Castilla had not played a game in almost a month due to multiple COVID-19 scares - so the squad would have released a collective sigh of relief when the postponed Rayo Majadahonda fixture was rescheduled for Sunday. Rayo have always been a strong Segunda B outfit, but in pre-season Castilla managed to beat them comfortably with a 2-0 scoreline. Competitive games are very different, as was Castilla’s side chosen by boss Raúl this time out. Goalkeeper Luis López was handed his professional debut, whilst the system revolved around a back five with the wing-backs assisting the front three in attack as much as possible. Five key players were unavailable for selection due to isolation, hampering Castilla considerably. The home side also admitted a decent crowd, distanced throughout the stands - but making this game seem a real step back into normality.
XI del Castilla!— RM Fabrica (@RMFabrica) November 15, 2020
En apenas media hora en RMTV. pic.twitter.com/BZuaw5d5zB
Castilla looked every bit as dominant as they did in the summer’s friendly - almost camping in the opposition's half. Guillem and Miguel Gutiérrez really helped to squeeze Majadahonda and push them back. Pablo Ramón was forced to depart early due to injury, but Castilla kept up the pressure - and created numerous scoring opportunities. Vallejo and Duro both came close, before Gutiérrez had an effort brilliantly denied from a rebounded shot. The team also had two penalty shouts denied, both surrounding Hugo Duro. The first was correctly overlooked, as Hugo went down softly in the area. The second however came from a blatant pull on the jersey, and if seen in any capacity would have definitely been called as a spot kick. All of this pressure was bound to decide the outcome one way or another, and unfortunately for Castilla things turned sour right at the end of the game. The hosts won a corner, which was defended and a further shot blocked - only for the ball to fall to a Majadahonda attacker on the bounce. The player volleyed it past López excellently to hand Rayo the win.
Frustration for Castilla, who have now lost two out of their three games so far. This new league format means that there is not much room for error if they want to secure their place in the third tier for next season, so this start should act as a hefty concern for Raúl. Despite the result, the team did perform well, so perhaps a more ruthless approach is all that is required to start bringing in results. Pablo Ramón’s injury appears to be more serious than initially thought, so hopefully he is able to recover swiftly. Next weekend’s home fixture against Navalcarnero has become hugely important for Castilla to get back on track.