Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Barnsley v Middlesbrough 15/8/11

Barnsley 1 - 3 Middlesbrough
McDonald 11
Robson 13
Emnes 44

Written By Steven Byrne

Just Like Watching Brazil…

Boro travelled to Oakwell full of confidence following their 1-0 victory over Leeds on Saturday. An expectant 1879 Boro fans made the trip to South Yorkshire knowing that a win could see them top the table. Boro lined up as expected with Julio Arca coming in take the place of the suspended Tony McMahon with Justin Hoyte moving to right back. Rhys Williams moved to centre back alongside Matthew Bates and Stephen McManus as Boro adopted a 3-5-2 formation.

The game started at a high tempo with Boro looking to take an early lead so it was a bit of a surprise then when on 4 minutes McManus turned a cross from Barnsley winger David Perkins into his own net. A year ago Boro would have collapsed and it would have been game over. However, this is Tony Mowbray’s Middlesbrough and we will fight to the end.

Boro’s heads never dropped and soon after a Barry Robson corner was met with a glancing header by Scott McDonald for Boro’s equaliser on 11 minutes. Then just 2 minutes later McDonald repaid the favour and turned provider with a perfectly times cross from the left for Robson to bundle the ball over the line to make it 2-1.

Boro controlled the rest of the first half playing some mesmerising football and it was McDonald again on 44 minutes who played a clever through ball to Marvin Emnes who kept his cool and grabbed his 6th of the season and made it 3-1 to Boro.

Barnsley, who despite passing the ball well lacked any real quality, and never threatened Carl Ikeme’s goal. Boro were unlucky not to extend their lead by more in the second half which saw the travelling army of Boro fans mock the near silent home fans with chants of their own terrace favourite from years gone by of ‘it’s just like watching Brazil’ as Boro passed the ball around with style and ease.

Seb Hines replaced Justin Hoyte on 75 minutes, with Mowbray stating after the match that he had gambled on Hoyte’s fitness – a gamble that had paid off. Julio Arca then left the pitch to a standing ovation on 78 minutes to be replaced by Richie Smallwood, whose first contribution was to win a free kick on the edge of the box. It would have taken a brave man to try and get the ball off Barry Robson, and he was unlucky when his pile driver came back off the Barnsley wall.

The final whistle brought to an end one of Boro’s finest performances for a long time and it is all down to Tony Mowbray and what he has instilled in this team - togetherness, spirit, and belief. Barry Robson, Julio Arca and Nicky Bailey ran themselves into the ground whilst Emnes and McDonald created enough chances and the latter was unlucky not to be taking the match ball home with him. Boro’s defence coped with everything that came their way and Carl Ikeme had very little to. A satisfactory nights work saw the Boro players leave the field to a chorus of ‘we’re Middlesbrough’ but not before the modest Mowbray headed down the tunnel to the loudest cheer of the night from the grateful travelling fans.

Southampton continued their perfect start to the season with another victory which meant that Boro would have to settle for 2nd spot, but I think every single Boro fan would’ve taken that 2 weeks ago.

Bring on Brum! Boro are back!

Boro Man of the Match - Barry Robson - never stopped running and deserved his goal.
Attendance - 10,603 (1,879 Boro)
League Position - 2 (P 3, W 2, D 1, L 0, GD 3 Pts 7)
Game Highlight - 4th away win on the bounce
Boro Team - Ikreme, Bennett, McManus, Bates(c), Hoyte, Williams, Bailey, Robson, Arca, Emnes, McDonald (subs) Coyne, Kink, Hines, Martin, Smallwood

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