Elche threw away a three-one lead against the Segunda division’s bottom club on Saturday, and then had to fight back to grab a point. The Tarragona side scored three times in the space of nine second half minutes in a draw that left neither side happy, and Elche coach Alberto Toril fuming about his team’s loss of concentration midway during the second half. 

A shot inside the post from Alex Lopez put the visitors ahead in the 11th minute to stun the home supporters, but then two goals (in the 14th and 18 minutes) from the experienced Nino put the Ilicitanos in front. When Matilla struck an excellent long rang free kick to make it three for Elche just after the hour mark, it was all going to plan until referee González Fuertes got involved. 

He harshly gave a penalty against Pedro who put his elbow against his face to stop it being pummelled by a free kick, with Tejera converting the spot kick. Alex Lopez popped up again to take advantage of a poor Juan Carlos clearance just three minutes later to level up matters, and then Gimnastic had to pinch themselves when Jean Luc Assoubre put them in front in the 74th minute. 

Fortunately for Elche, a terrific shot from Dorca put them back on level terms with 12 minutes remaining, and though the home side dominated proceedings, they just couldn’t get a shot on target, with their fans wondering what the season now holds for them as they are slipping more into relegation contention as opposed to harbouring hopes of promotion. 

The Ilicitanos are away to fellow mid-table side Zaragoza this Sunday lunchtime in the Segunda division, but entertain Alcorcon tomorrow evening (Tuesday) in their round of the Copa del Rey. 

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