Mallorca celebrate Sastre's goal.

04-02-2018Miquel Àngel Borràs

Real Mallorca, in one of the best games of the season, finally overcame a stubborn ultra defensive Ontinyent 1-0, increasing their lead at the top of Group III in Segunda B to nine points. Nearest rivals Villarreal B surprisingly lost only their second game of the season, going down to a late goal at home to our next Son Moix opponents in two weeks, Alcoyano. Mallorca were vastly superior to their sixth-placed opponents and could have gone in at the break three up. The reason they didn't was an inspirational performance from visiting goalkeeper Alvaro Campos who had an absolute blinder, pulling off a brilliant one-handed save from Lopez in the first half that was a world-class effort. Ontinyent's defence spent most of the first 45 minutes in rearguard action mode and defended like demons. Just how the ball didn't go in defied belief.

Mallorca coach Vicente Moreno picked Jose Angel ahead of captain Xisco Campos at the heart of the defence and he didn't put a foot wrong. The star, however, for the islanders was Joan Sastre at right back. The Porreres-born defender was the man of the match and he scored the winner in the 65th minute with a goal from a shot which he hit sweet as a nut from outside the penalty area. The build-up to the goal was mesmeric, James made the initial break, passing to Pedraza, whose neat back-heeler was hammered home by Sastre. He's been a revelation this season and it's difficult to remember him having a bad game.

Ontinyent managed to win two corners in the game, one of which saw a Fran Machado header parried away by rookie youngster Miguel Parera who didn't have a lot to do. After just eight minutes Mallorca striker Abdon Prats was booked for a non-existent foul when he pushed over visiting defender Soler. He went down like a sack of Sa Pobla spuds when in fact there was nothing untoward in Abdon's challenge.

At half time fans were talking about how unlucky Mallorca were not to have scored. Brilliant keeping and a huge slice of Lady Luck saw the score 0-0, and I heard one guy saying if this had been a boxing match the towel would have been thrown into the ring long ago. After the interval Mallorca attacked in waves and somehow the ball stayed out. Surely it was only a matter of time before Ontinyent's rearguard creaked. It did in the 65th minute when Sastre scored the eagerly awaited goal.

Vicente Moreno decided it was time to make changes. Alvaro Bustos didn't do much and was replaced by the flying winger James. He posed a fresh problem for the visiting defence with his intricate close dribbling skills. I lost count of the number of times he was bundled over as Ontinyent couldn't handle his pace. Not long after that, Aradai went down in the penalty area and was booked for simulation where a penalty looked the more obvious decision.

As the clock ticked down Toni Tugores put up his added on time board - six minutes! Ontinyent's goalkeeper went down injured near the touchline, spending a lengthy period receiving treatment. The whole Luis Sitjar stand to a man, woman and child gave him a huge ovation when he finally got to his feet and got back to his goal. That was a lovely touch from the Ultras behind the goal as they normally give visiting net minders a hard time. In the reverse fixture last September, Campos's father, who is a doctor and was a spectator, helped with Cedric's head injury when they didn't have the necessary medical facilities.

It all got heated towards the end, Lopez went down and was kicked by Anaba. He'd already been booked so it was the early bath and first go with the loofah for him. A magical free kick by “Silver Fox” Salva Sevilla (who rolled back the years on Sunday) from just outside the area hit the bar, bounced down and out close to full time.

The referee blew for full time with Mallorca playing round the stand side corner flag for several minutes, running down the clock. This result gives us our third consecutive win and puts Mallorca back in the driving seat at the top of the table after a thoroughly deserved win.

Close to 6,000 turned up at the Son Moix on Sunday. Two weeks ago we had 12,000 for the local derby, against At. Baleares, 900 of whom were away fans. 3,000 members for whatever reason stayed away and missed a great game of football. It was a bit disappointing to see so many empty spaces in the main stand, especially as Mallorca are now the only team out of 80 in Segunda B to have conceded only 13 goals and to have lost only once.

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