Budimir (white shirt) in action for Mallorca against Nastic.

11-05-2019LaLiga

Nàstic 2 - Real Mallorca 1

Real Mallorca, entering the home straight in La Segunda 2018/19, lived up to their dubious reputation of losing away to basement clubs, going down 2-1 at all but relegated Nastic Tarragona on Saturday. That’s two defeats since the end of March against the bottom two clubs. This loss means that any dreams we had of coming second to champions-in-waiting Osasuna were well and truly scuppered by a team of no-hopers containing three youth team teenagers. Five weeks ago, we went to second bottom Cordoba (now relegated to Segunda B) and lost 3-2. I thought then that we’d learned a lesson not to underestimate struggling teams at the wrong end of the table. Fast forward and we’ve had another “accident”, as it was described in the local media.

Nastic’s lowly position meant that only 2,000 locals turned up and we took 600-ish. The Palma side started without the suspended Antonio Raillo and Dani Rodriguez; both of them, especially the latter, were sorely missed. Their replacements, Xisco Campos and Leo Suarez, were on the periphery and never got going, with two defensive errors costing us the game. Not much happened early doors in a scrappy opening 30 minutes. Aridai came close then disappeared and Budimir, who’s lost the predator’s instinct he had when he arrived in January, had an effort chalked off for a dubious hand ball. It became clear that Dani Rodriguez’s presence in the middle was sorely missed and Salva Sevilla looked out of sorts. He missed a great chance near half time as we struggled to get up a head of steam.

Just before the interval a nothing ball was adjudged to have hit Campos’ arm and the referee awarded a penalty. The Nigerian Uche took the kick, which he sliced past the post. Mallorca breathed a sigh of relief; justice was done. However, minutes later Uche got involved again. Marc Pedraza’s short clearance fell to the Nigerian who accepted the gift. Then Noguera hit the post with Reina grovelling as Mallorca hung on.

After the break, Abdon Prats came on for Suarez, followed by the departure of Budimir replaced by last week’s match winner Alex Lopez. As usual, Prats put himself about a bit, causing problems for the home defence. One minute from full time Mallorca drew level. A Sastre cross passed through the home defence, finding Prats who volleyed home. A packed Mallorcafé went ballistic; we’d got a consolation goal and a point at the death. Or so we thought. With most of the bar dancing around like dervishes, Nastic went up the other end, Konté got the ball and curled in a 30-yard worldy.

Next Sunday it’s ninth-placed Almeria who are the visitors. They beat Elche 5-3 on Sunday and have a player called Alvaro Gimenez who’s the league’s top scorer with 18.

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