End of the National season: in Martigues, Nîmes Olympique did not spoil the party

End of the National season: in Martigues, Nîmes Olympique did not spoil the party
End of the National season: in Martigues, Nîmes Olympique did not spoil the party

National / 34th and final day. The Martégaux are rising, but the Crocos made life difficult for them, Saturday May 18.

Twenty-two years ago, Nîmes and Martigues, respectively penultimate and last of the 2001-2002 financial year, fell together in National. If, since then, the Crocos had come back (in 2008), even tasting three seasons in Ligue1, this was not the case for the Sang et Or, stuck at the amateur level and unable to extricate themselves. Until this Saturday, May 18, in a sold-out Francis-Turcan stadium and with an ex-Croco, Grégory Poirier (2009-2010), at their head. A coach who, by the way, really pleases sports director Sébastien Larcier…

With Ondoa and Camara right side

Saturday, the Nîmes did not spoil the party. It must be said that the Martégaux really wanted to do it. They had learned their lesson from last year, when, in a favorable position for accession, they were scuttled on the penultimate day, at the bottom of the team Borgo (3-0).

The Provençaux entered the match full force and scored very quickly with a superb movement, concluded by a cross from Ipiélé for a diving header from Robin out of reach of Ondoa (1-0, 6th). An opening score which calls for two clarifications.

First, the Cameroonian goalkeeper, under contract but whose future we do not know, was aligned as a reward for his investment in the group, despite his status as a replacement. Then, NO did not have a right back available, it was Camara who stuck to it (rather well in fact), and the goal came from the left side…

Only five regular starters

Adil Hermach only fielded five usual starters at the kick-off. He wanted to see some in action, in anticipation of next season. The Khalid, Thoumin or Paviot did not really seize their chance, the crocodile coach even taking out the first two at half-time, replaced by the two indisputable Mendy and Mbemba.

Proof that he did not want to lose and that he did not appreciate that “some play a bit like little seniors”. The technician even ended up with two, even three central attackers (Mbina, Doucet, even Mbemba): “We had to play hard, for ethics.”

But nothing worked, despite two chances for Mbina (save from Aymes, 16th, and small net, 60th) and a free kick from Picouleau with rebound that Doucet narrowly missed extending (82nd). But Martigues held on, could have made the break (Ondoa decisive against Diawara, 79th) and deserves to see L2 again.

“Next season is for you”

As for NO, is the final eleventh place deserved? “Well done, Crocos. Next season, the climb is for you,” said a Provençal leader to the Nîmes, before they boarded… their bus, heading to the feria and the holidays. This is all the evil we wish them.

Sébastien Larcier: “We will have to improve this last month, with Adil (Hermach), we hope…”

Adil Hermach, coach of Nîmes
“We could have come back to the score… This match makes me want to quickly resume and why not try to experience moments like those that Martigues is experiencing there. Where will I be on July 8 for the restart? At the Bastide…”

Sébastien Larcier, sports director of Nîmes
“It’s a frustrating season, because there was room to do much better. We have to accept that there are stages in a reconstruction. Now, we will have to improve on this last month, with Adil, we hope…”



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