FUSS N3 Nîmes and Alès neutralize each other in a lively derby

Jérémy Balmy opened the scoring in the first period (Photo Sacha Virga)

On the 24th day of N3, Nîmes and Alès go back to back 2-2. However, the Cévennes led 2-0 in the first half, but after the break the Crocos scored again thanks to a brace from Khalid. This accumulated point is valuable for the NO who are still in contention to remain in this championship.

After securing his first place and thus his crowning glory in this Occitan group N3 against Toulouse II (1-1) last week, Alès has nothing left to play in these last three days. But a derby is a game in itself and Stéphane Saurat fields a competitive side on the synthetic, irrigated soil of the Bastide. On the Nîmes side, this meeting is of great importance in the pursuit of sustenance. After a seven-game unbeaten run, including four wins, Yannick Dumas’ men fell back (2-0) in Aigues-Mortes last week. Everything is still playable for maintenance as the Nîmes reserve is just a point behind tenth place, the first to not be relegated.

A win against the Cevennes would bring them much closer. Except that the start is more Alesian with a dominance in possession. The game of the guests is oiled with good sequences, but misses a real chance. Abelinti believes he has found the mistake, but is ruled offside (24′). The Nîmes didn’t show enough engagement early in the game but they reacted. Pontet has a great chance, but his conversion from close range on the right doesn’t go on target (30′). While Nîmes regains the hair of the beast, Alès takes the opportunity to stab for the first time.

When another overflow on the right, Houelche crosses and Jérémy Balmy takes over victoriously with his right foot in the penalty area (1:0, 35th). The OAC is efficient and manages to break a few minutes later on his second real chance. After a chaotic corner, the Alésiens are more snappy, the ball is saved and Peyrard comes out to fool Malafosse from the right (2-0, 43′). An iconic goal for the Nîmes-trained Cévennes captain, who didn’t celebrate his performance as such. Before the break, Thomas goes solo and tries his luck, the ball lands close. Logically, Alès leads to the break (2:0).

Malafosse keeps hope alive

Returning from the dressing room, the locals have changed and are more enterprising thanks to entries from Boudache and Traoré. Nevertheless, they are close to the KO goal, but Malafosse saves the red house from Abelinti (48th). We then witness a livelier game with action from both sides. Traoré twice warns Moreau with a curl and a header without finding the fault. Nîmes was rewarded in this strong time by Khalid, who was served in the penalty area and hit the bull’s eye (2:1, 63rd).

Boosted by that drop in points, the NO are close to equalizing, but the Alesi defense is doing well. After a duel on the sidelines between Abelinti and Nasraoui, a scuffle ensued and a rather unusual scene, several security guards entered the pitch to calm the protagonists. Under the blazing sun, the game is tense. Despite this return to business, however, it was Alès who finished the game better. The Crocos owe their rescue to crucial goalkeeper Malafosse on several occasions, most notably by intervening on Abelinti’s feet.

Khalid’s jewel

The Nîmes defense has a lot of space in the final minutes and Balmy has the match point, but his shot from a tight angle lands on the side netting. Both teams are cut in half. Antonio can stand alone against Moreau and has the equalizer at the end of his right foot, but the keeper intervenes on his volley. In this second part of the season, however, the Nîmes have a big heart and liberation comes again from the foot of Khalid. The number ten is matched with a wonderful flick, the ball stays in the skylight (2: 2, 87th).

Behind it, Alès continues to press. El Hamri explodes and Saoudi again forces Malafosse to show all his talent. In the final moments of the game, Khalid can become his team’s hero, but his free kick lands over the bar. 2-2, Nîmes and Alesiens leave each other’s good friends after dominating a period each. Yannick Dumas willingly accepts this point and Nîmes still has his destiny in his hands to save himself. The Reds end up with two direct confrontations against Castanet and Blagnac. This time we must not miss the start to hope for victory.

Corentin Corger

Day 24 of the National 3. La Bastide synthetic stadium. Nîmes Olympique II – Olympique Alès in the Cévennes: 2-2. (Halftime: 0-2). Referee: Yohann Cavailles. Goals for Nîmes: Khalid (63′, 87′). Goals for Ales: I. Balmy (35′), Peyrard (43′). Warning to Ales: I. Mild (76′).

Nimes: Malafosse – Iafrate, Pontet, Zaidan, Nasraoui – Lafhal, Zampa, Khalid, Konango – Thomas, El Ftouhi. Substitutes: Boudache, Traoré, Antonio, Azzabi, Masse. Coach: Yannick Dumas.

Alès: Moreau – Houelche, Moges, Fontanelli, Jdaini – Je. Balmy, Diarra, Peyrard-Abelinti, Franco, Jo. Balm. Substitutes: Aidoud, Saoudi, El Hamri, Bonneau, Diatta. Coach: Stephane Saurat.

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