Mallorquinista: Draw Specialists
Now TOTN Online is back, so too is our football column, The Mallorquinista where Charles Nutter takes us through all the highs and lows of our local Club, RCD Mallorca.
Real Mallorca are turning into the draw specialists of the Spanish second division after a one all ‘empate’ at Oviedo on Sunday 4th November. Head coach Vicente Moreno was forced into some defensive changes with Joan Sastre making a welcome return after injury and Fran Gamez moving over to cover the problematic left back slot. Regular goalkeeper Manolo Reina was injured in training so Manacor-born Miguel Parera came in and was Mallorca’s best player. Oviedo started well and took the lead after nine minutes. That is the fifth time this season that the islanders have conceded in the first 15 minutes and this is becoming a worry for Moreno. Somehow the visitors survived until half time and after a roasting from the coach they were a different team with Aridai creating the equaliser for Lago Junior after 52 minutes. It was Aridai who broke through in injury time and he was clear through on goal but missed the opportunity to steal all three points. Mallorca need to get back to winning ways and take on Cordoba this Sunday at home the 11th November with a 6pm kick off and make the trip to Zaragoza the week after. The team are still handily placed in eighth position, but a couple of wins would help boost morale.
Mallorca also drew their previous home game against Las Palmas with a two-two final score on 27th October. The visitors from Gran Canaria were easily the best team to play at the Son Moix Stadium this season. They raced into a two-goal lead only 12 minutes into the game. Mallorca-born Rafa Mir scored the first and veteran Ruben Castro hit the second. Things looked bleak for the home side in the pouring rain. Less than 6,000 fans braved the elements. Just before the break, Fran Gamez hit a piledriver which was parried by the keeper into the path of Lago Junior who gleefully started the comeback. Shortly after the break a corner from Salva Sevilla was turned in by Stoichkov. The weather deteriorated even further and the game finally fizzled out into a draw. Injuries took their toll with left back Salve Ruiz limping off to be replaced by Watford loanee Estupinan, He didn’t last long and after a tough tackle was taken to hospital with a suspected partially collapsed lung. It was a hugely entertaining game given the conditions and credit goes to both teams.
Real Mallorca entertained La Liga side Valladold in the first leg of a Copa del Rey tie on 31st October. Moreno made ten changes to his normal starting line up and gave the rest of the squad a chance to impress. No one took that opportunity more than Carlos Castro the marquee summer signing from Sporting Gijon. He barely touched the ball and was substituted on the hour mark. It is no secret that he and Moreno are not on the best of terms and a move in the winter transfer market looks likely. For the record Valladolid won 2 – 1 and it seems unlikely that further progress in the cup will be made by Mallorca in the second leg. There was some good news with Joan Sastre and Sergio Buenacasa appearing for the first time this season after pre-season injuries. Buenacasa scored the islander’s goal and looks a good prospect.