Brandon Thomas spared Mallorca's blushes against bottom-of-the-table Nastic. | Eric Alonso


Real Mallorca again gave their loyal fans palpitations when they gained a fortunate away point at bottom team Nastic Tarragona on Sunday, drawing 2-2. As the team selection from coach Fernando Vazquez went up on the TV screen, it looked like once again he was picking a team with precious little attacking options. Oscar Diaz, who wears the number nine shirt, was picked to supposedly lead the line but in reality he's a midfielder and indeed that's where he finished off in the second half. The star for Mallorca in an otherwise dull performance was local boy Brandon Thomas, who made it six goals this season with a brace.

Nastic haven't won a game all season but have the highest amount of drawn games, seven, and on Sunday looked like a team who were willing to die for the cause. I can't remember a game with so many stoppages for whatever reason, mostly caused by a battling home side fighting to stay in La Segunda.

The first half was another disaster for Real Mallorca who again failed to capitalise on what few chances they managed to create. In the 21st minute we gave away a stupid free kick outside the area and somehow Muniz thumped home a screamer from 25 yards. Not long after that, Campabadel got to the byeline, crossed the ball and Lago Junior saw his brilliant header cannon off the upright. We looked likely to equalise but looked clueless in the final third. All we had to show for our first half endeavours were two bookings for Oriol (for arguing with the referee) and an out of sorts Yuste.

The second half couldn't have started better for the islanders. Thirty seconds were on the clock when Brandon smashed in the equaliser and we were back in the game, but not for long. In the 69th minute Nastic brought on Jean-Luc Assoube and the Ivorian was like a knife through butter as he dribbled his way through Mallorca's static defence to fire home at the near post - a brilliant goal.

In the 70th minute came the biggest surprise of the night. For some reason Vazquez took off the invisible Oscar Diaz replacing him with a central defencer Ion Ansotegui, which brought howls of derision from a packed Mallorcafé. By now Vazquez really was shuffling the pack and took Damia Sabater off, replacing him with striker Lekic. The big Serb really should have started this game and needs to score a goal; I think he touched the ball twice in 20 minutes. Then just before the end of the game another one of our substitutes, Moutinho, crossed from a short corner and Brandon rose to nod in the equaliser – Mallorca had got out of jail against the bottom team.

SUMMING UP : We had 55% of possession but again showed that, in reality, away from home we're verging on the disastrous. Fernando Vazquez appears hell bent on picking sides on the road not to lose and I have to say some of his team selections beggar belief.

We lacked ambition and were bereft of ideas, taking free kicks and passing the ball backwards just shouldn't happen at any level of football. Also strolling nonchalantly over to take corner kicks is unforgivable - try running! We blew a big chance to enter the play-off places, something we haven't achieved in four years of trying in the Spanish second tier. After the game the majority of fans in the bar were vociferous regarding Vazquez staying in charge of Mallorca. He's way too defensive and just doesn't throw caution to the wind. He should have initially picked a more attacking line-up and persists in picking players who don't deserve to start. I found the return of Santamaria in goal baffling. He's been out for a month through injury and his replacement Jesus Cabrero hasn't put a foot wrong, even saving a penalty last week. Santamaria was at fault for the second goal; any keeper who concedes at the near post is not doing his job.

I've no doubt Vazquez will be given another stay of execution with the Zaragoza home game next Saturday on the horizon. The general feelings from supporters in the bar on Sunday night was that they want him to go as soon as possible. One word summed up Mallorca on Sunday - cobarde (cowardly). We're still hovering around the 14 point mark in the league, two points from the drop zone and four points from the play-offs. It's going to be a long, hard season.