Each Friday at Puerto del Carmen Market (10am-2pm) and Sundays at Teguise Market (10am-2pm) all info and merchandise can be obtained from Ian at the Clubs Stall

3rd May 2010

It’s all over. After nine consecutive seasons in Spain’s third flight of football Unión Deportiva Lanzarote has been relegated and will be playing football next season against fellow Canarian teams.

Gutted, one of Lanzarote´s great players , club captain and scorer of the goal against the mighty Real Madrid, Oscar VladimirEleven seasons ago the Rojillos made their debut in Segunda B (league 1) but were relegated the same season. The following year they returned as Tercera division (third Division) champions and embarked on an incredible journey both in the Copa del Rey and the league.

In 2003-04 season a young talented extraordinary Lanzarote side won the league but still failed in promotion to Segunda A (championship) because of the Spanish play off system which includes the leagues winners only gaining promotion through a play off.

During those years the Conejeros (locals) enjoyed seeing their island compete and beat some of the Primera Liga´s finest teams. Wins against Tenerife, Mallorca and Athletic Bilbao were some of the highlights of a five year dream as well as narrow losses to Sevilla, Getafe and a late Fernando Torres strike for Atlético Madrid.

The biggest game Lanzarote ever played was in the 2001-02 campaign against Giants of football Real Madrid. After going a goal down from Guti the Rojillos rallied and equalized before the break with current club captain Oscar Vladimir obliging with a dream goal. Zidane and Figo turned on the class in the second period and Madrid ran out 1-3 winners.Real Oviedo´s travelling fansLanzarote will be heading back to the third division with a hat full of memories of success, which has also been their demise. Competing against Spain’s elite has come at great expense and for the past two seasons the existence of U.D. Lanzarote has been in serious threat and was only resolved hours before deadline.

Fittingly it was ex Primera Liga side Real Oviedo that dealt the final blow. After 13 seasons in the Primera Liga the Asturias side fell into a cash freefall and found themselves in the third division. Winning the third division via the play offs last season in front of a thirty thousand crowd was the stepping stone the club needed.

This season they are guaranteed second place with this win against Lanzarote and will be competing for promotion for a second successive season.

Once again the Rojillos seemed to be playing well only for the away side to draw first blood. In the 29th minute striker Mario Prieto blasted in a 25 yard belter that flew past keeper Vilches with the ball nestling into the top left hand corner.

Relegation to the Tercera (third) division had already been assured with last weeks loss so pride was the only matter at stake against the Gran Canarian mid table side.

Lanzarote began the better of the two teams with the first chance falling for Ayoze Pérez who tested the reflexes of the Vecindario keeper, Luis, with a powerful shot which was finger tipped away for a corner.

In the 20th minute the Rojillos took the lead. A superb run down the right wing by Ayoze Pérez who outpaced the Vecindario back four then unselfishly squared the ball for striker Carlitos to pass the ball home from eight yards with the keeper being caught in no mans land. The Rojillos had found themselves in unfamiliar territory by taking the lead in a match.

Only three minutes after going in front ex Rojillo favourite Yeray Ortega nodded his new side back on level turns following a corner. Two minutes on and the Rojillos were 2-1 down. A corner swung in from the left was cleared to Toñito standing on the edge of the box.

The Lanzarote front man carelessly gave the ball away and from 20 yards Yeray López sweetly hit a volley beating the Lanzarote keeper Miguel to the right hand corner of the net.

The Rojillos were now back in familiar territory by trailing a game by two goals. The defensive frailties from Lanzarote were fully exposed in this match just as they have been all season. With 85 goals conceded this term, Lanzarote have the worst defensive record in Spain.

Five minutes before the break and the days scoring was complete.  A simple cross into the danger zone was met by an unchallenged Yeray Ortega who headed home his second of the day from six yards. The home side went into the interval with a commanding 3-1 lead.

After an eventful first period the rhythm of the match died with chances for either side being few and far between. Manager Carmelo Hernández gave Englishman Ian Robinson a half hour run out and with a little over 20 minutes remaining Lanzarote junior player Roberto got the nod from his manager to make his first team debut.

As the Ref blew the final whistle Lanzarote´s nine consecutive years in Segunda B came to an end. An exodus of players has already begun with Juachi, Moncho, Rául Torres and Carlitos with their bags packed and many more will be expected to follow.

Opportunity will await the youth of Lanzarote as first team positions will be up for grabs as the Rojillos prepare to build for an immediate return to Segunda B.

All fixtures for next season in the third division will be updated on the website around mid August. For any other information you’re welcome to drop me a line.