Praise Scorn And Hope As CD Tenerife Draw Last Home Game

The ovation for departing midfield veteran Ricardo was warm and deserved, likewise the appreciation of the team’s progress under novice coach Pep Marti. The end of season party mood in the 1-1 home draw with Ponferradina was offset by a demo and prolonged chanting against President Concepcion’s intention to serve another two years.

With play off hopes gone this was always going to be a time to look at fringe players but injuries to Aitor Sanz, Saul, and Suso, suspension for Carlos Ruiz, and Copa America duty for Dani Hernandez with Venezuela dictated changes. The defence had a very unfamiliar look, Aurtenetxe took the left back slot, Cristian Garcia the right, with Alberto and German in the centre, Roberto got another call up but it all looked a bit wobbly. It was a different story up front, Choco seems to have continuous injury problems but again looked sharp and has a strong understanding with Nano who just keeps on improving.

The forward potency was soon making an impact, a long ball was neatly nodded down by Choco to Nano and the rising star reacted well but hit the post. Ponferradina still needed points to avoid relegation and weren’t shy in having a pop at the target, they put a speculative shot just wide and Casado came close with a free kick that cleared the bar. It was strange to see a big gap at our popular baja end, the noisy hub was dispersed as a protest against the President “empty seats call for change” being the message. We did get back to a goal less first half but Ponferradina looked ripe for the taking. It took just over 10 minutes from the restart for the opening goal, a breakaway found Nano on the left and he delivered an inviting cross which left a defender and the goalie scrambling, Choco saw his chance and slid in to bury the ball, his 10th goal.

When Jorge came on after 66 minutes for Ricardo it gave us the chance to applaud the released midfielder, 241 games in two spells at the club brought more ups than downs from the hard working 33 year old. Choco nearly doubled the lead, again he ghosted in but the visiting keeper got a hand to the ball. Tenerife were the better side but maybe the changes and a little end of term feeling weakened their resolve, even the scoreboard had given up part of it’s duties. Melero swung in a long flighted free kick to the far post and Raillo had room among three defenders to nod it down past Roberto.

It stayed at 1-1, Javi Lara for Moutinho and the final minute for Cristo Gonzalez in place of Omar couldn’t conjure up the win. There’s still the last game at Bilbao Athletic to come but thoughts are turning to building for next season. The big challenge is not to let the good work slip away, that means nailing down Nano and most of the loan players like Javi Lara, Saul, and Moutinho. The crowd of 8,279 was good with nothing to chase, it’s been an enjoyable season and the Armada Sur are not the only ones itching to get back into the Heliodoro stadium.