Sunday 30th January 2022 – MIKE SMITH
CD Jávea 4-3 Atlético Benidorm CD
CD Jávea claimed their first three points since late October and first victory at home since September 25th last year but they had to battle for it against a side that belied their position at the foot of the Group 4 table, particularly during a difficult second half. It’s no understatement that it was with relief that the home fans welcomed the final whistle from the referee at a moment when the visitors looked strong against a tiring home side and might have snatched an equaliser had the game continued a few more minutes.
On paper, it might have been a certain home win for Jávea. Although the long run of games without a victory had continued into the New Year, Atlético Benidorm’s precarious position at the bottom of the table and their own run of poor form raised hopes amongst the home fans.
Indeed, after less than a minute, Jávea showed its intent with the ever-improving youngster José Cabo proving to be very tricky down the left, breaking clear of his marker and charging down the flank before firing a wonderful low cross behind a flat-footed defensive line towards Carlos Quintana who had found himself in acres of space just inside the area on the far side. An early opener seemed to be on the cards but the ball’s flight was somehow blocked by a desperate body flung in its direction, leaving Quintana and the home fans aghast as it was cleared by the desperate swing of a right leg.
Just a couple of minutes’ later, great work by Hector, down the right this time, saw his powerful cross blocked and cleared and then, on eight minutes, Juli charged down the left, leaving the defender flat-footed, before floating in a delightful cross right on the line which was well-claimed by the Benidorm’s keeper.
Thus, it was no surprise that Jávea would open the scoring on 15 minutes. More great work from Javi Hernandez, looking most formidable at his experience befits, saw the defence have no answer to his trickery and fleetness of foot as he charged down the left before floating in a delightful cross which was superbly met by Héctor who found himself in plenty of space on the far post for an easy header just inside the right post.
Three minutes later, Jávea doubled its advantage through some more great work down the left flank, this time from Cabo, whose persistence to beat the defender paid off as he pushed a delightful low ball into a crowded box which was half-cleared in desperation only to fall at the feet of Fran who smashed the ball home from eight yards.
Against all the pressure, Benidorm had their moments and forced the first corner of the game midway through the first half but the ball was comfortably cleared by the Jávea defence, led superbly as always by the dominating figure of Cristian Castells, and this was just about the only real threat against the home goal during the opening 45 minutes.
On 34 minutes, one of the rare intrusions into the deep third of the home side was well-cleared by the defensive line and the ball fell to Héctor who seemed momentarily surprised the ball fell perfectly for him as he swivelled skillfully behind the Benidorm defence to allow him a metre of breathing space just for a few moments and he charged towards the Benidorm goal, the defenders, having quickly recovered, chasing him down whilst the keeper quickly advanced from his goal. With the pressure mounting behind and in front, his snatched shot sailed wide of the right post.
The third goal arrived two minutes later, through more pressure down the left flank and another wonderful cross into the six-yard box which was well met by Quintana whose glancing header dropped just inside the right post. In a few moments of concern, the scorer lay on the ground, clearly taken a knock as he scored the goal, but soon recovered to rejoin the game.
At half-time, the visitors made a couple of changes which soon had the desired effect in lifting Benidorm’s game as the second half opened, although it would be Jávea’s Cabo who would have the first chance after the break when he fired just over the bar from outside the area as Benidorm half-cleared a corner from Javi.
On 57 minutes, the visitors reduced the gap with a powerful shot from Jonathan Martínez which left Jávea keeper Edu Sánchez reaching vainly for the ball as it flew just beyond his stretched arm.
A minute later, the three goal cushion was restored, when Quintana scored his second goal of the game – and his seventh of the season to become the club’s leading scorer for the current campaign – after another powerful corner kick from Javi.
On 62 minutes, Benidorm made it 4-2 when Martínez confidentially converted a penalty after Cristian tussled with Benidorm’s Cristobal Miko inside the area and, according to the referee, hauled his man down unfairly.
As the game progressed, Jávea continued to look for another goal, apparently just as aware as the home fans that Benidorm had every chance of pulling back a third, maybe even a fourth during a second 45 minutes in which the visitors had the great confidence to do so. That said, the home side had their opportunities, Javi firing both wide and high on two attempts and substitute Rubén Ortolá firing it two very powerful shots which well pushed wide well by the Benidorm keeper for corners.
Yet, as the clock ticked into added time, the inevitable happened Benidorm skipper Paul Quaye scored with an opportunistic shot from the edge of the penalty area which seemingly flat-footed Edu. It would not be Quaye only major contribution to the game. Just a minute later, another powerful surge from Benidorm down the right flank seemed to have forced a corner. Indeed, the referee’s assistant on the far side appeared to have indicated so, albeit very briefly, before the referee himself decided that it was actually a goal-kick. Quaye exploded in anger and confronted the officials with such fury that it was inevitable that the referee would have to produce a yellow card, Quaye’s second, which meant that he would have to leave the field. He would only so with the encouragement of his colleagues, Daniel Joel Okon particularly expressing his anger that his skipper’s histrionics was only wasting time for his own team.
Eventually Edu took the goal-kick, the ball bouncing rapidly in midfield before the referee finally bought the game to an end, allowing the home fans to breathe a sigh of relief as Jávea claimed its first victory for just over three months.
CD Jávea. Edu, Cristian, Juli, Quintana (Rubén, 79m), Cabo, Ferrán (Marcos, 79m), Fran (Elian, 70m), Paolo, Javi (Caturla, 89m), Héctor, Corbalan. Subs not used: Joel (GK), Buigues, Roberto.
Atlétic Benidorm. Aguiar, Gomis (Martínez, 29m), Abaa, Quaye, Body (Patrick, 46m), Daniel, Michaylyszyn (Phutin, 87m), Martínez, Miko, Benyoucef (Urban, 66m), Dawkins (Fernandez, 46m). Subs not used: Meijome (GK), Mitchell.
Referee: Carlos Ripoll Berenguer.
Assistant Referees: José Martínez Vilches & Yago Nicolas Ramírez Braidotti.
3m – Benyoucef (At Benidorm)
4m – Quaye (At Benidorm)
4m – Miko (At Benidorm)
25m – Paolo (CD Jávea)
47m – Ferrán (CD Jávea)
63m – Cristian (CD Jávea)
88m – Héctor (CD Jávea)
89m – Rubén (CD Jávea)
90m – Daniel (At Benidorm)
90m – Quaye (At Benidorm) – second bookable offence