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Seven years ago, Luca Mora was taking his tentative first steps into the world of professional football with the tiny Serie C2 club Crociati Noceto. All these years later the combative SPAL midfielder stands on the precipice of Serie A.

What’s more he is not the only one to have made the journey from the modest Stadio Il Noce to the high end of Serie B. Team mate Michele Castagnetti also made his bow in the professional ranks with the Crociati. While that club has since gone the way of the Dodo, the careers of Mora and Castagnetti most certainly have not.

Indeed, these two men are the epitome of where hard work and sacrifice can get you. And last Saturday that drive and determination shone through in horrid weather conditions. With the pitch in Ferrara slowly descending into a mud bath the two men, picked to play beside one another in the centre of the park, drove on their team to recover from a goal down to earn what may prove a crucial point at home to Ascoli.

Only just promoted into Serie B this season, SPAL have proven to be one of the league’s biggest surprise packages, currently sitting third as they are. And a few big names aside this remarkable climb has been achieved as a result of what many would consider a batch of unknowns, with Mora and Castagnetti being an excellent case in point.

While on paper the home draw against Ascoli would be looked upon as two points dropped rather than one gained, the atrocious weather conditions and the never say die attitude of the players on show make it potentially a season defining game.

Away from SPAL, Cristian Bucchi’s Perugia were another side who showed great heart at the weekend to further their own promotion play-off hopes. 2-1 down at home to a struggling Brescia, the Grifone struck twice in the last 14 minutes to seal all three points and thus move themselves up into sixth place in the table.

As alluded to above the weather across the peninsula was generally quite brutal over the weekend and as such had a detrimental effect on some of the football being played. One such case being the match between Cittadella and Pro Vercelli, which ended 0-0 as both teams spent more time on their arses then on their feet. However, the biggest game of the weekend escape the ravages of mother nature, owning to the fact that it was played on Friday night and that was the encounter between Verona and Benevento.

And as such we were treated to an exhilarating encounter between two of the league’s best sides. There was goals, red cards and late penalty drama, it really did live up to its top of the table billing. In the end though neither side could prise themselves apart from the other as it finished in a 2-2 draw.

Talking points:

Frosinone came out victorious in the Derby against Latina. Always a full bloodied affair this one was settled by a solitary Federico Dionisi strike from the spot. More importantly though is whether it will have a positive or detrimental effect on the sides involved. The Canarini are looking for that extra little boost to overhaul Verona, while the Leonialti are desperate to avoid the drop, how will the result of the derby play in their mind.

Pisa have finally reached double figures for goals scored this season, hurrah!!! Is this the straw that will break the camel’s back and now we will see them flying in (hint: NO)

Trapani’s mini revival was halted at home against Avellino. Yes, it may have been another point gained but at this stage of the season and given the opposition this was a match that surely had to be won.

View Table HERE.

Week 24 Results:

Hellas Verona 2-2 Benevento, SPAL 1-1 Ascoli, Spezia 2-0 Ternana, Perugia 3-2 Brescia, Cittadella 0-0 Pro Vercelli, Latina 0-1 Frosinone, Salernitana 0-0 Novara, Pisa 1-1 Virtus Entella, Bari 2-1 Vicenza, Carpi 1-2 Cesena, Trapani 0-0 Avellino.




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