European Lower League Week In Football – Week Three
A truncated review this week as only Italy & Spain had second tier action due to the International break.
All four Serie B teams with 100% records won in a weekend which saw the first managerial casualty of the season. Sassuolo continued their fine start with another 3-0 away win, this time at Empoli, striker Leonardo Pavoletti scoring a first half hat trick and taking his season’s tally to five goals in three games. The former Juve Stabia man has started the season in style justifying Sassuolo’s decision to keep hold of him following a successful season on loan in Lega Pro with promoted Virtus Lanciano.
Livorno kept pace with Sassuolo on nine points following a 2-1 away win at Pro Vercelli with Luca Siligardi grabbing his third goal in three games with what proved to be the winner. Siligardi has never scored more than three goals in a season throughout his career spent at Bari,Piacenza, Triestina & Bologna but has already hit that target.
Varese made it three wins out of three with a 2-1 victory at Modena, although they started the season with a one point deduction, which leaves them behind the top two, Moussa Kone hit the late winner for his second goal in two games since joining on loan from Atalanta.
Bari began the season with a five point deduction but they have moved up to seventh in the table after their third win, a comfortable 2-0 success over Ternana, Iunco & Caputo with first half goals & even the dismissal of Bellomo couldn’t dampen the high spirits at the San Nicola.
At the other end of the table, Grosseto picked up a useful point in a 1-1 draw at Padova but they sit on -4 points & sit behind a Cesena side who have shipped 10 goals in three games & had a man sent off in each of those games. They have also parted company with coach Nicola Campedelli after the poor start to the season. Ternana are still searching for their first points of the season after the loss at Bari. Also on zero points are Ascoli & Padova, both are yet to win but began the season with points deductions. Juve Stabia, Empoli & Virtus Lanciano have all failed to register a win in their opening three games.
Hellas Verona recorded their first win of the season with a 2-0 victory over Reggina & Novara won 4-1 in Cesena for their first success, Kosovan Agon Mehmeti scoring a hat trick in his first start for the club since joining on loan from Serie A side Palermo.
Elche continued their fine form with an impressive 1-0 win in Cordoba, Carles Gil with the early winner, his third in four games.Elche stand alone at the top of Liga Adelante after Almeria suffered a 3-0 loss at Sabadell with summer signing from league rivals Guadalajara Anibal Zurdo grabbing a hat trick. Villarreal move into second place on 10 points as Walter Pandiani came from the bench for the second week on the trot to bag the winner as Ponferradina were beaten 1-0.
High fliers Girona & Murcia were both beaten for the first time, Girona went down 2-1 at the Rico Perez as first half goals from Nobrega & Gilvan Gomes gave Hercules their first points of the season.Murcia travelled south to Recreativo Huelva & were on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline. It has been a solid start for Murcia but suspensions will kick in soon as Oscar Sanchez was sent off for the second time this season having just returned from a one match ban. Goalkeeper Javi Jiminez & defenders Molinero & Mehdi Nafti have each received three yellow cards in four games as Murcia’s no nonsense style doesn’t appear to be going down well with the Spanish Referees.
Numancia & Lugo still have their unbeaten records intact as both drew at the weekend.Lugo held Sporting Gijon to a 1-1 draw thanks to a fine free kick from Oscar Diaz whilst Numancia shut out a Mirandes side who hit four at Xerez the previous week earning a good 0-0 draw. Just three teams are still without a win & all sit in the bottom three, surprisingly two of the teams relegated from La Liga Sporting Gijon & Racing Santander & less surprisingly Guadalajara who enjoyed a mid table finish after promotion last season but the loss of key players Anibal Zurdo & Ernesto could hit them hard this time around.