A trip to La Murada is never one for the faint hearted, so it was no surprise to witness the match referee brandished cards in all directions, throughout this feisty match.

Thader were on a high, following the previous weeks 6-1 demolition of Novelda, and were in no mood to surrender their unbeaten run.  Manager Raul Mora made 2 changes to that starting line-up.

Out went Miguel and Oscar, replaced by Juan and Ruben, whilst Mirete kept his place in goal.

Mirete justified his selection by pulling off a vital save, when faced with a 1 on 1 after only 2 mins.  The hosts were on the front foot early on, going close on 5 mins following a ball across the face of goal which went begging.  On 10 mins, the first of many bookings was given to the hosts – a vicious tackle from behind on Quino.

Twice within the space of 4 mins, Mirete came to his sides rescue, as his top-class athleticism was evident when dealing with goal bound shots.  Pedro took the heat off his defence on 25 mins, forcing a great save, then from the rebound, Rafa’s effort was off target.  By the half hour mark, not only had 3 Murada players been booked on the pitch, but one of their subs had also had his name taken.

Thader’s defence took their eye of the ball on 32 mins, allowing Lizor to slide the ball under an onrushing Mirete.  This seemed to spur on Mora’s men, who were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty for a clear foul on Calderon.  Deep into first half stoppage time, a text book cross from the left by Ruben, was headed into the back of the net by Quino.

Although Murada had far more possession, if the scoreboard had been working, it would have read 1-1.

Fed up with taking a pounding, it was the men from Rojales who became the aggressors, the first being Pascual, who picked up a justified yellow card for a nasty foul on 48 mins.  From the resultant free kick on the edge of the box, Ruben was adjudged to have handled inside the area.

Not only was Ruben booked, but Chema sent Mirete the wrong way to make it 2-1.  Back came Thader with a vengeance, with both Rosquin and Quino forcing important saves from Murada’s keeper.  Pedro became the next Thader player cautioned, which could soon prove costly, as these bookings are mounting up already.

High drama ensued on 55 mins, when Maya was sent off for handball on Murada’s goal line, for which he was given his marching orders.  Lloyd executed his now trademark penalty blast, which would also take the keeper into the goal if he dared get anywhere near it!!  So, 2-2 and all to play for, with Thader having the advantage of an extra man for the remaining 35 mins.

Screams of joy gave me quite a start, as local fans celebrated what they thought was a Murada goal on 72 mins, only for a linesman’s flag to cut short their celebrations.  Shortly after coming on as sub, Juanlu picked up a loose ball on 75 mins, then slammed the ball past a shell shocked Murada keeper, to put the visitors in front for the first time.

First Rafa then Berni saw yellow, as the hosts gave their all to regain parity.  They had what looked a justified penalty shout for handball on 85 mins, but thankfully it was not upheld.  The game should have been put to bed on 87 mins, when Thader sub Jony was faced with a 1 on 1 situation, but although he rounded the keeper, his final touch was too heavy, resulting in the advantage being lost.

Deep into stoppage time, yet another Mirete wonder save, prevented Murada from earning a share of the points.

So, for at least a few hours, Thader sat deservedly in 2nd position in group 4 of Preferente division.  Next Sunday 2 October, ko 11.30, Thader host newly promoted Catral at Moi Gomez stadium, Rojales.