ATB Thump Don Benito to Take Them Within One Game of the Primera RFEF
Fourth game in the second round of this atypical 2020/21 season against Don benito, a physical side who were hard to break down in the reverse fixture at the Estadio Balear, the goal that day coming from Alberto Gil. Xavi Calm received bad news that Armando would have to stay back in Mallorca. The young englishman, currently enjoying a great run of form, felt a twinge in his abdominal right at the end of Saturday’s training session. Also held back by injury was Liam and the African and British players stayed behind in Mallorca.
Despite that last minute loss, Xavi Calm’s 11 was the same as in the last few games, with only Cordero coming in for the injured Armando. René in goal and a back four of Luca, Peris, Orfila and Olaortua. Midfield saw Cañas and Cordero in the centre with David Haro and Canario on the wings and Manel and Vinicius upfront – now six consecutive games scoring or assisting for the pair.
Don Benito came into the game well out of the fight for the top two places that would give access to the Primera RFEF next season, but at home they are always a formidable opponent.
In the first half it was very noticeable what each team was playing for, given that Don Benito sat 8 points off the positions to stay in RFEF league and ATB who were continuing with their run of wins from the last few weeks. The team were superior during the first 45 minutes and had plenty of chances right from kickoff. In fact just 15 seconds in they had already had a clear opportunity with Vinicius cheating down for Manel who fired wide on the volley. In the 2nd minute a great interplay between David Haro and Luca Ferrone saw the fullback put in a great ball from which Vini volleyed against the post. Two minutes in and the team had already had two clear chances. Their superiority showed again in the 7th minute with Vinicus scoring the opener. The ball was played long and the Brasilian beat the keeper with a fantastic left footed strike into the top corner to put ATB 1-0 up. That was his 10th goal of the season. Following the goal ATB were very comfortable and three minutes later Peris took a corner and set up Manel to head home for his fourth goal of the season. The striker rising above the defender to power home. For the seventh game in a row the front two showed the great form they are enjoying with goals and assists when they play together. In the 17th minute Abraham hit the post with a header for Don Benito following a cross from the wing. From then on, ATB dominated with Cañas and Cordero running midfield and the two centre backs very solid in defense. In the 39th minute a shot from Gonzalo drew a fingertip save from René out for a corner. For the last few minutes of the half the home side were more intense and managed in the 44th minute to pull one back for 2-1. A cross from the wing found David Agudo who managed to get a header away getting away from Luca and Pedro Orfila to reduce the deficit before the break.The ex-balearico continued his run of scoring against his old team. ATB went in at half time with the advantage but having made their lives more difficult conceding in the last few moments of the half.
The second half started in the same way as the first. A hammer blow by ATB. Canario got away from his man, his shot rebounded off a defender and fell to Manel to shoot only for Sebas Gil to pull off a fantastic save, however the rebound fell to Haro who took the chance to fire ATB 3-1 ahead with his second game of the season. The gol calmed the nerved of ATB but Don Benito continued to attack and pump balls into the box, creating a lot of danger down their right wing. To remedy this Xavi Calm made the changes and brought on Gil for Canario and then Acosta to help Peris. Agudo fired over for Don Benito in the 60th minute, and then in the 66th Haro set up Alberto Gil who shot into the side netting at the near post. Don Benito continued to put balls into the box but René handled these with ease. In the 81st minute Dani Lopez headed at goal from a corner but straight into the hands of the keeper. Xavi Calm then brought on Coro, Baselga and Cristian. On the counter attack René took a long kick in the 92nd minute that allowed Alberto Gil in to finish off the game with a fantastic chip from long range to make it 4-1, the Valencian scoring again against Don Benito. In the end these were three essential points that means that, regardless of what Villanovense do, a win next week will guarantee a place in the Primera RFEF next season.
Don Benito: 1.Sebas Gil, 2.Trinidad, 3.Joserra, 4.Isma Heredia (70′ 15. Konate), 7.Rafa Mella , 8.Gonzalo (C) (70′ 6. Robe Moreno), 9.David Agudo, 11.Sergio Chinchilla (80′ 12. Ginaid), 17.Álex Herrera (70′ 19′ Xiscu), 21.Artilles, 22.Abraham (59′ 18. Dani López)
Atlético Baleares: 13. René, 2. Luca Ferrone, 3. Peris (85′, 5.Christian), 4. Olaortua, 7. David Haro (70′, 18.Acosta), 8. Cañas, 9. Vinicius (70′, 20.Coro), 10. Canario (61′, 17.Alberto Gil), 11. Manel(85′, 19.Baselga), 16. Cordero y 22. Pedro Orfila (c).
0-1. Vinicius 7′
0-2. Manel 10′
1-2. Agudo 45′
1-3. David Haro 46′
1-4. Alberto Gil 90′
Stadium: Vicente Sanz. 1000 Spectators
Referee: Antonio Alberola Rojas (From Manchego)
Bookings for Don Benito: Gonzalo y Chinchilla.
Bookings for Atlético Baleares: Peris
POST MATCH COMMENTS
Canario: “We knew that we were coming to a difficult ground, but it’s true that we are in a great run of form and we have a great dynamic of play with some great results. We know what the plan is – you can see on the pitch we came out with the intention to finish the game off quickly and it’s true that it was a great start to be 2-0 up within 10 minutes and it’s true that they reacted and managed to find the equalised just before half time. In the second half we also came out with the intention to finish off the game and it seems like it was easier than we thought, but any team in this stage makes it difficult. You have to give credit to the work of the team that has had several good weeks of wins. We earned three important points and they bring us closer to the objective. Its clear that we have it at home and the objective of the PRO is close.We want to achieve the most amount of points possible from this mini league and if we can win all 6 games it’s better than 5. For me the team that has been the toughest to face this phase is Don Benito. At home they made it very hard and we knew that we were going to a difficult ground and they would want to give a good performance in front of their fans. For me it has been the most difficult team we’ve faced.”
Xavi Calm: “It was a game that we knew was very difficult at a difficult ground. Don Benito compete very well and they always show that. Today we knew that it wouldn’t be any different. The beginning of the game was very good for us and after that they stepped up and scored with almost the last kick of the half. We adjusted our tactics to try and stop them getting crosses in and we did it well and in the end it was comfortable. We had to take these three points back to Palma if we wanted to carry on towards our goal and we’ve done that. Very happy with the players. I think the first 20 minutes were excellent and we have to continue in that vein, but that is Segunda B and you have to suffer, the opposition came at us and we suffered, worked hard and took the three points we came for. For me the key goal is at 3-1. When we came out for the second half, David scored and that calmed us down and at a time when we could have been worried it gave us the tranquility you need in these types of grounds. If we do our job we don’t care what any other team does. We are a little more than half way because there are two games left. The goal is the same: next week we’re going out to win, and the following week the same. From Don Benito we saw the same thing in the home game: they fought 100% and they left nothing back in the changing room, they left everything on the pitch. A team that competes very well and is intense – they are where they are because they deserve it and I hope that things go well for them in their last two games.”
David Haro: “We’re very happy. The team has performed very professionally and we are doing things very well in this second phase. What we didn’t do in the first phase we are making up for in the second and that’s what’s important. There are still two games left and we can’t let it slip through our fingers now. We scored two quick goals and afterwards they nicked a goal to make it 2-1. We came out really well in the second half and we scored two more. That is what we want to take forward into the game next week at home against a direct rival and that depends entirely on us.”