalty appeal turned down when the ball struck the arm of a Minerva defender before an unsavoury incident in the 89th minute led to four more yellow cards.

It was a scrappy game on an uneven surface and Mazarron did well to come away with a point.

Team: Pena; Josema; Gato; Alberto; Nacho; Andreo; Salva (Pedro Casado); Heredia; Basi (Jaime); Diego (Xavi); Randry.

Man of the Match: Pena

UCAM MURCIA 2 - MAZARRON FC 2  (19.3.2019)

Mazarron somehow rescued a point when all seemed lost with an injury time goal.

Mazarron were without five regular players through injury and regular goalkeeper Pena with work commitments. With no recognised striker available, free scoring juvenile striker Jaime made his first full appearance of the season.

There was little goalmouth action in the opening stages although Mazarron's reshaped team had a fair share of possession. It was 25 minutes before the first attempt on goal when Salva Ballesta's corner was headed over the bar by Adrian Campoy although the referee had blown for an infringement. The home team's first chance came when a free kick was only half cleared but Renato shot well over.

Mazarron took a deserved lead on 31 minutes when Salva Ballesta and Diego worked the ball well on the left and Salva hit a low shot into the far corner of the net. UCAM had another chance with a break down the right which ended when Renato again missed the target with a shot into the side netting.

Adrian Campoy was booked five minutes before the interval and then Randry burst down the left wing only to fire wide of the far post.

The second half began with the home team pushing forward in search of an equaliser and Juan Cruz in the Mazarron goal was called into action with a couple of routine saves. The game was constantly interrupted with a spate of fouls and players rolling around on the ground. The referee had to sharpen his pencil to cope with the amount of yellow cards he was handing out.

There seemed little danger for Mazarron and UCAM were restricted to a series of long shots from outside the area without presenting any real threat on the Mazarron goal. Jaime was working hard up front for Mazarron but things changed after 64 minutes. Coach Juanjo brought on central defended Alberto and took off the skilful and hard working Heredia in midfield moving Nacho out of the back four to replace him.

Minutes later Diego had to leave the field with an injury so Mazarron were now without both their creative midfield players. Diego was replaced by the highly rated Jose Antonio from the successful Cadetes team.

The Mazarron tactics were now to defend at all costs and it was a plan that was doomed to failure. Jaime was left alone up front and it was no surprise when UCAM equalised on 82 minutes. Alberto was penalised for a tackle in the area and Pablo made no mistake with the penalty kick.

Four minutes later the usually dependable Adrian Campoy made a rash challenge on the edge of the penalty area and received a second yellow card. The free kick was turned home at the near post by Daniel at the near post to give UCAM a lead they hardly deserved.

Mazarron at last decided that attack was the best form of defence and after good work by young Jose Antonio, Randry's excellent cross was fired home by right back Josema who had raced 50 yards to get into the goalmouth and score the equaliser deep into injury time.

Considering the absence of so many influential players it was a good result for Mazarron who ended a run of three successive defeats and the youngsters certainly did not let the team down.

Team: Juan Cruz; Josema; Gato; Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Andreo; Salva Ballesta; Heredia (Alberto); Jaime (Adrian); Diego (Jose Antonio); Randry

Man of the Match: Jaime

MAZARRON FC 1 - LORCA FC 3   (16.3.2019)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Despite a much improved performance Mazarron who were without the injured Jose Da and Xavi, lost for the third consecutive game against high flying Lorca.

Mazarron started the game well, first to the ball and closing down quickly on their opponents. Their first effort came on 17 minutes when a Salva Ballesta free kick was only half cleared to Diego some 25 yards out. His fierce strike bounced just in front of the Lorca keeper who just managed to scoop the ball over the bar. The resulting corner from Salva was headed against the post but the referee had spotted an infringement.

On 36 minutes excellent work by Diego was halted by a handball and Borja's ferocious free kick rebounded off the defensive wall. On 27 minutes a long throw by Josema was flicked on to Basi who headed just wide of the far post as Mazarron continued to press forward. Two minutes later another Salva free kick was headed over the bar by Nacho.

However it was the visitors who took the lead totally against the run of play after 39 minutes. A free kick was heading towards Juan Cruz in the Mazarron goal but Josema got his head to the ball first and could only help it over the keeper's head into his own net. Almost immediately a miskick by Adrian Campoy almost let in Lorca again but Juan Cruz made a good save at the near post.

Mazarron still had time to launch one more attack before the interval and after good work by Salva Ballesta on the left Diego shot just wide.

Mazaron again dominated the opening stages of the second half and were denied an equaliser in the 54th minute when Borja's spectacular overhead kick from Josema's long throw was controversially ruled out for offside. Mazarron's chances of getting something from the game seemed lost when their main strikers Basi and Borja both had to leave the field with injuries in the 59th and 60th minute.

Randry replaced Basi and juvenile striker Jaime replaced Borja and showed some good touches in an impressive 30 minute appearance. Mazarron had a number of free kicks which came to nothing although Adrian Campoy did get a header on target only to see it saved by the Lorca keeper.

Heredia then replaced Alberto in a positive move by coach Juanjo and Mazarron were rewarded with a deserved equaliser on 76 minutes. Another long throw found its way to Randry on the left hand side of the area and the referee awarded a penalty when he was brought down. After a lengthy delay Salva Ballesta stepped up to hit the perfect penalty and make the score 1-1.

Unfortunately, Lorca went in front almost immediately. Juan Cruz made an excellent save from a fierce drive but Alvaro followed up to blast the rebound into the net. On 81 minutes a Salva free kick was headed goalwards by Nacho and although the Lorca keeper fumbled the ball he managed to scramble it away to safety.

With Mazarron virtually camped in the Lorca half the visitors broke away to score a controversial third goal in the 89th minute. Salva Ballesta was lying injured just outside the Lorca area but Lorca played the ball up field and Inigo made no mistake giving Juan Cruz no chance.

It was a much better performance by Mazarron who did not deserve to lose, especially as they were without two key players and lost Basi and Borja through injury in the second half. Another worrying sight was that Salva Ballesta seemed to have picked up a recurrence of his recent knee injury in the closing minutes and with another game on Tuesday the strength of the squad will be severely tested.

Team: Juan Cruz; Josema; Gato; Adrian Campoy; Alberto (Heredia); Andreo; Basi (Randry); Nacho; Borja (Jaime); Diego; Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match: Adrian Campoy

FC LA UNION ATLETICO 2 - MAZARRON FC 1  (10.3.2019)

The natives are getting very restless at Mazarron FC after another defeat against a team struggling against relegation.

Mazarron started in a more attacking mood with Basi, Jose Da and Randry supporting Borja up front. Xavi picked up an early injury and was replaced by Heredia after 12 minutes and play was disrupted by a series of fouls and injuries.

The home team lost Juan Carlos with a shoulder injury after 17 minutes before Mazarron had an excellent move down the right wing. Heredia's pass found Basi who beat three men before being tripped inside the area. He managed to keep his feet and squared the ball back to Borja whose was shot was blocked and Randry's follow-up effort was bravely saved by the home keeper.

Following more good work by Basi, Jose Da shot over the bar from 25 yards as Mazarron played better football than they had played in recent weeks. Randry made a good run down the left and his fierce cross shot was well saved. However, La Union came more into the game and Juan Cruz was forced to turn a free kick from the left over the bar in the swirling wind.

On 38 minutes La Union broke down the right and a cross to the far post was headed just wide. The home team took the lead on the stroke of half time when Juan Cruz could only parry a shot from outside the penalty area and Juan Miguel forced the ball home.

Early in the second half Borja played the ball into the path of Basi whose shot was just wide of the far post. Diego came on for Gato in the 55th minute and four minutes later Juan Cruz had to be alert to catch a fierce 25 yard drive. The Mazarron keeper then made a superb save at point blank range following a cross from the left wing.

Randry wasted a free kick for Mazarron, shooting well over the bar as Mazarron again struggled to keep possession of the ball against a team who had lost its previous five games. Alberto was beaten for pace in the 70th minute but Juan Cruz again saved the day racing out of his area to kick clear. A minute later Borja and Diego combined well and Basi raced clear to fire the ball into the far corner of the net for an equaliser.

If Mazarron supporters expected this to revitalise the team they were disappointed. Manager Juanjo incurred their displeasure when he replaced Jose Da with Salva Ballesta, a decision which was greeted with a chorus of boos.

To complete another day of misery for the supporters, Francisco Jose broke clear in the 88th minute and slotted the ball past the advancing Juan Cruz to seal the points for La Union. With hopes of a play-off position now gone, Mazarron must be grateful that they had such a good start to the season and questions must be asked as to why standards have fallen so low in recent weeks.

Mazarron once again had excellent support, the best in the league, and the fans deserve much better.

Team: Juan Cruz; Nacho; Gato (Diego); Adrian Campoy; Alberto; Andreo; Basi; Xavi (Heredia); Borja; Jose Da (Salva Ballesta); Randry.

Man of the Match: Basi

CD CIEZA 2 - MAZARRON FC 0  (3.3.2019)

Mazarron's dreadful record against teams toward the bottom of the league continued with another abject performance against CD Cieza.

After the problems at the fixture in Mazarron earlier in the season only a handful of Mazarron supporters made the trip to Cieza and were greeted by a total overkill in the presence of the Guardia Civil with around 30 officers in attendance.

Mazarron have scored only five goals in their last seven games and it is easy to see why. Manager Juanjo continued with his negative formation which, in theory is 4-3-3 but in practice is 4-5-1 with a lone striker up front with little or no support against a team third bottom in the league. It does not work, it is not pretty to watch and is best described as "win the ball and kick it as far upfield as you can". The players cannot enjoy playing this way and the spectators certainly do not enjoy watching it.

Jose Da and Basi combined well early on but Basi passed the ball back across the goal when a shot seemed the better option. Antonio Pena had to punch clear a dangerous corner from Cieza after 7 minutes. Then Cieza's giant striker Ruben had a shot deflected into Pena's hands. At the other end Andreo shot well over the bar from 25 yards and Gato also fired well over when Jose Da's left wing corner was only half cleared to him.

A Cieza free kick on the left was cleared by Jose Da before Basi's pass found Andreo just inside the penalty area but he was penalised for a push on a Cieza defender before he could shoot. Then just before half time a free kick by Xavi found Andreo in space on the left but he took too long on the ball and his cross was easily held by the Cieza keeper as the first half ended without a Mazarron shot on target.

After a quiet opening ten minutes in the second half Xavi was fouled just outside the penalty area but Jose Da's free kick sailed hopelessly wide of the far post. On 58 minutes a Cieza free kick was headed over the bar by Ruben before Borja replaced Heredia. Mazarron finally created a decent opportunity when Andreo headed the ball down to Basi but he shot wide.

Cieza took the lead on 61 minutes after a rush of blood by Antonio Pena. He raced to the edge of the penalty area near the goal line and was adjudged to have brought down Ruben although there was no immediate danger. Jesus placed the resulting spot kick into the corner of the net giving Pena no chance.

Mazarron's best chance came a minute later when Gato's cross was met by Jose Da but he sliced the ball well wide of the target. It was 70 minutes before Mazarron managed their first and only effort on target when Xavi's free kick found Jose Da whose shot was easily saved.

Cieza made the game safe in injury time with a breakaway which saw Javier racing clear and steering the ball under Antonio Pena into the empty net to complete a miserable afternoon for Mazarron.

Mazarron have now dropped eleven points in away games against teams struggling to avoid relegation and any hopes of a play-off position are now surely gone.

Team: Antonio Pena; Josema; Gato; Adrian Campoy; Alberto (Chino); Nacho; Jose Da; Xavi; Basi; Heredia (Borja); Andreo (Diego).

Man of the Match: Xavi.

MAR MENOR CF 0 - MAZARRON FC 1  (24.2.2019)

A much improved second half performance saw Mazarron gain an excellent win over highly placed Mar Menor.

The home team started on the front foot and a right wing free kick was headed wide after just six minutes. On 13 minutes another free kick saw a shot at the far post blocked by Randry who diverted the ball for a corner. With the referee seeming to punish every Mazarron tackle another Mar Menor free kick from the right sailed wide of the target.

Mazarron's first attack saw a free kick by Xavi headed tamely wide by Randry and Mazarron were again struggling to string two passes together and relying on long clearances out of defence. It was 43 minutes before Mazarron forced their first corner which came to nothing as the half came to an end after another disappointing performance by the visitors.

Whatever Manager Juanjo said to the players at half time worked because Mazarron were a different team after the interval. The midfield and defence closed the Mar Menor players down at every opportunity and Jose Da and Randry pushed further forward to support the hard working Basi up front.

On 55 minutes clever work by Jose Da in the penalty area saw Basi trying to latch on to his through ball but the Mar Menor keeper raced out of his goal to smother the shot. Then Jose Da fired a free kick over the bar before Mazarron took the lead on 61 minutes. Jose Da and Randry combined well to find Basi 12 yards from goal and he placed his shot under the diving keeper to the delight of the large band of travelling supporters.

It could have been 2-0 minutes later when a corner was half cleared to Xavi who struck a thunderous shot against the underside of the bar only to see the ball bounce down to safety.

The home team were reduced to ten men after 77 minutes when Antonio was sent off and Mazarron easily contained the attacks of the home team in the closing stages with Antonio Pena hardly troubled in the Mazarron goal.

The whole team worked hard in the second half and there were some excellent performances. Nacho and Xavi won everything in midfield and captain Adrian Campoy was again a tower of strength in the centre of defence. Jose Da and Randry worked well in support of Basi who deservedly won the Man of the Match award.

Both teams received five yellow cards in addition to the sending off. Mazarron stay in tenth place in the league but closed the gap on a number of teams above them and are only five points away from a play-off position.

Team: Antonio Pena; Josema; Gato; Adrian Campoy; Alberto; Nacho; Jose Da; Xavi; Basi (Jaime); Heredia (Diego); Randry (Chino).

Man of the Match: Basi

MAZARRON FC 0 - EDMF CHURRA GESA 0  (17.2.2019)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Mazarron gained a point against second placed EDMF Churra in a poor game which livened up a little in the second period.

The first ten minutes passed without either side making any impression on the game. Then a Josema throw in was headed on by Andreo but Randry was unable to control the ball at the far post. On 14 minutes Josema's cross from the right was headed back to Jose Da who hit a fierce shot wide of the target.

A couple of long throws by Gato came to nothing before Josema made another good run down the right only to see his cross sail wide of the far post. Andreo received his customary booking after 26 minutes and will now have to serve his fifth suspension of the season. Churra had made little impact in the opening period but Andreo had to be on hand to clear two long throws.

It was 42 minutes before there was an effort on target and Juan Cruz dived to save a shot from Churra's Juan Matias. Then just before the interval Heredia found Jose Da on the right but his cross was cut out by the Churra keeper and half time came with the score 0-0.

It had been a poor first half with Mazarron again toothless up front and the game cried out for the introduction of Basi who was again surprisingly named on the substitute's bench. Churra should have scored within a minute of the restart but Jaime shot wide when well placed.

Basi was finally introduced after 62 minutes but again despatched to the right wing instead of a central striking position. Churra had another great chance three minutes later when a good move down the right ended with a cross into the middle of the goal area but the final shot missed the target when it seemed easier to score. On 71 minutes Mazarron keeper Juan Cruz made a howler when he dropped an innocuous cross at the foot of a Churra striker whose shot rebounded off the post.

A minute later Boudia replaced Borja and Basi was at last instructed to play down the middle. From then on it was nearly all Mazarron. Andreo seemed to be fouled in the penalty area but the referee waved play on and Boudia's dangerous cross was deflected for a corner. Churra were interrupting play at every opportunity, falling to the ground dramatically every time they were tackled.

On 81 minutes Jose Da broke down the right and his cross found Andreo who turned the ball just wide. Basi was causing trouble for the Churra defence and an exciting run down the left say his cross punched clear by the Churra keeper. In the end it was probably a good point for Mazarron.

Hopefully the Manager will finally have seen what Mazarron supporters have been saying for some time that Basi must be played in a central striking role. The team played far better and created more in the 17 minutes he played in this role that in the rest of the game put together.

Team: Juan Cruz; Josema; Gato; Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Andreo; Jose Da (Chino); Xavi; Borja (Boudia); Heredia (Basi); Randry.

Man of the Match: Andreo.

NV ESTUDIANTES DE MURCIA 0 - MAZARRON FC 1  (10.2.2019)

Having already struggled against teams towards the bottom of the league earlier in the season, Mazarron again found it difficult against Estudiantes who started the game next to the bottom of the league.

Mazarron had goalkeeper Juan Cruz making his debut and surprisingly left Basi on the substitutes bench even though they were without the services of Diego and Salva Ballesta, both suspended.

The first ten minutes were poor with both teams struggling to put two passes together and Mazarron in defensive mode but on 11 minutes good work by Andreo on the right saw Randry shooting wide from his excellent cross. Juan Cruz was called into action to punch out a free kick after 20 minutes but only to an Estudiantes player who shot over the bar. Two minutes later he made a good fingertip save to thwart another attack from the home team.

26 minutes had gone before the Estudiantes keeper was called in to action. A throw in was headed on by Andreo to Borja whose shot lacked power and was easily saved. Then on 30 minutes hesitation by Juan Cruz allowed the home team another effort on goal, fortunately wide of the post.

Mazarron at last strung a series of good passes together with good work by Andreo and Jose Da but the final ball caught Mazarron offside. After 38 minutes Andreo again headed on another throw, this time to Heredia, but the midfielder blasted the ball over the bar. Andreo then received his customary yellow card before the interval arrived with the game scoreless after a lacklustre first half performance by Mazarron.

The second half started with a booking for Alberto when he gave away a needless free kick. Mazarron were improving slightly and good link up play saw Jose Da find Randry who shot wide after 60 minutes. A minute later Mazarron gained their first corner of the game which was totally wasted.

Thereafter, the game reverted to type with neither team playing well and many niggling fouls continued to break up play. However, on 84 minutes Andreo won the ball and beat several players before setting up Randry who blasted the ball home to put Mazarron in the lead. Estudiantes pushed forward in search of an equaliser without really threatening the Mazarron goal until the fifth minute of injury time when a shot which seemed goalward bound rebounded off the post as the referee signalled full time.

It was another poor performance by Mazarron but, at least three points were picked up and they move up one place to ninth in the league table.

Team: Juan Cruz; Josema; Gato; Adrian Campoy; Alberto; Andreo; Jose Da (Nacho); Javi; Borja (Jaime); Heredia (Boudia); Randry

Man of the Match: Adrian Campoy

MAZARRON FC 1 - YECLANO DEPORTIVO 3  (3.2.2019)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Mazarron were well beaten by league leaders Yeclano Deportivo at the Estadio Municipal.

With a strong wind making conditions difficult it was Mazarron who took an early lead in the 7th minute. New signing Randry floated a perfect free kick to the far post where Nacho rose to head the ball firmly into the corner of the net.

On 10 minutes a Yecla free kick was easily cleared but a minute later Antonio Pena had to be alert to save when another free kick was headed goalwards. Adrian Campoy then came to the rescue with a last ditch tackle as the league leaders started to take control of the game.

Mazarron suffered a blow when Boudia was injured after 20 minutes and had to be replaced by Jose Da. The substitute tried to use the advantage of the wind after Borja was fouled but his free kick was straight at the Yecla goalkeeper. The visitors equalised after 29 minutes when a cross from the right wing was only half cleared and Iker turned the ball home.

Mazarron were making little impression on the Yecla defence, the only danger coming from the numerous free kicks which were littering the game. Borja's effort from 25 yards brought a diving save from the Yecla keeper but it was the visitors who took the lead on 37 minutes. A well worked free kick ended with Inigo firing past Antonio Pena to make the score 1-2 at half time.

The highlight of the opening minutes of the second half was an injury to the referee who had to be replaced after a 20 minute delay. Jose Da and Randry combined well on the left and Randry's cross was just cut out by the Yecla keeper as Diego challenged. The visitors were now in control of the game and Mazarron resorted to their old habit of clearing the ball downfield as far as possible. Borja was having no impact on the game up front and Basi was once again wasted out on the right.

A superb ball out of defence saw Iker running clear of Josema but he snatched his shot and drew it wide of the post. Mazarron's only real effort of the second half came on 72 minutes from a Jose Da free kick which was headed on by Diego into the arms of Miguel in the Yecla goal.

The visitors made the game safe after 77 minutes when Nacho was penalised for a tackle in the penalty area. Iker stepped up to take the spot kick and easily beat Pena for his second goal of the game.

Pena than had to be at his best to deal with a long range shot which he tipped over the bar for a corner as Yecla stamped their authority on the game playing some neat football on a bumpy pitch and in windy conditions. The game ended with two more efforts from the visitors both going just wide.

Apart from the early goal, Mazarron were never in the game and were outclassed by a Yecla team that is now nine points clear at the top of the table. Mazarron drop down to tenth in the league with hopes of a play-off place almost diminished.

Team: Antonio Pena; Josema; Gato (Chino); Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Boudia (Jose Da); Basi; Xavi; Borja; Diego (Heredia); Randry.

Man of the Match: Randry

OLIMPICO DE TOTANA 1 - MAZARRON FC 1  (27.1.2019)

A negative second half performance saw Mazarron throw away two points as they allowed ten man Totana to equalise with just 13 minutes remaining.

Mazarron started the game well with Gato sending in a dangerous cross to the far post which was just too far for the onrushing Basi and Borja. Then on 7 minutes Xavi hit a fierce left foot shot which the Totana keeper could only parry out to Salva Ballesta but he was ruled offside as he was in the act of shooting.

Two minutes later a long throw from Josema was headed on by Andreo to Borja who somehow contrived to head the ball wide from three yards out. It was 23 minutes before Totana's first attempt at goal, a free kick that was headed wide at the far post. At the other end Alberto's through ball saw Basi's shot deflected for a corner as Mazarron continued to dominate the game.

Andreo shot well wide from 35 yards but Mazarron took the lead from the penalty spot after 42 minutes. Basi made a surging run down the right and his cross was cleverly turned back by Borja into the path of Heredia who was pushed to the ground as he attempted to reach the ball. Salva Ballesta fired the spot kick into the corner of the net to give Mazarron a deserved half time lead.

A minute after the break a long throw from Gato caused havoc in the Totana defence and a defender sliced the ball over his own cross bar for a corner. Mazarron thought they had the game sewn up when their former player Miguel Centron was sent off for a second yellow card after 52 minutes but this turned out to be the turning point of the game.

Whether it was because they thought the game was theirs or whether they were playing to instructions, Mazarron sat back and allowed the ten men to come into the game for the first time. Basi was playing in the back four more that he was up front and the warning signs were there for all to see.

Both teams made substitutions and Totana's worked better than Mazarron's. Diego replaced the hard working Heredia and Chino came on for Borja who had received no support at all in the second half. On 77 minutes Chino was harshly adjudged to have committed a foul on the edge of the penalty area when he headed the ball clear. Totana's substitute Sergio hit a perfect free kick to the far post where central defender Daniel was completely unmarked as he headed firmly into the net past Antonio Pena.

Mazarron finally woke up in stoppage time but Salva Ballesta sent a free kick over the bar and then Diego latched onto a long ball only to see his attempted lob sail into the hands of the home goalkeeper.

It was the second successive 1-1 draw for Mazarron but this time it was definitely a case of two points thrown away in a game in which Antonio Pena did not have a shot to save apart from the goal. Mazarron gave a below par Totana team far too much respect and paid the ultimate price for their defensive attitude.

Team: Antonio Pena; Josema; Gato; Boudia; Alberto; Andreo; Basi; Xavi; Borja (Chino); Heredia (Diego); Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match: Salva Ballesta.

MAZARRON FC 1 - CD MINERA 1  (20.1.2019)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Another excellent second half performance saw Mazarron come back from 1-0 down to earn a draw despite having Adrian Campoy sent off.

Mazarron started well but shots from Nacho and Salva Ballesta were well off target. The visitors took the lead after 10 minutes when a right wing cross was fired into his own net by Josema who was under pressure from a Minera forward. Two minutes later Antonio Pena made a fine save to deny another Minera breakaway.

An excellent pass from Borja on the halfway line found Basi on the right only to see his cross cut out and deflected for a corner. On 25 minutes Diego threaded a ball inside the Minera full back to Salva whose cross was only half cleared. The ball fell to the feet of Basi 20 yards out and his fierce drive was cleared off the line.

Five minutes later Fernando ran clear of the Mazarron defence from the halfway line before beating two defenders and pulling his shot wide of the far post. Mazarron felt they should have had a penalty on 35 minutes when Salva appeared to be brought down but the referee showed him a yellow card for simulation. Minera were looking dangerous on the break and Adrian Campoy was harshly booked when he raced over to the left and won the ball with a sliding tackle only to see the referee award a free kick against him.

If Minera had the better of the first half, Mazarron came out after the interval in an attacking vein. On 49 minutes Xavi's cross to the far post was met with a superb volley by Borja which was brilliantly saved by Rafael in the Minera goal. Three minutes later Xavi was again in the action with another fine ball to Salva who hit a curling shot just wide.

It was all Mazarron now and the best move of the match came after 55 minutes. Basi threaded the ball down the right to Diego whose cross was met with a spectacular overhead kick by Borja but Rafael again made a superb save to deny the veteran striker. The pressure continued when a Salva free kick was punched clear by Rafael to Xavi but his shot from 20 yards was unfortunately straight at the keeper.

Andreo who had battled tirelessly in midfield was surprisingly substituted after 58 minutes with Jose Da replacing him. Heredia then came on in place of Alberto as Mazarron continued to push forward in search of an equaliser. After 73 minutes a free kick from Jose Da was pushed out towards the corner flag by Rafael and, in the ensuing scramble Adrian Campoy was given a second yellow card for a late tackle.

However, the ten men were rewarded just four minutes later. Another dangerous Jose Da free kick was only half cleared to Diego whose shot from just outside the penalty area somehow found its way through a sea of players into the net.

On 83 minutes Antonio Pena had to be alert to save a shot from the dangerous Daniel who had eluded his marker on the edge of the penalty area but it was Mazarron who seemed more likely to score again. Heredia was unlucky when his strike from fully 35 yards went straight into the hands of the grateful Rafael and substitute Boudia joined the attack to shoot over the bar in injury time.

It was a great second half performance by Mazarron and certainly a case of a point gained rather than two lost as three of the top four teams all lost. This means that despite dropping two places to ninth, Mazarron are now only four points from a playoff position.

The downside is that, in addition to Adrian Campoy, Mazarron will be without both Jose Da and Nacho through suspension for next week's local derby away to Olimpico de Totana.

Team: Antonio Pena; Josema; Nacho; Adrian Campoy; Alberto (Heredia); Andreo (Jose Da); Basi; Xavi; Borja; Diego (Boudia); Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match: Diego

HUERCAL-OVERA CF 2 - MAZARRON FC 4  (13.1.2019)

Mazarron FC showed great strength of character to overcome a two goal deficit and gain their second successive away win in Almeria after the previous week's 2-0 win at Atletico Pulpileno.

Mazarron had striker Borja making his first full appearance of the season and he was soon in action after 5 minutes with a clever lay off to Salva Ballesta whose shot was turned away for a Mazarron corner. However, the home team took the lead just three minutes later when the referee awarded a controversial penalty for handball against Josema. Tomas Martinez struck the spot kick firmly into the corner of the net giving Pena no chance.

It is hoped that the referee Victor Garcia Acosta, well known to Mazarron supporters for his poor handling of games, watches a replay of the incident on the video. Perhaps he can then explain how he gave the penalty.

On 14 minutes Alberto did well to clear a dangerous Huercal-Overa free kick and at the other end a Basi shot was deflected for a corner with Mazarron players appealing in vain for a handball. Xavi was booked for an innocuous sliding tackle before Huercal-Overa increased their lead after 23 minutes. Following a poor clearance out of defence by Mazarron, the ball was played back down the right and the cross was met by Alejandro Martinez who turned his marker and fired into the far corner for an excellent goal.

Mazarron quickly dusted themselves down and a Salva Ballesta cross was turned goalwards by Andreo only to see the ball cleared off the line. On 28 minutes Andreo was charged to the ground on the edge of the penalty area but the referee waved play on. Salva Ballesta was causing problems for the home defence down the left hand side and another dangerous cross saw Basi mishit his shot which was cleared.

Mazarron were now well on top and it was no surprise when they pulled a goal back after 32 minutes. A right wing corner by Xavi was cleared to the edge of the penalty area where Salva Ballesta hit a fierce drive into the back of the net. Two minutes later Huercal-Overa had a goal disallowed for offside but nearly all the play was at the other end and Mazarron deservedly equalised after 43 minutes. Salva Ballesta again provided the perfect cross for Borja to run it at the fat post and steer the ball home.

A minute later Salva Ballesta had another shot well saved with Borja lying on the ground after an off the ball challenge in the six yard box, again strangely unseen by the referee.

Jose Da replaced Boudia at the start of the second half and was soon in the action with a free kick which was half cleared for Andreo to hit a shot just wide of the post. Andreo was again in the action when his cross shot from Gato's throw found Salva Ballesta whose effort was turned around the post for a corner.

It was all Mazarron who were going forward at every opportunity. Basi was denied another opportunity at the far post with a late tackle which went unpunished despite Mazarron's appeals. Then, on 65 minutes the referee made another extraordinary decision when Alberto won a header despite being climbed upon by a Huercal-Overa player yet the match official gave a free kick to the home team.

Superb work by Basi on the right after 78 minutes saw his cross volleyed first time by Borja only to see his effort brilliantly saved and substitute Diego's shot from the rebound was well wide. Heredia replaced Borja a minute later and the 35 year old could be well satisfied with his first full appearance.

Just as the large contingent of away supporters were seemingly happy to settle for a draw, Mazarron scored two superb goals in the closing minutes to seal a memorable win. First clever interplay between Jose Da and Diego saw Basi laying the ball into the path of the overlapping Josema and his shot screamed into the far corner. Just one minute later substitute Heredia cut in from the left and his cross found Jose Da a few yards out and he had the simple task of tapping the ball into an empty net.

It had been a scintillating second half display by Mazarron and a welcome return to the form shown earlier in the season. The final whistle was greeted with delight by the players, staff and supporters of Mazarron who also let the referee know what they thought about his performance.

The result takes Mazarron up to seventh in the league with a home game against CD Minera next weekend. Team: Pena; Josema; Gato; Alberto; Nacho: Boudia (Jose Da); Basi; Xavi (Diego); Borja (Heredia); Andreo; Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match: Borja

CLUB ATLETICO PULPILENO 0 - MAZARRON FC 2  (5.1.2019)

Mazarron returned to winning ways with an excellent 2-0 away victory against Club Atletico Pulpileno who were unbeaten in their previous eight games.

As they took their seats in the very impressive stadium, Mazarron supporters were delighted to see that goalkeeper Antonio Pena had recovered from the head injury he received in the home game against Lorca Deportiva.

Mazarron began on the offensive with a Salva Ballesta free kick just too far for Andreo to reach at the far post and then another free kick from Xavi saw Boudia blaze the ball wildly over the bar. However, the home team soon got into their stride and a dangerous cross from the right was just scrambled clear before Xavi had to be alert to block a shot from Jay Spires one of three English born players in the Pulpileno squad.

On 15 minutes another of their English contingent Lewis Allen hit a left foot shot from just outside the penalty area wide of the far post. At this stage the home team were in control of the game with Mazarron resorting to long ball clearances out of defence to clear their lines.

After 26 minutes Mazarron forced a corner when one such long ball found Basi racing clear on the right but he was tackled as he was about to shoot at the expense of a corner. Salva Ballesta's flag kick was met by Adrian Campoy at the far post and he sent a looping header over the Pulpi keeper and into the roof of the net to give the visitors the lead.

It could have been 2-0 three minutes later when following another Salva corner a goalmouth scramble saw two Mazarron shots blocked. On 34 minutes Pena had to be alert to keep out a header from a right wing corner before both Jose Da and Adrian Campoy were booked in the space of two minutes. Then, on the stroke of half time, Antonio Pena made the save of the match diving to his left to turn away a strike from outside the penalty area to preserve Mazarron's slender lead.

The first effort of the second period fell to Mazarron as Andreo controlled a free kick with his chest and swivelled to hit a fierce shot on the volley just wide of the post. Boudia was booked on 51 minutes and Pulpi came close to scoring after 53 minutes when a right wing cross was headed against the crossbar by their tall centre forward Oscar Garcia. Manager Juanjo wisely substituted Boudia a few minutes later to prevent him receiving a second yellow card in the expected absence of Adrian Campoy through suspension in the next game.

Diego replaced Boudia and began to cause problems for the Pulpi defence who had to resort to some rough tactics to stop him. Alberto and Nacho defended well to clear the ball after a goalmouth scramble following a Pulpi corner but Mazarron began to control the game with Andreo terrier-like in his midfield role. Habib replaced Jose Da after 66 minutes and Salva Ballesta hit a free kick well over the bar after 72 minutes.

A few minutes later Habib received the ball just inside the Pulpi half and ran on to place the ball neatly into the net but the referee's whistle had already been blown for offside. Andreo received his customary yellow card on 79 minutes after an over-enthusiastic challenge and Chino replaced the hardworking Basi with nine minutes remaining.

With two minutes left Habib showed his strength by shrugging off three defenders near the right touchline before passing the ball perfectly into the path of Salva Ballesta who ran on to hit the ball past the onrushing keeper into the corner of the net to send the Mazarron players, officials and supporters wild with delight.

It was a much better performance by Mazarron against a strong Pulpileno team and an excellent start to the New Year.

Team: Antonio Pena; Nacho; Gato; Adrian Campoy; Alberto; Boudia (Diego); Basi (Chino); Xavi; Andreo; Jose Da (Habib); Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match; Antonio Pena

MAZARRON FC 2 - CF LORCA DEPORTIVA 5  (23.12.2018)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

A first half injury to Mazarron's outstanding goalkeeper Antonio Pena turned this game around as they continued their downward spiral in the league.

Pena made a good save to collect a right wing cross shot in the sixth minute and at the other end a free kick by Salva Ballesta was headed into the Lorca keeper's hands by Nacho as both sides strove for early supremacy. The home team took the lead in the 18th minute when Basi latched on to an excellent pass down the right wing, cut inside and cleverly chipped the ball over the onrushing keeper into the back of the net.

It was an even game at this stage with few chances but Lorca had a header from a right wing cross well over the bar on 31 minutes. Pena was injured on 37 minutes when he bravely dived at the feet of Lorca's Ali Diakite to save at point blank range and received a kick on the head for his pains. He was treated on the field for several minutes and recovered sufficiently to walk assisted off the pitch before being replaced by Juvenile goalkeeper David. Ali Diakite received only a yellow card for this violent challenge. If the referee saw it as a foul, which he did, he should have sent him off.

Mazarron's defence managed to protect the young keeper and their 1-0 lead for the remaining few minutes before half time.

The referee Ignacio Alcaraz Bernal was doing his best to ruin what had been a decent game. He blew for free kicks very time a Mazarron player challenged for the ball, yet allowed worse challenges from Lorca players to go unpunished. Mazarron came out with the intention of trying to defend their narrow lead and young David saved a shot from outside the area at the second attempt in the 51st minute. It was all Lorca now as Mazarron got as many men as possible behind the ball.

The inevitable equaliser came after 65 minutes when Adrian struck a left foot shot from the edge of the box into the corner of the net giving David no chance. On 71 minutes a right wing free kick found Mansour unmarked and he turned the ball past David from close range.

A minute later David punched away a dangerous cross and he then made a diving save to keep out another shot from just outside the penalty area. However. Lorca increased their lead in fortuitous fashion after 76 minutes when Gato's clearance rebounded off Adrian into the net.

Two minutes later, in a rare attack, excellent work by Diego down the left saw his cross headed firmly into the roof of the net by substitute Boudia to give Mazarron some hope. Unfortunately, Josema was sent off after 84 minutes after receiving a second yellow card and two more Lorca goals followed in the 87th and 89th minutes from Andres and Mansour to complete a miserable day for Mazarron.

Five other Mazarron players were booked but only one from Lorca. The referee's performance was diabolical.

Once again Mazarron's tactics were questionable. With strikers Habib and new signing Borja on the substitutes bench, midfielder Jose Da was assigned a central striking role with Mazarron's best striker Basi once again exiled to the right wing.

In addition the short sightedness of having only one experienced goalkeeper on the books finally caught up with Mazarron. Since Cristobal left the Club just six games into the season, he has not been replaced and Mazarron have used juvenile goalkeepers on the bench for every game since then. Hopefully Antonio Pena will have sufficient time to recover over the Christmas break but another goalkeeper must be a priority. It was sad to see young David leave the field in tears, he did his best and should not have been placed in that situation.

One point from the last four games should be a massive wake up call. A team challenging for promotion a few weeks ago is now looking over its shoulders at the relegation places, just nine points away.

Team: Antonio Pena (David); Josema; Gato; Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Andreo (Borja); Basi; Heredia (Boudia); Jose Da; Diego; Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match: Andreo.

FC CARTAGENA "B" 4 - MAZARRON FC 1  (16.12.2018)

Mazarron's season continues to deteriorate after an embarrassing 4-1 away defeat at Cartagena, who started the game 17th in the league, saw them slip further down the league table to ninth.

After a quiet start the first chance of the game fell to Cartagena when a right wing corner was headed straight into the grateful hands of Antonio Pena. On 14 minutes a fierce left foot shot was just wide of Mazarron's goal and at the other end Mazarron's first attack saw Basi and Habib combine well only to see Habib's cross blocked.

It was the home team who continued to dominate and Pena had to make a smart diving save after 17 minutes before a dangerous left wing cross was headed against Mazarron's post. Mazarron's first shot on target came after 23 minutes when Salva Ballesta's shot from the edge of the area was comfortably saved.

On 32 minutes a dreadful free kick from Xavi went straight to a Cartagena player and the ball was transferred quickly upfield but, fortunately for Mazarron, the final shot was well over the bar. Despite being second best for much of the time, Mazarron should have taken the lead two minutes later. Basi broke down the right and cut inside before playing a perfect ball into the path of Habib who missed his kick completely in front of goal and the chance was lost.

Cartagena took the lead after 37 minutes when the referee awarded a penalty for a tackle by Gato on the edge of the penalty area which saw a Cartagena player fall inside the box. Mario Solano made no mistake from the spot despite Pena's despairing dive. Mazarron continued to waste dead ball situations with Salva this time the culprit with a free kick which sailed harmlessly into the Cartagena keepers' arms.

Mazarron equalised totally against the run of play in the 44th minute when a Cartagena defender was adjudged to have handled the ball to break up a move between Habib and Basi and Salva made no mistake from the penalty kick.

Cartagena opened the second half on the front foot with a fierce shot from the edge of the penalty area which hit the post and rebounded to safety. Mazarron replied with a Basi header which was saved but they were once again struggling to string two passes together and could not keep possession of the ball.

Time after time they were content to clear their lines with aimless long balls down the middle from defenders and goalkeeper Pena which only resulted in the opposition regaining immediate possession of the ball. Diego replaced Xavi after 64 minutes and at least showed that he could pass the ball in the short time he was on the field. Mazaron had a rare half chance on 65 minutes when Boudia headed the ball to Basi but his shot was too weak and easily saved. A minute later things went from bad to worse for Mazarron as a routine left wing cross saw two Mazarron defenders miss their kicks completely and the ball fell to Jose Antonio who made no mistake from close range.

Jose Da replaced right back Josema but Mario Solano scored his second and Cartagena's third goal after 73 minutes when a long ball out of defence caught the Mazarron defence hopelessly flat-footed and he shot into the far corner of the net.

Mazarron then brought on Chino for Gato meaning that both full backs had been replaced as they went in search of a second goal but apart from a shot from Basi which went wide and a Habib effort which was blocked they offered very little. It was Cartagena who scored again in the 84th minute when what seemed an innocuous left wing cross found its way into the far corner of the net to complete a miserable day for Mazarron.

The players and the manager seem to have lost their way with only two wins in the last nine games. The style of football is totally different to what we saw in the early part of the season and is not pretty to watch. Apart from Dani Barrelis who has left the club the players are the same but there is no apparent game plan and things need to improve quickly.

Team: Antonio Pena; Josema (Jose Da); Gato (Chino); Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Boudia; Basi; Xavi (Diego); Habib; Heredia; Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match; Heredia.

MAZARRON FC 0 - AGUILAS FC 0  (9.12.2018)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Mazarron and Aguilas played out a hard fought draw at the Estadio Municipal Pedro Mendez Mendez.

Mazarron started the game brightly and Diego and Habib combined well on the left before Diego's cross was cut out. Then an excellent free kick from Xavi saw Salva Ballesta putting in a dangerous cross but the flag had gone up for offside.

On 16 minutes, Basi had a shot saved while at the other end an Aguilas corner led to a shot going wide from close range. Zurdo had picked up an injury after a clash with his own keeper and an Aguilas forward and was replaced by Gato after 20 minutes. On 23 minutes a Salva Ballesta free kick was headed over the bar by Nacho and a few minutes later Salva's attempt to chip the visiting keeper from 20 yards was saved.

The visitors had a half chance after 32 minutes when a left wing cross was headed straight at Pena in the Mazarron goal who then raced off his line to clear the ball but missed his kick completely. Fortunately his fellow defenders were on hand to scramble the ball clear and an even first half ended goalless.

A good move down the right at the start of the second period saw Basi and Josema combining well only to see Salva blast the cross over the bar. Then Xavi gave away a needless free kick near the right touchline. The free kick was headed on and hit the far post only to rebound into the grateful arms of Antonio Pena. He quickly transferred the ball to the other end of the field and Diego appeared to be pushed off the ball in the penalty area. To his astonishment the referee waved away Mazarron's appeals for a penalty and booked him for diving.

Basi was on the end of a couple of crunching tackles which went unpunished before Antonio received his usual yellow card for what seemed an innocuous challenge, Mazarron continued to dominate the game and Salva's corner was headed just over by Adrian Campoy. Then on 72 minutes Andreo's pass to Basi saw the striker's shot well saved by former Mazarron goalkeeper Pablo.

A clever free kick from substitute Jose Da eluded everyone but was turned behind for a corner from which Basi had another shot saved. After 77 minutes Adrian Campoy had to dive bravely to block a fierce Aguilas shot from outside the penalty area. Substitute Chino then cut inside only to see his shot blocked. The ball fell to Basi whose effort was also blocked and finally scrambled clear by Aguilas.

In the last minute of normal time Adrian Campoy headed a left wing cross against the bar before Aguilas forced two corners in injury time, the second of which saw a shot going just wide of Pena's goalpost.

It was a better performance by Mazarron who probably deserved to get all three points on the balance of play but once again just lacked the killer instinct in front of goal.

Team: Antonio Pena; Josema; Zurdo (Gato); Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Andreo; Basi; Xavi; Habib (Chino); Diego (Jose Da); Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match: Andreo.

REAL MURCIA "B" 2 - MAZARRON FC 1  (6.12.2018)

Mazarron's poor results against teams struggling towards the bottom of the table continued with a 2-1 defeat away to Real Murcia "B".

Already without Habib and Xavi through suspension and Boudia through injury, Manager Juanjo made two other surprise omissions from the starting line up leaving out central defender Nacho and hard-working midfield Andreo. This backfired spectacularly in a dreadful first half performance which saw Mazarron completely overrun in midfield and conceding two goals, one of which was an own goal from Nacho's replacement Alberto.

Murcia started the game on the front foot causing problems down their left wing and Mazarron's right flank where Mazarron were fielding two naturally left footed players, Gato and Chino. A free kick from the left evaded everyone at the near post and was gratefully headed out for a corner. Then another incisive break down the left saw the Mazarron defence scramble the resulting cross clear.

The first goal came inevitably from another left wing cross which Adrian Campoy looked favourite to deal with but Alberto rushed in front of him to slice the ball into his own net after 12 minutes. There was little sign of Mazarron as an attacking force until a long punt from Alberto found Basi racing clear on 20 minutes but he shot just over the bar.

A minute later Murcia had the ball in the net again after another left wing move but the effort was ruled out for offside. Mazarron suffered a spate of yellow cards as they tried in vain to stem the attacking ideas of the home team. Heredia and Salva Ballesta were being overrun in the centre of midfield and the presence of Andreo was sorely missed.

Zurdo came to the rescue with an excellent tackle as Murcia threatened to break down the middle and Mazarron were once again unable to string two passes together and content to clear long balls out of defence just to relieve pressure. In a brief two minute spell Jose Da and Diego provided two half chances for Basi, the first from which he shot just wide and the second which saw the home keeper dive at his feet to smother the shot.

However, it was Murcia who increased their lead five minutes before half time when the Mazarron defence only half cleared a free kick and the ball was played out to the left where Victor, looking suspiciously offside stroked the ball into the far corner.

Surprisingly, Mazarron made no changes at the start of the second half but had Jose Da playing in a deeper midfield role. His free kick was headed wide by Alberto on 49 minutes. Two minutes later Nacho came on in place of Chino to strengthen the midfield. However, there was no immediate improvement as the visitors continued to hit long balls down the middle straight to an opposing player.

On one of the rare occasions when the long ball did find a Mazarron player, Basi controlled Gato's pass and, seeing the keeper off his line, tried to lob the ball over him but, unfortunately, the effort went straight into his grateful hands.

Pena made a good save on the hour when he tipped a header from a left wing cross over the bar before young striker Jaime came on to replace Gato as Mazarron at last signalled their intentions to push forward.

Jaime made an immediate impact when he cut inside and fed Diego whose 20 yard effort was well saved. Mazarron started to try to play the ball on the ground but kept giving it away, hardly able to pass more than 5 yards except to an opponent. On 73 minutes Pena raced off his line to thwart another Murcia attack.

Mazarron pulled a goal back out of the blue on 80 minutes when Salva Ballesta's corner found Basi at the far post and he sent a looping header into the net. This signalled a late effort from Mazarron as they threw men forward in search of an equaliser which they hardly deserved. Salva Ballesta's shot was saved at the near post and Jose Da produced a diving save from the Murcia keeper from Salva's corner.

However, the home team almost made it 3-1 in the last minute of time added on and were only foiled by an excellent diving save by Antonio Pena. After Sunday's impressive display in the win against Muleno, it was a poor performance by Mazarron which saw them slip to eighth in the league and saw Real Murcia move out of the relegation places.

Despite the defeat, Mazarron are still only three points off a play-off place and have an important six pointer game at home to Aguilas on Sunday, kick off 6 pm.

Team: Antonio Pena; Gato (Jaime); Zurdo; Adrian Campoy; Alberto (Josema); Diego; Chino (Nacho); Heredia; Basi; Jose Da; Salva Ballesta.

Man of the match Antonio Pena.

MAZARRON FC 3 - MULENO CF 2  (2.12.2018)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Mazarron earned three valuable points in a five goal thriller and the only surprise is that there were not more goals as both teams put on a display of excellent attacking football.

Mazarron should have taken the lead in the third minute when a left wing cross saw a goalmouth scramble and the ball landed at Diego's feet. Unfortunately he shot wide when it seemed easier to score. Habib and Diego were working well together down the left and Habib had a shot blocked after a surging run from the halfway line. Then a good ball from Campoy found Habib racing clear but he slipped as he turned inside and the chance was lost.

Habib couldn't be kept out of the action and he received an unfortunate yellow card when he tried an overhead kick after Basi sliced his shot across the goalmouth. Salva Ballesta had a couple of half chances as Mazarron continued to press forward before the home team deservedly took the lead on 26 minutes when a left wing cross was superbly headed home by Basi.

On 29 minutes a Muleno free kick sailed harmlessly over the bar and at the other end a Salva free kick was headed well over by Adrian Campoy. Then Antonio Pena preserved Mazarron's lead with a brilliant diving save to keep out a Muleno free kick. There were half chances at both ends as an exciting first half came to an end with Mazarron holding a narrow lead.

It took just a minute for Mazarron to increase their lead after the interval when an excellent flowing move between Habib and Diego saw Salva Ballesta running on to Diego's pass to squeeze the ball in to the corner of the net with the help of a deflection from a defender.

Two minutes later Antonio Pena made another superb save to keep out a fierce shot from the edge of the penalty area and almost immediately he was in action again to turn another shot around the post for a corner. Muleno were striving desperately for a goal and it came on 54 minutes when a free kick was headed home by an unmarked Pablo with the usually reliable Mazarron defence nowhere to be seen.

Mazarron were giving needless free kicks away in dangerous positions but both teams continued to press forward in search of further goals. The Mazarron defence was sleeping again when another free kick found two Muleno players unmarked at the far post but fortunately the header was tame and Pena saved.

Muleno were fighting for every ball but it was Mazarron who almost increased their lead when substitute Jose Da robbed the Muleno left back and tried to chip the goalkeeper who was off his line but he just scrambled back to tip the ball over the bar for a corner. However in the 69th minute Jose Da scored one of the most spectacular goals of the season with a fierce free kick from almost on the touchline which screamed into the top corner of the net.

On 72 minutes Muleno had the ball in the net but the effort was ruled offside but they pulled a goal back on 79 minutes, when the ball was headed home again by Pablo after more dreadful marking by Mazarron, from another free kick.

Three minutes later Mazarron were awarded a free kick on the right after a seemingly innocuous challenge which somehow saw Habib and the Muleno's Jesus receive their second yellow cards.

There were half chances at both ends in what was a really exciting game before the over-officious referee blew the final whistle to signal three more points for Mazarron . The win moves them back up to sixth place just one point away from a play-off position.

It is just a pity that the performance of the referee should once again overshadow a great game of football for which both teams deserve great credit.

Team; Antonio Pena; Josema; Gato; Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Boudia (Andreo); Basi (Jose Da); Xavi; Habib; Diego (Heredia); Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match; Salva Ballesta.

CD ALGAR 0 - MAZARRON FC 0  (25.11.2018)

Mazarron had to settle for a point in a game against lowly CD Algar which was played in terrible conditions with a gusty wind making good football almost impossible on a bumpy artificial surface.

Algar made the first opening when Alberto had to be alert to head a dangerous right wing cross for a corner. On 11 minutes an excellent ball from goalkeeper Pena was well controlled by Salva Ballesta and his cross was just too high for the onrushing Basi and new signing Habib.

After 23 minutes Basi had the first shot on target for either side with a fierce drive from outside the penalty area which was well saved by the Algar keeper. Conditions were really difficult and Mazarron, with the wind behind them, struggled to adapt and were playing too many long balls which sailed aimlessly out of play. Algar didn't help the flow of the game with theatrical dives every time they came near a Mazarron player.

As half time approached play continued to deteriorate and Mazarron suffered a blow when Boudia was injured and was replaced by Chino after 38 minutes. Alberto had to make a last ditch tackle to break up a dangerous looking Algar attack just before the half time whistle blew.

The second half couldn't be any worse and fortunately Mazarron were able to play some decent football against the wind which had fortunately died down somewhat. Algar had the first opportunity of the half when a left wing cross sailed just wide. On the hour a corner from Salva Ballesta was headed back by Adrian Campoy into the path of Habib but the striker's shot was blocked. Then Chino made a good run down the left and his cross found Habib whose shot on the turn was deflected for a corner.

It was all Mazarron now and Zurdo's cross from the left just eluded Basi at the far post. Excellent play by substitute Diego and Basi saw Salva Ballesta's shot palmed away by the Algar keeper and almost immediately another Salva shot was deflected for a corner. Zurdo was again in the thick of the action with another cross that was punched clear and Basi shot just wide after a goalmouth scramble following a corner.

Try as they did, Mazarron just could not find the finishing touch for the goal which would have given them a win which their second half performance just about deserved. The result saw Mazarron drop to seventh in the league just two points off a play off place.

They return to action at home next week for the first time since 31st October when they entertain Muleno CF.

Team; Antonio Pena; Alberto; Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Zurdo; Boudia (Chino); Jose Da (Diego); Xavi; Basi; Salva Ballesta; Habib.

Man of the Match; Zurdo.

CAP CIUDAD DE MURCIA 1 - MAZARRON FC 0  (18.11.2018)

Mazarron dropped to fourth in the league table after a 1-0 defeat away to last year's Preferente Autonomica champions CAP Ciudad de Murcia.

Mazarron started brightly and Jose Da's clever pass to Diego was just cut out by the home goalkeeper. At the other end a long range shot from Murcia sailed well over the crossbar. Mazarron were showing good approach work but both Basi and Salva Ballesta overhit crosses when in promising situations. Then Salva fired in a fierce cross shot when he might have been better advised to play the ball to Diego and Basi who were waiting in the middle.

The home team were looking good on the break and Adrian Campoy came to the rescue with an excellent last ditch tackle to break up a dangerous move. The play was flowing from end to end now and the deadlock was broken on 35 minutes when Francisco gave Murcia the lead with a superb left foot strike from just outside the penalty area giving Antonio Pena no chance in the Mazarron goal. It was the first shot on target from either side.

Five minutes later a mistake by Xavi saw the home team racing clear but Pena came off his line to make a diving save with his feet. Mazarron had enjoyed plenty of possession without creating any chances and the half ended 1-0 in favour of the home team.

Mazarron's first shot on target came within a minute of the restart but Jose Da's tame free kick was easily saved. A free kick from Xavi was then headed harmlessly by Adrian Campoy in to the keeper's hands.

Mazarron were guilty of giving the ball away in midfield and again relied too much on the long ball with aimless clearances out of defence towards the lone figure of Basi. Nacho came to the rescue with a brilliant tackle before new signing Habib replaced Diego after 57 minutes. Two minutes later Xavi was caught in possession but fortunately the resulting shot was fired over the bar.

Boudia replaced Xavi in midfield as Mazarron pressed forward in search of an equaliser. On 75 minutes Salva's free kick was headed goalwards by Adrian Campoy and Murcia just managed to force the ball away for a corner in the ensuing scramble. In a last throw of the dice Heredia replaced Gato before Andreo was booked in the 80th minute.

Three minutes later Jose Da's free kick found Adrian Campoy whose header was well saved and Habib's follow up shot was blocked for a corner. Then on 86 minutes Andreo's dreadful disciplinary record continued when he was sent off for a second yellow card, his tenth yellow to go with one red in just 12 appearances.

Even with ten men Mazarron went in search of an elusive goal. Zurdo popped up on the left of the penalty area but his final cross eluded everyone. Then Basi shot just wide and the game ended with Mazarron's final corner of the came for which Antonio Pena raced upfield to join the attack which again came to nothing.

Team: Antonio Pena; Gato (Heredia); Zurdo; Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Andreo; Basi; Xavi (Boudia); Diego (Habib); Jose Da; Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match: Salva Ballesta.

MAZARRON FC 2 - U D LOS GARRES 0  (11.11.2018)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Mazarron's remarkable first season back in the Tercera Division continued with a 2-0 win against a strong UD Los Garres team.

Los Garres began the game well and hit the post with a shot from just outside the box after 6 minutes but the offside flag had already been raised when the ball was cleared. Neither side made much impression in the first twenty minutes although Jose Carlos, Los Garres' number, 9 was causing problems for the Mazarron defence with his skill and pace.

Mazarron's first dangerous move came when a superb pass from Xavi saw Salva Ballesta cut inside before he was tackled in the act of shooting and Mazarron's appeals for a penalty were denied by the referee.

On 25 minutes Los Garres had a half-chance but a cross from the left was headed well over the bar. It was a poor game at this point with Basi again often isolated up front for Mazarron who were relying on quick breaks out of defence. Then, five minutes before the interval Diego found Salva Ballesta on the right and his fierce cross shot was cut out by the visiting keeper.

Mazarron almost took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Salva's pin-point free kick was headed just wide by captain Adrian Campoy.

The second half started with Mazarron giving more support to Basi up front. The home team appealed for a penalty for hand ball but the referee awarded the free kick on the edge of the penalty area. Salva Ballesta attempted to curl the ball around the defensive wall but his effort was just wide of the target.

Basi and Salva were now combining well for Mazarron and a corner from Salva was scrambled off the line. Jose Da and Boudia entered the fray in place of the hard-working Andreo and Heredia and the impact was immediate. Basi latched onto a superb through ball after 63 minutes and hammered his shot into the roof of the net to the delight of the many supporters who had made the short journey to Lorca for this "home" game.

Jose Carlos continued to cause problems for Mazarron with an excellent run down the left. Unfortunately for the visitors his perfect cross was blazed over the crossbar from 12 yards. Five minutes later he himself was guilty of a bad miss when he headed a right wing cross wide of the post.

Mazarron made the game safe on 76 minutes with a goal which came out of nothing. A midfield tussle saw the ball land at Basi's feet with his back to goal and the striker turned and unleashed another superb shot just inside the post leaving the Los Garres keeper with no chance.

The visitors were denied a goal in the last minute when Mazarron's dependable keeper Antonio Pena made an excellent save diving to his right to keep out a header that was destined for the corner of the net.

After a very disappointing first half performance, Mazarron got their act together after the break and just about deserved the victory that takes them back up into the play-off positions in third place. The players, who now train four times a week, are as fit as any Mazarron team in the last few years, and as they continue to grow in confidence, who knows what the future may hold.

Team; Antonio Pena; Gato; Zurdo; Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Andreo (Boudia); Basi; Xavi; Diego; Heredia (Jose Da); Salva Ballesta (Chino).

Man of the Match: Basi

SFC MINERVA 1 - MAZARRON FC 1  (4.11.2018)

Mazarron were without five players through suspension but managed to earn a point in a disappointing 1-1 draw at SFC Minerva.

Minerva started the game like a house on fire, earning four corners in the first five minutes but all were well defended by Mazarron's makeshift defence which included Alberto at right back and Boudia at centre half. Then Minerva broke down the right and a cross was met with a first time shot which Antonio Pena saved at point blank range.

It was 13 minutes before Mazarron were able to launch their first attack. Andreo's pass found Diego who cut inside before hitting a right foot shot which was tipped around the post by the Minerva keeper. Minerva continued to press forward and forced another corner which was again easily dealt with.

Then on 21 minutes Mazarron were awarded a rare free kick and Salva Ballesta's pin point cross was met by Alberto who sent a looping header into the corner of the net to give Mazarron the lead. Almost immediately, a goalmouth scramble saw Alberto nearly grab his second goal but he just failed to turn the ball home.

Mazarron were now on top and Salva Ballesta had another free kick deflected for a corner from which Adrian Campoy headed Javi's corner kick well wide. On 29 minutes a clever free kick from Xavi saw Basi chipping the ball into the middle and Adrian Campoy's header was just tipped around the post for a corner.

Minerva's best effort of the first half came when a long range effort saw the ball rebounding off the post with Antonio Pena struggling to make his ground. The Mazarron keeper then raced off his line to save with his feet and break up another dangerous Minerva attack and maintain Mazarron's 1-0 lead at the interval.

Mazarron started the second half well with Basi and Chino combining to force a corner but Mazarron's cause was weakened after 52 minutes when the industrious Andreo was forced to leave the field with an injury. Even so Chino made a splendid break down the right before cutting inside and hitting a left foot shot towards the far post where Diego was just unable to turn the ball home.

Thereafter, it was all Minerva as Mazarron went onto the defensive to try to secure their one goal lead. They were unable to string two passes together and gave the ball away far too often, especially from wasted kicks from goalkeeper Antonio Pena towards the lone striker Basi.

Pena made a good save on 70 minutes to keep out a downward header but he was beaten from the resulting corner when substitute Severiano outjumped him to head into the empty net for the equaliser. Mazarron almost replied immediately but Salva Ballesta's free kick was headed onto the bar by Adrian Campoy.

Pena was called into action again on 75 minutes to thwart a Minerva breakaway and, at the other end, an excellent pass by Salva Ballesta saw Basi racing clear only to see his shot blocked by the home keeper.

Mazarron continued to give the ball away and were second best to all throw ins and free kicks but produced a dangerous move on 83 minutes with Basi, Salva and Diego involved. a move which ended with shouts for a penalty for handball ignored by the referee.

With virtually the last kick of the game Salva Ballesta tried an audacious free kick from the half way line which caught the Minerva keeper off his line but, unfortunately for Mazarron and their large band of travelling supporters, hit the cross bar and went just over.

The referee was again well below the standard required but at least Mazarron only received two yellow cards this week. On the whole it was a below par performance from Mazarron but a point away from home is not to be sneezed at.

Team: Antonio Pena; Alberto; Adrian Campoy; Boudia; Gato; Andreo (Heredia); Chino (Daniel); Xavi; Basi; Diego; Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match: Adrian Campoy.

MAZARRON FC 0 - UCAM MURCIA "B" 2  (31.10.2018)   (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Mazarron's unbeaten home run came to an end when they were beaten 2-0 at home by UCAM Murcia who started the game second in the league.

Mazarron had Alberto replacing the influential captain Adrian Campoy who was suspended and started the better of the two teams. Salva Ballesta and Jose Da linked well to provide Andreo with a half-chance but his shot was blocked. Antonio Pena was called into action after 7 minutes to turn a shot from outside the penalty round the post for a corner.

As Mazarron continued to dominate a superb through ball by Heredia found Basi who despite a surging run forward was unable to get his final shot away and the danger was cleared. Against the run of play, the visitors took the lead after 13 minutes. What seemed a harmless free kick from the left was fumbled by Antonio Pena and Juan Matias gratefully tapped the ball home from two yards out.

Mazarron could have equalised minutes later when a Zurdo throw in was headed on to Basi at the near post and his clever flick rebounded back off the crossbar. Andreo then found himself in the visitor's six yard box but he turned back when a shot seemed a far better option and the chance was lost.

Antonio Pena made another diving save from a long range effort before Alberto was injured in a challenge with the UCAM goalkeeper and had to be replaced by Boudia after44 minutes and the half ended 1-0 to the visitors.

Mazarron received no yellow cards in the first period but Xavi was booked just two minutes into the second half prompting the referee to start the usual rush of second half cautions. Mazarron continued to dominate play and excellent work by Basi saw Jose Da hitting a fierce shot from outside the penalty area which was well saved.

Jose Da was booked for dissent on 56 minutes and Andreo was very harshly shown a yellow card a minute later for an excellent tackle to break up a dangerous UCAM attack. Nacho led the protests but was immediately booked for dissent and, along with Jose Da will miss Sunday's trip to SFC Minerva both having accumulated five yellow cards.

UCAM had a goal disallowed for offside after 60 minutes and a minute later Basi showed his strength and appeared to be held back in the penalty area before hitting a shot just over the bar. The referee continued to keep his cards out of his pocket and sent off the UCAM right back after 66 minutes for his second yellow card. Mazarron's assistant coach Jose Luis was sent from the bench a minute later and Zurdo was booked on 70 minutes for what seemed an innocuous challenge for a ball that was going out of play.

Andreo made a surging run down the right and crossed the ball perfectly only to see Salva Ballesta blaze his shot well over the bar. As Mazarron surged forward in search of an equaliser, Chino was sent on in place of central defender Nacho and immediately played a one-two with Andreo only to see his dangerous cross cut out.

It was all Mazarron now as UCAM Murcia used every trick in the book to break up play, feigning injury at every tackle and making three substitutions in a period of six minutes. Mazarron players vainly appealed for a handball in the penalty area on 84 minutes. A minute later more good work by Basi saw Chino racing down the right and Salva Ballesta just failed to convert his cross at the far post.

Zurdo was sent off for a second yellow card and then it was Basi again who provided Salva Ballesta with yet another chance and this time his shot rebounded to safety off the far post. A succession of corners saw the whole team encamped in the UCAM penalty area and from one of these UCAM broke away to score their second goal with virtually the last kick of the game.

It was a really impressive performance by Mazarron against a team who have not yet lost this season. Their work rate, energy and standard of play was excellent and, despite the defeat. they proved that they are more than a match for any team in this division.

Our enthusiastic coach Juanjo was shown a red card at the final whistle and will now be banned for the second time this season along with his assistant.

Team: Antonio Pena; Gato; Zurdo; Alberto (Boudia); Nacho (Chino); Andreo; Basi; Xavi (Diego); Jose Da; Heredia; Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match: Gato

Lorca FC 0 - Mazarron FC 1  (27.10.2018)

Mazarron kicked off at Lorca on a pitch that puts others in the league to shame – it is immaculate.

After 5 mins a corner taken by Xavi ended with a foul on the Lorca goallie. Apart from this incident, Lorca were dominating possession and it appeared to me that Mazarron had been set up in a defensive mode. Their first real chance on goal came after 16 mins when Salvi had a shot which needed saving by the Lorca keeper. Then another break saw Basi offside when well placed. After 20 mins Campoy was lucky to only receive a yellow card when he brought down a Lorca player running at him. The resulting free kick was put well over the bar.

Despite Lorca's dominance their first real chance on the Mazarron goal came after 27 mins, but the shot was tame and easily saved by Pena. Andreo then made a last ditch clearance for a corner which came to nothing and shortly afterwards Pena raced out to a Lorca through ball and hammered it into touch off a Lorca players toes. The half ended with Lorca again on the attack as they had been for most of the half.

A short time after the second half started saw Boudia replace Andreo (who had received a knock in the first half), for his first game of the season after his long suspension. Mazarron were having their best period of possession at this time and first Jose Da then Basi failed to test Lorca keeper when well placed. Then again after 10 mins a smart move down the left saw Basi beat his marker and a precise centre found Salvi unmarked and he had time to control the ball and from 15 yards give the Lorca keeper no chance. 1 – 0 to Mazarron.

Lorca regained the upper hand and continued to have the majority of the play. After 19 mins there was a scramble in the Mazarron 6yds box involving about 3 players from each side, after Pena failed to gather a centre. The ball pinged about but Pena eventually threw himself into the centre of the crowd to reclaim the ball. A let off for Mazarron. Shortly after this at the other end Basi had a free header, but put it over the bar – it was a good chance.

After 32 mins Pena saved superbly from point blank range, but he needn´t have bothered as Lorca were offside. Chino replaced Heredia and Jose Da was replaced by Alberto shortly afterwards. Lorca continued to come forward but as throughout the game found the Mazarron defence difficult to penetrate. As the game went into stoppage time another good move by Lorca was wasted when they were caught offside. Then another chance for Lorca was cleared for a corner. A shot from the corner was sent way over the bar by a Lorca forward just about the last action of the game.

All in all, having been set up to defend, the team carried out their duties very well and Lorca had few chances on goal. I consider that Lorca had 70% of possession, but did not do a lot with it. Mazarron I believe received 5 yellow cards and Lorca about 3 and the game was well handled by the referee.

Team: Antonio Pena; Gato; Zurdo; Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Andreo (Boudia); Basi; Xavi; Jose Da (Alberto); Heredia (Chino); Salva Ballesta.

Man of the match Antonio Pena.

MAZARRON FC 1 - FC LA UNION ATLETICO 0  (21.10.2018)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

In a game of two halves Mazarron withstood sustained second half pressure from La Union and held on to Diego's first half goal to take all three points.

With the whole of the main stand closed following the problems at the Cieza game last week the large crowd were crammed into two sides of the ground which made for a raucous atmosphere.

Chino had the first chance for Mazarron with a shot on the turn which was blocked as the home team had the better of the early exchanges. Then good work by Diego saw Chino having another half chance but again his shot was blocked. On 26 minutes a free kick from Xavi was headed wide by Adrian Campoy with Mazarron encamped in the visitors' half.

A minute later a long ball out of defence saw Dani Barrelis taking on three defenders before hitting a crisp left foot shot which was saved by the La Union keeper. Then a Jose Da corner was met at the far post by Xavi but his firm header was tipped over the bar. On 37 minutes Adrian Campoy's pass found Diego on the left and his cross was met by Chino who hit a superb left foot volley just over the bar.

Mazarron's pressure paid off a minute later when Dani Barrelis cleverly held off two defenders before threading a perfect ball through to Diego who made no mistake from 10 yards out to give Mazzarron a 1-0 lead at the interval.

The second half saw Mazarron take their foot completely off the pedal and they allowed La Union into the game. A break down the left was finally cut out by Antonio Pena in the Mazarron goal and then a left wing corner was headed over his own bar by Adrian Campoy. On 67 minutes a corner was headed just over the bar by the La Union central defender as the home supporters started to get restless.

At the other end a Jose Da free kick was just over and then a drive from substitute Salva Ballesta was deflected for a corner. Mazarron were conceding far too many free kicks as the tackling became more desperate and a succession of yellow cards were shown by the referee. La Union's last chance came in the 86th minute but the final shot was wide of the target. The game finished on a sour note for Mazarron as leading goalscorer and Man of the Match Dani Barrelis was carried off with what appeared to be a bad hamstring injury which left the home team to finish the game with 10 men.

The victory takes Mazarron up to third place in the league, a quite remarkable start to life in the higher division.

Team: Antonio Pena; Gato; Zurdo; Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Heredia; Chino (Salva Ballesta); Xavi; Dani Barrelis (Alberto); Jose Da; Diego (Adrian)

Man of the Match; Dani Barrelis

MAZARRON FC 1 - CD CIEZA 1 (14.10.2018) (MATCH PROGRAMME)

(ABANDONED AFTER 76 MINUTES)

(As a result of Cieza failing to complete the game, the match was subsequently awarded to Mazarrón by a score of 3-0.)

The problems of writing a Mazarron FC match report when watching the game via internet transmission (this time from Odense in Denmark) were never more obvious than on Sunday. The first 35 minutes of the game were missed because of lack of internet coverage and then the fracas which led to the abandonment of the game was not picked up by the camera although the aftermath certainly was.

The first surprise of the evening was the sight of the league's joint leading goalscorer Dani Barrelis on the substitutes bench for Mazarron with Chino given his first start of the season and Basi playing the role of lone striker down the middle.

According to the local media Mazarron made a good start to the game and had the better of the first 15 minutes and should have scored on 16 minutes but the shot following a corner was well wide. Cieza then came more into the game and had three decent chances to take the lead, two from headers and one from a shot from outside the penalty area. The visitors took the lead a minute before half time when Jesus Moreno latched on to as through ball and lobbed the ball over the advancing Antonio Pena and into the empty net.

Mazarron introduced Dani Barrelis after the interval and started the second half on the front foot. Unfortunately, as has happened too often in recent weeks, they wasted two free kicks in dangerous positions, the first from Salva Ballesta and the second from Xavi. Then on 53 minutes a corner from Salva was headed just wide by captain Adrian Campoy.

Mazarron were now in control of the game and a free kick from substitute Jose Da went close. Cieza were adopting the usual tactic of falling to the ground dramatically after every tackle but in the 72nd minute Mazarron appealed in vain for a penalty when Dani Barrellis appeared to be fouled in the area. In the scramble that followed, Diego's header was saved by the visiting keeper.

A rare break by Cieza saw a left wing cross go well wide of the intended target and then Mazarron scored the equaliser a minute later. A long clearance by Antonio Pena eventually saw the ball land at the feet of Salva Ballesta and his left foot shot found the corner of the net.

Unfortunately, that was the last action of the game as an incident around the Cieza substitutes bench saw the visitors taking the dramatic action of leaving the field and refusing to return leaving the match officials no alternative but to abandon the game.

Team: Antonio Pena; Gato; Zurdo; Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Andreo; Basi; Xavi (Jose Da); Chino (Dani Barrelis); Diego; Salva Ballesta.

MAZARRON FC 1 - MAR MENOR CF 1 (7.10.2018)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Mazarron kept their unbeaten home record with another hard working performance against a strong Mar Menor side. The visitors were runners-up in this division last year and have not finished below fifth in the last eight seasons.

Mar Menor started on the front foot forcing two early corners and looking quick and dangerous in attack. Antonio Pena had to be alert to keep out a cross shot from the right and at the other end Basi made a strong run forward but his shot was blocked for a corner.

On 13 minutes Antonio Pena came to Mazarron's rescue, not for the first time this season, when Mar Menor broke clear and he dived at the striker's feet to clutch the ball safely. However, the visitors took the lead after 18 minutes when Nacho was penalised for handball in the area. Pena made a superb save from the spot kick but was powerless to prevent the follow up shot entering the net.

Mazarron were behind for only 12 minutes when an excellent move down the right saw Basi's cross headed into the corner of the Mar Menor net for his sixth goal of the season. Two minutes later Pena raced out of his goal but his clearance only reached a Mar Menor forward. Fortunately, his shot was well wide of the far post with the goal gaping.

On 38 minutes Pena was again called into action after a ball down the left eluded Gato and the home keeper was on hand to make another diving save. Mazarron almost took the lead on the stroke of half time when Salva Ballesta's corner was headed just over the bar by Adrian Campoy.

Mar Menor began the second half on the attack and looked dangerous on a couple of breaks down their right wing. Dani Barrelis went close for Mazarron but saw his shot blocked at the last minute. Then a superb free kick from Xavi was headed down into the path of Dani Barrelis but his fierce shot brought an excellent save from the Mar Menor keeper.

The game entered a scrappy period with neither side able to make any impression but Adrian Campoy had to be alert to divert a shot for a corner. Mazarron's last chance was a free kick on the edge of the penalty area when Dani Barrelis was brought down but Jose Da's free kick was headed clear at the near post.

The draw keeps Mazarron in eighth position in the Tercera Division a highly creditable start to the season.

Team: Antonio Pena; Gato; Zurdo; Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Heredia (Jose Da); Basi; Xavi; Dani Barrelis; Diego (Chino); Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match: Adrian Campoy

EDMF CHURRA GESA 2 - MAZARRON FC 2  (30.9.2018)

Mazarron travelled to third placed Churra and came away with an excellent draw in a very hard fought game.

The home team took the lead in the very first minute when a long ball saw former Mazarron striker Dani Morales racing past Alberto and with goalkeeper Antonio Pena racing out to the edge of the penalty area he calmly lobbed the ball over his head and into the empty net.

Churra were looking quick and dangerous up front but Mazarron also looked sharper than the previous week with Basi finally playing alongside Dani Barrelis up front. Jose Da hit a long range free kick straight at the keeper and then Andreo's shot from 25 yards was well saved as Mazarron started to get into their stride.Zurdo was harshly penalised for a foul but the Churra free kick was well wide. Then Salva Ballesta and Andreo combined well on the right but Andreo's cross shot was just wide of the target. Churra had a great opportunity to increase their lead on 38 minutes when a free kick from the right was fired wildly over the bar from just six yards.

They were made to pay for their mistake when Mazarron equalised a minute later. A throw in from Gato caused havoc in the Churra defence and the ball landed at the feet of Basi who fired the ball firmly home from 10 yards. On the stroke of half time a free kick from the right was headed against the bar by Dani Morales and the ball bounced down into the safe arms of Antonio Pena.

Churra began the second half with a left wing corner which was headed wide. Then new signing Javi saw the Churra keeper off his line but his clever effort from 40 yards did not have enough height. However Mazarron took the lead after 56 minutes when Salva Ballesta was pulled back just inside the area and leading scorer Dani Barrelis calmly slotted the resulting penalty into the corner of the net.

Churra were back on level terms seven minutes later when a free kick on the edge of the penalty area was touched back into the path of Nelson Gabriel who shot over the defensive wall past the despairing dive of Antonio Pena.

Mazarron's best move of the game came after 67 minutes when Dani Barrelis cleverly held off three defenders before finding Jose Da whose fierce shot was well saved by the Churra keeper. Churra's giant substitute Alejandro headed a corner over the bar and at the other end Andreo was leaning back as he fired over the bar from 8 yards after a right wing free kick.

It was virtually Andreo's last action of the game as he was harshly shown a straight red card for a tackle right in front of the visiting Mazarron supporters who showed their displeasure at the decision. Then a touchline spat saw a member of the coaching staff from each team sent to the changing rooms.

Mazarron could have won it in the 89th minute when substitute Heredia threaded the ball through to Basi just inside the Churra half. He raced clear but his final shot was smothered by the home keeper.

It was a much better all round performance by Mazarron who have played four of the top six teams in their six games so far and with three wins, a draw and just two defeats it has been a very satisfactory start to the season.

Team: Antonio Pena; Gato; Zurdo; Alberto; Nacho; Andreo; Basi; Javi; Dani Barrelis (Chino); Jose Da (Heredia); Salva Ballesta (Diego).

Man of the Match: Andreo.

MAZARRON FC 2 - NV ESTUDIANTES DE MURCIA CF 0  (23.9.2018)  (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Mazarron retained their 100% home record against an Estudiantes side currently at the foot of the league but it was not one of their best performances.

They started brightly with Salva Ballesta and Zurdo sending in dangerous crosses which caused problems for the visitors defence and took the lead on 14 minutes. A free kick from Jose Da on the right was only half cleared and when the ball was played back into the area Adrian Campoy's header was fumbled by the keeper but the Mazarron skipper was first to react and fired home from close range.

Despite their lowly position Estudiantes were playing some neat football but it was Mazarron who increased the lead after 25 minutes. Jose Da cleverly floated the ball towards the corner of the net where leading scorer Dani Barrelis was on hand to apply the finishing touch with his fourth goal of the season.

As Mazarron for some reason took their foot of the pedal, the visitors dominated the remainder of the first half. After 29 minutes a break down the left forced a good save from Antonio Pena at the near post. On 33 minutes a long range effort went wide but Pena distinguished himself shortly afterwards with another acrobatic save, diving to his left to keep out a fierce drive following a throw in.

A minute later Adrian Campoy had to show his defensive qualities with a last ditch intervention as an Estudiantes striker was about to shoot . Little was seen of Mazarron as an attacking force and they were giving the ball away far too often in midfield.

The second half continued in the same vein with Pena and Adrian Campoy combining to thwart another Estudiantes attack and then Mazarron's outstanding goalkeeper was called into action again in the 53rd and 54th minutes to make two more good saves.

At the other end Basi showed his pace and strength with a surging run from the halfway line but slightly overran the ball at the last minute and the Estudiantes keeper was able to smother his effort. Dani Barrelis and Diego combined well on the right but the resulting cross was cut out.

Estudiantes continued to dominate possession in the last fifteen minutes without really troubling the Mazarron defence again. The game ended on a sour note for the home team when Adrian Campoy was sent off in the 89th minute for a second yellow card.

After the first 25 minutes, Mazarron were far too defensive minded, were caught in possession far too often in midfield and left lone strike Dani Barrelis too isolated up front with little support. Having said all that three wins from the first five games in the higher division is a more than satisfactory start and the victory takes Mazarron up to seventh in the league table.

Team: Antonio Pena; Josema (Alberto); Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Zurdo; Andreo; Jose Da (Chicho); Diego; Basi; Dani Barrelis; Salva Ballesta (Chino).

Man of the Match: Antonio Pena.

YECLANO DEPORTIVO 2 - MAZARRON FC 0  (16.9.2018)

Mazarron FC made the long journey to Yecla to take on last season's Tercera Division champions and were thoroughly outplayed in the first 45 minutes.

The game started quietly and the first action was a Mazarron free kick which was fired well over the bar by Salva Ballesta. Yeclano then attacked with a cross from the right which Nacho headed behind. The resultant corner caused havoc for Mazarron with defenders somehow managing to throw their bodies in the way of the ball to block two shots which were heading for the net.

At the other end Dani Barriles was brought down 30 yards out and this time it was Jose Da who blazed another dreadful free kick well off target. Yeclano took the lead on 18 minutes after another quick break down the right which saw Alejandro turning the cross firmly past Antonio Pena.

It should have been 2-0 a minute later when a long ball down the middle caught Alberto napping but, with only Pena to beat, Iker dragged his shot wide of the far post. The Mazarron keeper then had to be alert to smother two more chances in as many minutes as the home team threatened to run away with the game.

The pressure kept mounting with Yeclano somehow contriving to shoot over the bar from 6 yards before they finally got the second goal they deserved on 31 minutes. Another long ball out of defence again caught Alberto out of position and this time Antonio raced clear to fire the ball into the far corner of the net.

Pena made another excellent save as half time approached before Basi gave Mazarron a little hope with a run down the right which ended when the home keeper dived at his feet to claim the ball.

The half time team talk seemed to stir Mazarron into action as they made a much better fist of it in the second period. However, Pena had to make the save of the game on 48 minutes with a flying leap to turn a fierce shot from 25 yards over the bar. Mazarron's first shot from open play came two minutes later when a corner was cleared to Diego but his effort was well wide of the target.

On 53 minutes Diego was blatantly fouled in the penalty area as he rounded the last defender but no foul was given. Then clever play by Dani Barrelis held the ball up but Jose Da's intended pass to the unmarked Basi was just wide of the target. This was Mazarron's best spell of the game and Nacho's header from a Salva Ballesta free kick was saved.

Diego was fouled on the edge of the penalty area and Dani's free kick was saved by Miguel in the Yecla goal. After a spell of 25 minutes which saw Mazarron having most of the possession Yeclano again began to stamp their authority on the game without ever playing with the same fluency as they had in the first half.

Salva Ballesta curled another Mazarron free kick just wide of the target but, at the other end, an excellent move down the right wing by Yeclano saw the opportunity wasted with a poor shot over the bar. The game ended typically with yet another diving save from Mazarron's overworked goalkeeper in the second minute of added time.

It was a tough test for Mazarron who need to improve in all areas to consolidate at this higher level but the improved second half performance gives some reason for optimism.

Team: Antonio Pena; Nacho; Zurdo (Carrasco); Adrian Campoy; Alberto; Andreo (Chicho); Basi; Diego; Barriles; Jose Da (Chino); Salva Ballesta.

Man of the Match: Antonio Pena.

MAZARRÓN FC 2 - OLÍMPICO DE TOTANA 1  (9.9.2018)   (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Mazarron started the game brightly with Dani Barriles looking lively up front. On 17 minutes, Diego playing in an advanced midfield role found Dani but he was thwarted by a sliding tackle and the danger was cleared.

Mazarron were certainly playing a lot more passing football than they did at Minera last week and little was seen of Totana as an attacking threat in the early stages. However on 27 minutes Antonio Peña had to be alert to flick a header following a free kick over the bar for a corner.

Mazarron continued to have the better of the play as half time approached and forced a couple of corners one of which saw a header fly just wide of the far post. On 35 minutes Diego ran on to a through ball but his shot was wide of the far post and the first half ended 0-0.

It took Mazarron just over a minute to break the deadlock at the start of the second period. A flowing move down the right ended with Basi's cross being turned into the net at the far post by Dani Barriles. The lead was short lived however as Esteban equalised for Totana just five minutes later, somewhat against the run of play.

On 63 minutes Mazarron thought they had regained the lead when Jose Da's pinpoint free kick was turned into the net by Adrian Campoy but the linesman's flag was raised for offside. Manager Juanjo was sent from the touch line for protesting too strongly. Four minutes later Dani Barriles broke through but his shot was blocked and Jose Da's audacious chip from 30 yards was just deflected for a corner.

Mazarron kept pushing forward and were rewarded with what turned out to be the winning goal on 75 minutes. Dani Barriles made a surging run down the left and cut inside before striking his shot into the far corner.

Totana surged forward in search of an equaliser but Mazarron were chasing everything and closing down the visiting players at every opportunity. Totana's best chance came in injury time when a right wing corner was headed wide. Almost immediately Mazarron broke away and substitute Carrasco had a great opportunity but shot wide from an excellent position.

It was an excellent performance by Mazarron and two wins from the first three games in the Tercera Division is a great start to the season.

Team: Antonio Pena; Jose Ma; Gato; Adrian Campoy; Nacho; Andreo (Alberto); Basi; Jose Da (Chicho); Dani Barriles; Diego (Carrasco), Salva Ballesta.

Los Amigos de Mazarron FC Man of the Match: Andreo

CD MINERA 1 - MAZARRÓN FC 0  (2.9.2018)

Mazarron made two changes from the side which beat Huercal Overa 2-0 last week with Jose Da replacing Diego and Nacho coming in for the injured Heredia.

Mazarron started the game with three central defenders and neither side could stamp any authority on the game in the opening minutes. Mazarron forced the game's first corner but Salva's cross was headed clear. Mazarron were being penalised at regular intervals, conceding a number of free kicks, most of which seemed very harsh but the defence dealt capably with everything thrown at them.

Mazarron were relying too much on long clearances but still managed to put together an excellent move on 24 minutes. A crossfield ball from Andreo found Zurdo on the left, the cross was touched on by Dani Barellis only for Basi to fire just wide.

As Minera gained the upper hand, Adrian Campoy had to dive smartly to head away for a corner and then Antonio Pena was injured as he punched a cross clear and fortunately the rebound was struck wide.

On the stroke of half time another harsh free kick was awarded against Mazarron and this time the cross was headed home at the far post to give Minera the lead. There was no time left to restart the game and the half ended Minera 1 Mazarron 0.

Mazarron's plan of playing three central defenders had meant that Jose Da and Andreo had little support in midfield so it was no surprise when Manager Juanjo made a change at half time bringing on Diego in place of Nacho.

The visitors showed more attacking intent but it was Minera who broke away in the 50th minute only to see a fierce shot from the right go wide of the target. Mazarron were struggling to string two passes together and could not keep possession of the ball even though they were coming more into the game.

Mazarron had numerous free kicks awarded in their favour all of which either failed to reach their intended targets or sailed well over the bar. Dani Barrelis found himself clear but failed to control the ball and the chance was lost and Basi's good run down the right ended with a cross that was easily cleared.

Instead it was the home team who had another good chance when a free kick was headed goalwards only for Antonio Pena to reach up and turn the ball over the bar on 70 minutes. Mazarron were restricted to a couple of long range efforts which went aimlessly over the bar before they had their first shot on target after 83 minutes when the Minera keeper made a fine save to divert the ball for a corner.

Despite more pressure in the closing stages and a number of corners and free kicks, Mazarron failed to trouble the Minera defence and a very disappointing game ended with a 1-0 defeat.

The game was a sign that Mazarron are going to find life difficult in the higher division. They need to improve their passing skills and not rely on long balls out of defence. Minera move to the top of the league after this result with Mazarron dropping down to eleventh. Mazarron received four yellow cards, Minera six.

Team: Antonio Pena; Josema (Pedro Casado); Zurdo; Adrian Campoy; Alberto; Nacho (Diego); Basi; Andreo; Dani Barrelis; Jose Da; Salva Ballesta (Diego)

Los Amigos de Mazarron FC Man of the Match: Andreo

MAZARRÓN FC 2 - HUERCAL-OVERA CF 0  (26.8.2018)   (MATCH PROGRAMME)

Huercal Overa had the better of the early play and Mazarron keeper, Antonio Pena, had to be at his most alert. He made a good save after just eight minutes when the defence was caught flat footed by a through ball.

Little was seen of Mazarron until a superb through ball from Andreo saw Salva Ballesta racing clear of the visitors defence and he coolly slotted the ball past the advancing keeper to give Mazarron the lead after 17 minutes.

Pena then easily dealt with a Huercal Overa free kick before he had to race off his line to make another excellent save with his feet when another long ball beat the Mazarron defence after 21 minutes.

Mazarron suffered two early injuries with Gato and Nacho replacing Heredia and Andreo before Huercal Overa's best move of the half. An excellent run down the left wing saw a pin point cross just turned against the bar and over by an onrushing forward.

Mazarron came more into the game in the closing stages of the first half and Basi's excellent free kick was headed goalwards to force an excellent save by the Huercal Overa keeper. Then superb work on the left saw Dani Barriles turning the visitors' defence inside out only to see his left wing cross evade two onrushing Mazarron players at the far post.

Half time Mazarron 1 Huercal Overa 0

Huercal Overa had a chance to equalise just five minutes into the second half but Alejandro headed a right wing cross just wide. A minute later Antonio Pena was in action again turning another shot round the post for a corner. However, it was Mazarron who increased their lead on 60 minutes when a shot from outside the penalty area was only half saved by the visiting keeper and Dani Barriles rushed in to turn the rebound home.

A spate of bookings disrupted the flow of the game but Mazarron's defence was finally getting to grips with the Huercal Overa attack. The visitors had the majority of the play but just could not break down the Mazarron defence and when they did they had Antonio Pena to contend with.

On 88 minutes Dani Barriles raced down the left before cutting into the penalty area but he was just unable to get his shot in and the danger was cleared. At the other end another diving save from Pena thwarted Huercal Overa again. With the last attack of the game Barriles played a lovely ball into the path of substitute Carrasco but he could not get enough power into his shot which was saved.

It was a great start for Mazarron in the Tercera Division but they had to work very hard to overcome a determined Huercal Overa side.

Team: Antonio Pena; Josema; Zurdo; Adrian Campoy; Alberto; Andreo (Nacho); Basi; Heredia (Gato); Dani Barrelis; Diego (Carrasco); Salva Ballesta

Man of the Match: Antonio Pena