A Season in Pictures: Games 26 and 27

A long gap with no updates to this – apologies to anyone who was intently following the story of my season, but life gets in the way and I’ve had very little time to devote to writing this blog. Nevertheless, I will finish the story of my season over the next couple of weeks and consider the direction to take with this blog in the future.

So let’s head back to February…

Game 26: Recreativo 3-1 Ecija Balompie (Estadio Nuevo Colombino, Huelva – 18.2.2018)

The defeat in the last home game, followed by one away to Linense brought Angel López’s time on the Recre bench to an end. After his record-breaking start, performances and results had tailed off dramatically, leaving Recre once again looking nervously over their shoulders as the relegation zone got closer and closer.

Again the club opted to promote from within, with César Negredo, older brother of erstwhile Spanish international forward Alvaro, taking on the reins. His task was simple, turn around the team’s fading fortunes, starting against an Ecija side which had started the season well, but was now on a similar downward trajectory to that of Recre.

César’s first starting XI contained one major surprise, top scorer Boris was relegated to the bench with Gorka Santamaría replacing him in the number 9 jersey. Bold decisions like that either pay off, or leave the manager looking foolish and it didn’t start off too well for the new boss. Ecija took the lead but it didn’t last long as January signing Toni Robaina tapped in to make it 1-1.

Then Gorka took over. His first goal was excellent, turning away from his marker before finishing hard and low into the far corner. His second was far more instinctive, stretching out a leg to get a touch on Ivan Agudo’s cross and finding the bottom corner. César’s selection gamble now looked like a masterstroke.

Amazingly the second half saw no more goals, despite Recre continuing to dominate and looking, for the first time in several months, like a good football team again.

Game 27: Recreativo 0-2 Melilla (Estadio Nuevo Colombino, Huelva – 11.3.2018

Unfortunately, that whole looking like a good football team is hard to keep up. Two successive away games followed the Ecija victory, bringing a defeat and a victory, so when Melilla arrived in town for an early Sunday kick-off, the expectation was that Recre would pick up another victory.

It didn’t exactly work out like that, Recre were 2-0 down at half time and never even looked like turning it round. Compounding my misery was the weather. Normally, Andalucía is the sunniest part of mainland Spain, but in the Spring of  2018, we endured around a month of torrential rain. This part of the world is not designed to cope with that much water, avoiding huge puddles and mopping up leaks in my flat became a depressingly regular part of life.

As you can see from the picture, this game took place during one of those torrential showers and it really affected the atmosphere, with many people staying away altogether and many of those who did go running for shelter whenever the rain got too heavy. All-in-all, not the best Sunday morning I’ve ever had.

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