With ten minutes to go on Friday night, Torrevieja led Hull U21’s by two goals to one, with goals from Cesar and Juanfran, the second from the penalty spot. Hull won a corner on their right, dinked it into the near post where Lofts cleverly flicked it home, unmarked. After all the hard work that had gone into getting themselves ahead having gone behind in the first minute of the second half, it was a kick in the teeth for the team. The kick in the teeth became a full on sledgehammer as the game entered it’s final minute. Burguillos needlessly gave away a free kick just to the left of Torrevieja’s penalty area, climbing all over his man. The ball was swung in by the left boot of Tymon and Bowen rose to power home the winning header. The “travelling” support of Hull, plentiful in number and noise, rose to acknowledge their young side showing the right commitment to not giving up, despite the challenge of the heat and slightly curious refereeing.
Three matches into pre-season and a worrying pattern is starting to develop for CD Torrevieja. 50% of the eight goals conceded have come from corners or set-pieces in wide areas, and if Pedreno has not scribbled down “defending corners” as the main area for training in the week then something has gone terribly wrong.
Torrevieja were fantastic for the opening half an hour. Brani, in his return to the club, started at right back and spent most of the first half causing the Hull left back many problems. Rivas and Cavas started well in the middle of defence, until injury forced Rivas to be replaced by Croatian debutant Matheus. Despite occasionally being caught for pace, Cavas again marshaled the back four superbly and gave Torrevieja the platform from which to pour forward. Eddy started in a new position, playing the slightly deeper midfield role alongside Burguillos and the attacking quartet of Lewis, Luis Carlos, Rafa Gomez and Cesar drifted and switched shape at will.
Lewis nearly opened the scoring after 13 minutes, rounding the ‘keeper but finding the angle too tight to get a convincing shot away. He was in the action again after half an hour, but this time for being on the end of a very clumsy challenge by Hull’s right back Clackstone, one of the game’s more understandable yellow cards. There were more bookings than chances in a competitive first 45 minutes. Although the refereeing was at best curious, Hull allowed this to unsettle them and at least four cards were dished out for dissent. However, this allowed the Hull support to settle in and get fully behind their team, the game feeling like an away fixture for the home side.
The standard fare for a pre-season fixture is a broken second half, where the game just peters out as many substitutions get made. This match broke that rule. After just thirty seconds Hull had the lead, Annan finding space on the left of the area and shooting past Miguel, who had barely finished doing up his gloves. They nearly doubled the lead shortly after, Adrian Banderas getting caught in midfield and Miguel bailing him out with a smart stop with his legs. Then the spectators were treated to the pass of the game. Rafa Gomez, captain for the day and somewhat on the edge of the game to this point, hit a first time 40 yard pass from left to right, completely splitting the Hull defence and finding Cesar in a way that he did not even have to break stride. Cesar collected, took two touches and rifled home the equalizing goal in clinical fashion. Credit to the Hull support, they appreciated the moment of class and applauded generously. Generous applause soon became further analysis of the referee. Torrevieja worked a clever corner to the edge of the area, where Juanfran bulleted a shot goal-wards. The ball hit a raised Hull arm and the referee did not hesitate to point to the spot. Juanfran, in classic playground “I won it so I am taking it fashion” stepped up and put it high to the ‘keepers left. The terrier like striker had another chance five minutes later, a chance that would have meant victory, but was hit straight at the chest of the ‘keeper and the moment had passed. Hull saw this as their chance to get back in it, and with the temperature now a little cooler and the fans back in fine voice following the replenishment of refreshment at the bar, they surged forward to turn the game round in the final ten minutes.
It was a fine match, and there were many positives on show from the Torrevieja perspective. Centre back Matheus looked equally adept on the right and left of the two, Eddy was Pirlo-esque in his midfield display and everytime Luis Carlos gets the ball you feel something good might happen. Considering that likely first choices Vicente, Martin, Jorge and Carrasco were rested, the players on show certainly enhanced their claims to a shirt.
Speaking of shirts, the new Adidas CD Torrevieja kits for the 2015/16 season are now on sale in the club shop or online at www.tiendacdtorrevieja.tictail.com. Available in S, M, L & XL in three styles, the only cost 25€.
Torrevieja are back in action on Friday 7th August at 8pm, when they entertain Hercules at El Vicente Garcia.