Palm trees, a setting sun behind the mountains, and a strong wind was last Sunday’s setting for a bitterly cold encounter which was keenly contested, with the draw being a fair result. It brought to an end Monte’s six-match unbeaten streak, with Sporting’s attacking instincts being quelled by Monte’s defence, with the visitors having to settle for a point because of not converting their many chances and home keeper Fructu in fine form.

Sporting goalkeeper, Fructu, had to produce an excellent diving save after a Macan “one on one” after just three minutes. Two minutes later a 20-yard Jose free kick saw Fructu deliver a great save, though the keeper nearly caught out in the seventh minute, when Dario F saw him come off the line, and shot from inside his own half, and only just went over the crossbar. The visitor’s largely dominated, and they got their reward just before half-tome, when a long range shot from Mario defeated the seemingly infallible Fructu to give Montesinos the lead.

The second half continued in the same vein with two more good saves from Monte attacks, and there was a certainly inevitability that with chances not being converted, Sporting would get an equaliser, and so it proved with 20 minutes to go. The ball came out from the Orihuela defence, through the centre of the field to split Monte’s defence, resulting in a low shot from leading scorer Yoel beating Monte’s Lopez in goal.

More Monte attacks followed though but they could not get the winner, even when the home side were down to ten men in the closing minutes. That when Sporting’s number five, César, who had had a good game all over the pitch and organising his team, was sent off for a foul and second yellow. Sixth-placed Monte now entertain Callosa Deportiva B this Sunday afternoon with a 4.30 pm kick-off.

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