Friday, 22 April 2011

Away to Burnley

What a nice day for a football game I thought travelling down for the game with glorious sunshine. We arrived at Turf Moor a new ground for me. As I went to see what my seat was like a few rows from the back quite with steep steps and wooden Seats, I sat down and looked at the pitch it reminded me of Hillsborough. Steep with pillars.

Kick-off was approaching and the teams came on to the pitch just in front of us the tunnel being at our end. Two changes from the team that played against Barnsley on Saturday out went Andrew Halliday and Andrew Davies and in came our captain Matthew Bates and Julio Arca.

We started with a 4-5-1 formation with Rhys Williams getting forward to support the attack when he could. It was Rhys who had Boro’s first chance when he volleyed from 20 yards out, just wide. It was a lively end to end start.

Careless passing from Arca resulted in Eagles causing us problems down the left, he cut inside and hit a shot from the edge of the box which was saved by Paul Smith to the left and round for a corner. From the corner Boro didn’t mark up properly and Rodriguez was unmarked in the box to tap home a low shot. Only a minute later more sloppy passing and another error, Tony McMahon losing possession for Burnley to quickly turn defence in to attack. Rodriguez ran forward with the ball, skipped past a challenge by McManus and played a pass through to Wade Elliott on the right. The defence was stretched, Wade carried the ball inside, got past Joe Bennett and smashed the ball high into the net to make it 2-0.

Jay Rodriguez and Chris Eagles were causing us real problems. Some of it was our own doing gifting the Burnley duo possession. Burnley continued pressing, McMahon brought down Eagles and was given a yellow card. More pressure from Burnley’s Rodriguez on the right, he won a corner off Joe Bennett. Fox took the corner, whipped it in to the box and Michael Duff was unmarked at the back post to head home.
What a disaster, 3 down after 37 mins too many players not marking up. Really poor goals to concede from our point of view. Rhys Williams had a few early 50-50 chances in the first half and McDonald had one just before the break. We went into the break 3-0 down.

The second half kicked off with the same team that started the game. Tony McMahon hit a freekick just over. Burnley continued to cross the ball dangerously in to our box. Mowbray decided to use all his subs at the 60 minute mark. Off came Robson, McMahon and Thompson who all had poor games. On came Kink, Smallwood and Lita. It meant another reshuffle with Boro going to a 4-4-2 and Rhys going to play at right back where he had a successful time during his loan spell at Turf Moor.

Leroy Lita wasted no time to get into the action, he latched onto the ball in the penalty area and shot just wide. Burnley were still causing us problems and coming close to increasing their lead. Rhys Williams was getting forward from right back, he looked our best threat through out the game. We were coming up to the last 10 mins when Rhys broke forward. Just outside the box he passed to Lita, picking up a return after making a dash just inside the box. Rhys picked up the return ball and cracked a shot that hit the post and came out to Taylor who hit it in the net. After the loud non-stop singing from the travelling Teesside army, at least we had something to cheer about.

Boro went close again a few minutes later, Arca and Smallwood combined well to find McDonald who hit a shot 25 yards out for the keeper to parry and get at the second attempt with Lita arriving.
Boro play was disrupted by Scott McDonald getting caught offside on numerous of occasions. It was Burnley who continued to look more dangerous, Rodiguez who was announced as Burnley man of match, scooped up a loose ball from a Boro attack but then hit over from 18 yards out.
It could easily have been double figures for Burnley; there was a late scare in stoppage time. Paul Smith’s sloppy clearance went straight to Cork who hit a volley from 30 yards but Smith got back in time to save and keep the score at 3-1.

It was great support all game from us Boro fans we never stopped chanting for our team. There was even a loud send off for our players as they passed us to go down the tunnel. Yet it was a poor game by many of our players. We must bounce back at Hull on Saturday. I would like to see Richard Smallwood start as he impressed when coming on tonight and against Barnsley on Saturday, he looks so comfortable in the middle of the park. It will be good to have Marvin Emnes back from his ban to add to our attack too.
Time to bounce back and get some good performances in ready for next season.

Published first on FMTTM Site

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