Draw 1-1 against Linares
The team went into the seventh game of the season with five players out in Jesús Álvaro, Hugo, Cordero, Alfonso, and Josep Jaume. Xavi Calm chose the same starting 11 that drew away in the Alfredo de Stéfano last week, except for Canario who came in to replace the injured Hugo. René started in goal behind Luca Ferrone, Delgado, Olaortua and Vilarrasa. Damián Petcoff and Armando made up the double pivot flanked by José Fran and Canario, and Vinicius and Dioni started up top. Youth players Dani Rigo and Florit made the matchday squad, stepping up from the División de Honor. The game was defined by the way the team started. With only 22 seconds on the clock, young centre back Cañete made a poor back pass to keeper Nauzet allowing Dioni to steal the ball and slot it home uncontested. ATB were already ahead on the scoresheet without even a minute on the clock, a phenomenal start. In the 10th minute the team linked up well to allow José Fran to attempt a chip that was just kept out by the keeper. Another poor clearance by Nauzet nearly gave ATB a second, with Canario trying a shot from outside the box that went wide. Linares found a reply in the 17th minute with René making a smart stop from Carracedo, and they continued to have more of the ball with ATB attempting to hit on the break but unable to find the final pass to score. Canario saw an effort from a corner go wide in the 28th minute. Towards the end of the half Fran Lara won the ball well to set himself up for that required a diving save from René to allow ATB to go into the break 1-0 up.
The emphasis changed completely in the second half, with ATB having more of the ball but Linares attempting to hit back on the counter and Linares making two changes to attempt to get back into the game. Ignasi [Villarasa] was one of the best players on the day and brilliantly set up Armando in the 49th minute but the shot was again blocked by Nuazet. A goalmouth scramble in the 53rd minute saw both Dioni and Vini with chances to put away rebounds but neither managed to find the net, and this was then followed up by a shot over the bar from José Fran a minute later. These spurned chances would come to haunt ATB as Linares would go down the other end to equalize just a minute later; Marc Castells heading home from a cross into the box. ATB seemed to wake up after this with Xavi Calm also bringing on Isi Ros for José Fran, and the Murcian player was lively – nearly scoring in a one on one with keeper Nauzet managing to keep the score line level. Ex Baleares player Hugo Díaz was unlucky not to score against his old team with a long-range effort hitting the bar in the 63rd minute. Xavi Calm took advantage of the hydration break to make a triple change, bringing on Manel, Orfila and Robles (making his first appearance of the season). The team were more willing to attempt risks as they went for the win. Iñaki put a chance over the bar from a corner in the 75th minute and then in the 80th Dioni met Ignasi’s cross on the volley but saw the effort also fly over the bar. In the 81st minute a one on one for Etxániz threatened to give Linares the win, but his effort was narrowly wide. The tension was palpable in the stands as the fans grew nervous with ATB not managing to find their best level. René then had to pull off a phenomenal save to deny Perejón on the counter. The last five minutes saw lots of action with first Dioni seeing red after a collision with Lolo Guerrero, before Vinicius’ attempted bicycle kick was saved by Nauzet, and then Linares nearly sealing the points in the 95th minute with René making a double save from Sanchidrán to ensure that the game finished with the points shared.
Atlético Baleares: 13. René, 12. Luca Ferrone (77′ 2. Robles), 20. Ignasi Vilarrasa, 4. Olaortua, 5. Carlos Delgado, 6. Armando (77′ 22. Orfila), 21. Petcoff, 10. Canario (c) (77′ 11. Manel), 7. José Fran (59′ 18. Isi Ros), 9. Vinicius y 17. Dioni.
Linares Deportivo: 13. Nauzet, 4. Marc Castells, 6. Fran Lara, 7. Hugo Díaz (68′ 9. Jon Etxániz), 8. Rodri (c), 14. Barbosa, 19. Andriu, 21. Luis Castillo (64′ 11. Sanchidrián), 22. Fede Olivera (45′ 16. Copete), 23. Carracedo (45′ 18. Perejón) y 30. Cañete (56′ 15. Lolo Guerrero).
Referee: Gonzalo Romero (Catalan).
Booked for ATB: Canario, Ignasi, Petcoff and a direct red card for Dioni.
Booked for Linares: Copete.
Estadio Balear: 2.300 spectators with around 50 away fans. In his pre match address president Ingo Volckmann unveiled a plaque and a shirt signed by the team for Antoni Salas Fuster, the official historian of the club, to thank him for his extensive service to the club.
Xavi Calm: “Honestly the game started very well, but I am happy with the point because they had good chances toward the end, the game was very open, we only had three at the back and they hit us on the counter, so the point is good. We were not at our best; we couldn’t find our rhythm and we made some errors in our final balls. After the equaliser we pushed more but we still weren’t good enough and we have to fix that. It might be that the early goal affected us but it should be like that, we have to keep competing, as much when we score as when they do. Those details shouldn’t affect us, because it is a league where the little details affect the results significantly. The pitch is how they tell us it needs to be as we move from summer to winter, it’s not high because of any deliberate plan on our end. The sending off wasn’t necessary because he had people in front of him, it’s a shame to lose Dioni for the next game. The game finished disorganised, with three strikers upfront, they had chances to counter and luckily we managed to come away with at least a point.”
Ignasi Vilarrasa: “A draw at home is never good, but considering how the game went; we didn’t have any rhythm, we struggled, we were better in the second half… so it’s not too bad to draw in this league, even though we always want to win. We will have to win in the Palamós against Costa Brava. We always want to attack, to dominate and take the initiative. It wasn’t part of the plan to score so early and maybe without realising we relaxed a bit. In the second half we made some changes and went on the front foot a bit more to try and earn three points but considering how everything went, a point is not too bad. The suspension of Dioni is significant, not just for his goals, but his work rate and he’s furious because the referee could have given it as a yellow [on another day]. We’ll miss him, but we have quality players to fill in“.
Isi Ros: “I feel stronger every game, and the manager puts his faith in me. The draw is a shame but considering the circumstances a point is good and we will need to win away from home next week now. We dominated for parts of the game, we had possession, there were chances for both teams, the draw was a fair result and now we have to focus on next Sunday. In this league every team who made it here did so because they played well last year, so every point you win is a positive. We will continue on, and fight to see how high we can finish, game by game.”