2020/21 in Pictures: Games 9, 10 and 11

It’s a bumper update this week as I look back on three weeks worth of Tercera action in Madrid.

Game 9️⃣

⚽️ AD Parla 2-1 CD El Álamo

🏟 Estadio Los Prados, Parla

🏆 Tercera Division Group 7

📅 22.11.2020

💶 €10

Back in March I had pencilled in a trip to Parla for the big derby with Pinto. But of course during the week leading up to that game everything changed.

But with the news that Parla are allowing a maximum number of 600 fans into their home games, I was finally able to make my Los Prados debut – and it was worth the wait!

Visitors El Álamo made a far better start and in truth should have been further ahead than the one goal advantage they did have. Parla’s Sito was by far the busier ‘keeper, making a couple of excellent saves, though he was somewhat unlucky with the goal he did concede, a free kick which looked to hit off him after striking the bar.

Parla needed a big turnaround in the second half and that’s exactly what they got. From being one-way traffic in the opening 45 minutes, the game now became end-to-end and was all the better for it!

Parla grabbed an equaliser on 67 minutes, a long throw being nodded in by Juampe. Things continued to go from one end to the other and it was impossible to predict who was going to win. El Álamo wasted a golden chance to go in front late on, but the hosts were clinical when the opportunity fell to them, this time a long ball forward from Sito being headed in by that man Juampe again, sparking wild celebrations. As you can see below!

Bar Watch: Just to the left of the entrance you can see the bar and an uncovered terrace. I think I spotted a covered-up barbecue pit as well, though I assume that’s only open in the summer. It has plenty of options for sandwiches and you can get one with a drink and still have change from a fiver. Result!

Shop Watch: Alas, no shop or merchandise stall anywhere to be seen, despite plenty of fans wearing scarves in Parla’s blue and black colours.

Match Rating: 8.5/10 – Well this was fun! An end-to-end game where either team could have won and a nice new ground too!

Game 1️⃣0️⃣

⚽️ SAD Villaverde San-Andrés 2-0 Real Aranjuez

🏟 Estadio Boetticher, Madrid

🏆 Tercera Division Group 7

📅 29.11.2020

💶 €5

After my last game involving Villaverde ended in a half time abandonment, I was keener than ever to see them try and score their first goal of the season.

I had a good feeling about this game during the week and this proved prescient when Botti took the lead early on. Although I didn’t see much of it as my view was blocked by the camera crew. So I’ll just let their footage do the talking for me.

Early celebrations

Botti could have doubled their lead but they were made to sweat a bit in the second half after they were reduced to ten men thanks to a somewhat needless second booking. There were more than a few nervy moments as they clung on to their advantage with goalkeeper Otero again proving his worth with a couple of great saves. Even a red card for Aranjuez, which evened up the numbers didn’t do much to halt the tide.

With Aranjuez still pushing for the equaliser, they threw everyone, even the goalkeeper, forward for a last gasp set piece. However this proved to be their undoing as they lost the ball on the edge of Botti’s penalty area and they were left with the simple task of getting the ball up to the other end and running it into the empty net.

It wasn’t quite as much of an outpouring of joy as the last minute winner against Móstoles in January, but it was a huge moment. A first three points of the season – with possibly three more to follow once the situation surrounding the abandoned game is cleared up – things are at last looking up for Botti!

Bar Watch: The kiosk was open as usual and as I had ended up skipping breakfast, I was glad to be able to buy a coffee and a porra (a large doughy churro-type thing) as a snack.

Shop Watch: The usual scarves are available to buy from the kiosk. Still no sign of whether or not it’s possible to buy the shirt or not.

Match Rating: 8/10 – This was great fun. It’s rare to see Botti score early on and go on to win a game which would usually be enough on its own to justify the good rating. But there were also two red cards and plenty of chances at both ends. Fingers crossed it can be the start of a better run for the boys in green! 🤞🏻

Game 1️⃣1️⃣

⚽️ DAV Santa Ana 1-4 ED Moratalaz

🏟 Polideportivo Santa Ana, Madrid

🏆 Tercera Division Group 7

📅 6.12.2020

💶 €10

The 6th of December is a national holiday in Spain for Día de la Constitución, so traditionally it is a day when lower leagues move their fixtures to take advantage of the long weekend. Except this year it actually fell on a Sunday.

For me, it just felt wrong that I wasn’t going to Villaverde v Alcorcón B, as I had on both previous 6th Decembers in Madrid.

With few options in the city itself, I just decided to stay local and took the short journey up north to watch Santa Ana v Moratalaz.

Santa Ana have continued to struggle since my last visit, but at least they managed to pick up their first point of the season the week before with a draw at Complutense Alcalá. Moratalaz, in contrast, have been doing pretty well in the northern section and are safely inside the top half.

So it was a pretty big surprise when Santa Ana took the lead with about 20 minutes on the clock.

Moratalaz’s neat build-up play counted for little in the first half, only leading to one serious opportunity – an off-target header clear enough to qualify as a sitter.

But it was a different story after the break as the visitors stepped up their game and the home side had no answer. The equaliser, when it came, was a slightly bizarre goal, a multitude of deflections and ricochets ultimately resulting in the ball being poked home.

Moratalaz has added a bit more directness to their play in the second half and as Santa Ana wilted, they pressed home their advantage with three further goals.

Bar Watch: It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Bars now put out the “Hay Caldo” signs.

Or “Tenemos Caldo” in this case

Not much has changed in the four weeks since my last visit, but this time the fresh ingredients for the bocatas were on display. And despite the crowd being a bit lower, the bar was a good bit busier.

Shop Watch: Once again, no merchandise on display anywhere.

Match Rating: 7.5/10 – It was an entertaining game overall even though Santa Ana faded badly after they conceded the equaliser and it wasn’t much of a contest.

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