CD TORREVIEJA 4  ELCHE ILICITANO 2

After two successive three-nil away defeats that realistically extinguished Torry’s faint chances of a play-off spot, the team turned on their best display of the season in front of their home fans against a side with hopes of direct promotion, let alone a play-off place. It was an excellent effort from a Torrevieja side that was very positive and again made supporters wonder what might have been but for a dreadful autumn. As it is, they were left with a final quarter of the match last Sunday at the Vicente Garcia stadium that would be talked about for a long time. 

Torry scored in the seventh minute when Lewis Allen was felled outside the box and Rafa Gomez delivered a cross which was met perfectly by Quintero to poke home despite the attentions of Juanma in the Ilicitano goal. The game was already lively with Torry taking command and raiding down both flanks with gay abandon. Allen was sharp and former Torry man Ruben simply could not contain him as the diminuitive striker flashed a header wide of the post,  and then overran the ball when closing in on goal with just Juanma to beat.

Elche were second best, though the division’s top scorer, Nuha, always looked like he could cause problems. With half an hour to go, Kaná justly got his second caution and Ilicitano were going to have to play the final hour of the game a man down. They adjusted well, but Torry continued to dominate with Burguillos the master in midfield, whilst the visitors struggled to get a toe hold in the game, fighting hard, but accumulating a total of eight cautions in the process. Vicente suffered a first half foot injury and was replaced at the start of the second period by Suarez, but on the hour mark, Torry allowed Nuha to rise highest from a corner and deftly flick his header into the far corner of the net for an equaliser. It was his nineteenth goal of the season and illustrated Torry’s vulnerability from set pieces. Torry continued to torment their opponents with varied attacks but on the counter attack substitute Rubio out-battled Luis Carlos and rammed the ball past Miguel to put the visitors ahead. In four minutes it had all turned in Elche’s favour, and a third straight defeat was on the cards.

Torry did not panic, especially as they were still creating excellent openings. Prieto came on with a quarter of the game remaining and Sanchez was introduced on 72 minutes. Both added a further element of urgency to attacks and Elche were under constant bombardment. It was Rafa who curled a left-footed low drive into the corner of the net to level things up in the 76th minute, and then just one minute later Ruben Suarez smashed home from close quarters after a beautifully executed move. It wasn’t over yet, as Torry were awarded a free kick outside the box. Suarez and Prieto lined up either side of the ball. Then as Suarez jumped over it, Prieto followed behind to guide the ball into the far right hand corner of the net to give the home side their fourth goal, and the most entertaining win of the season. Torry face another tough test as they go to third-placed Castellon in the north of the Valencia region, with a noon kick-off this Sunday.

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