Scunthorpe United v Middlesbrough

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Football League Championship

Scunthorpe United0(0)Middlesbrough2(2)

Boyd 6, McDonald 23

Scunthorpe United :
Murphy, Byrne, Raynes, Nolan, Canavan, Woolford, O'Connor, J.Wright (Grant 73), Collins (McDonald 63), Dagnall (Forte 63), Sears.
Subs not used:
Warner, McClenahan, Togwell, Cowan-Hall.

Middlesbrough :
Steele, Bates, Wheater, Bennett, McMahon, Thomson, O'Neill, Arca (Bailey 82), McDonald, Boyd (Lita 69), Kink (Hoyte 58).
Subs not used:
Ripley, Hines, Tavares, Williams.


by Middlesbrough Evening Gazette at Glanford Park

BORO clawed out of the Championship relegation zone with a gritty 2-0 win away at Scunthorpe.

Kris Boyd got an early opener then Scott McDonald added a second on 22 minutes to put Boro in a commanding position but after that the team had to battle furiously to hold off a spirited Scunthorpe fightback.

They were forced onto the defensive for long spells and had to beaver away in midfield to weather the storm while outstanding shot-stopper Jason Steele pulled off a string of crucial saves as determined Boro fought every inch of the way for the precious points in a very rare away win .

Scunthorpe kicked off with the worst home record in the Championship, Boro with the worst away record in the entire Football League - one point in seven games and six defeats in a row and with just two goals in that nightmare run.

But after claiming his first win when Boro came from behind against Crystal Palace at the weekend new boss Tony Mowbray clocked up a second successive victory as he took charge on the road for the first time.

There was an anxious pre-match wait as a power cut plunged Glanford into darkness and with floodlights, concourse lighting and the ticket office all out of action there were frantic consultations between officials and stadium safety chiefs. Boro fans sang on in the dark until after 10 minutes the lighting started to come back on section by section to loud cheers and the game kicked off on time.

Mowbray made two changes, with Bates dropping into defence for injured Stephen McManus, fit again Gary O'Neil slotted into midfield while Tarmo Kink started in place of Luke Williams.

Boro made a few early probing moves that came to nothing but almost picked their way through on five minutes when a Kevin Thomson tackle won the ball and when he pushed it to Julio Arca he slotted it into the box for Kris Boyd to chase but it was just too far in front and the keeper was quickly out to collect.

But Boro were back to claim an early lead with a delightfully engineered goal on seven minutes.

A quick ball forward by Matthew Bates was collected just inside the Scunthorpe half on the flank and he carried it forward then checked inside and held it up then as Joe Bennett steamed past on the overlap the Aussie pushed a well weighted ball just in front of the full-back.

Bennett then knocked it past the last defender then surged to the by-line where he drilled in an inviting low cross that flew to the far post where Kris Boyd lost his marker to find a yard and stabbed the ball home sweetly from close range.

Scunthorpe responded with a good move of their own as Sears turned neatly and rolled the ball inside for Woolford to crack in a 20 yard effort that brought a good diving save from Jason Steele.

Boro were back on the attack on 12 minutes when Bates cut out a ball across the back and sprayed it wide for Kink and when he squared to the edge of the box Gary O'Neil sent a shot high over.

They were working hard in the middle to close Scunthorpe down quickly and were flying into early tackles, not letting the home side settle.

They threatened on 19 minutes when Bates carried the ball 40 yards forward and shimmied around two challenges then played a one-two with McDonald to get to the edge of the box on the left but when he drilled his cross in it was charged down.

Then Scunthorpe threatened as Woolford dispossessed Thomson wide on the right then quickly played a low ball in the box for Sears to chase but alert Bates spotted the danger quickly and stretched to cut it out.

Boro got a sizzling second on 22 minutes when Boyd chested down a quick ball to the edge of the box from Thomson then deftly laid it inside for Scott McDonald to take a touch then hammer a low 22 yard piledriver that fizzed past the dive of keeper Murphy then went in of the right hand upright.

Scunthorpe perked up and enjoyed a useful spell of possession in the Boro half and went close on 26 minutes when Wright found space outside the box and sent in a 25 yard dipping effort that brought a good one handed save from Steele who back-pedalled to push it over the bar.

Then when the corner was only half scrambled clear Woolford curled in a dipping swirling effort from wide on the right but Steele collected comfortably as it sailed towards the far top corner.

On 32 minutes Scunthorpe Nolan was booked after tangling with Thomson.

And then on 35 minutes the home side went close again as a slick passing move sent Dagnall down the inside right channel and he rifled a shoty towards the near top corner but again Steele went stetching to just get a finger-tip to it and tyurn it over,

And a minute later they went close again as Sears robbed Kink on the left and raced down the flank to cross in where Dagnall lost his marker and climbed unchallenged but he could only put a looping header over the bar.

And there was a scare on 42 minutes as a backwards header by McMahon fell short leaving Dagnall to streak into the box to chase but Steele came slithering out to smother at his feet.

And a minute later Dagnall again burst forward onto a slotted ball through the middle but Bates saw the danger and dashed back to cut out the danger.

McDonald was booked on 44 minutes for a foul on Collins.

And Steele was again called into action on the stroke of half-time as he got down superbly to save a 10 yard volley from defender Haynes after a corner.

Scunthorpe were quickly on the attack after the break as Raynes knocked a fantastic diagonal ball down the right flank for Woolford to chase and cut inside but as he tried to cut the ball back into the box Bennett arrived with a blocking sliding tackle.

Boro carved out the first real cahnce of the half on 52 minutes when Bennett and Thomson combined to find McDonald in space 20 yards out but his sizzling shot flew a foot over.

Julio Arca was booked for a foul on 52 minutes .

The home side went close on 54 minutes when they won a free-kick 30 yards out and when it was rolled inside O'Connor cracked in a powerful effort that brought a good save from Steele.

Then full-back Nolan got down the left and crossed in for Woolford who squeezed between two defender sto get the header but it squirted wide of the far post and as the pressure continued O'Connor chipped a diagonal free-kick into the box for Woolford to nod on and Raynes climbed above Bates to put a close range header over.

But Boro broke out and could have saled it as they broke out to carve open a glorious chance on the hour as McMahon sent a superb ball into the box for composed David Wheater to control well then fire in a powerful angled drive from eight yards out but keeper Murphy got down superbly to save and the loose ball was quickly scrambled away.

Scunthorpe won a free-kick 28 yards out on 68 minutes and when O'Connor slammed it into the wall there was a ferocious scream for a penalty for handball but the ref waved play on then the home side won a corner that caused a frantic scramble in the six yard area before Arca hooked it away.

Leroy Lita replaced Boyd on 69 minutes.

McMahon got a yellow card on 75 minutes for a foul on Woolford.

Woolford had a low 25 yard effort defelcted behind for a corner on 72 minutes and when the corner was nodded clear to the edge of the box O'Connor fired it well wide and Scunthorpe went close again on 78 minutes as an O'Connor 25 free-kick whsitled just wide.

And then lively Woolford weaved past McMahon and Thomson to get into the box from the right before his attempted ball into the crowd in front of goal was charged down by Wheater.

And on 80 minutes Scunthorpe almost clawed on back as the ball bounced around in a scrum just outside the box and substitute MacDonald cracked in a low shot that clipped the outside of the post with Steele stood rooted.

Boro were working hard to soak up the pressure and starting to press forward more.

Hoyte got a yellow card on 88 minutes for a foul.

But Boro finished the game looking poised and comfortable in possession. And they pushed forward in bthe closing stages and after an insistent spell of pressure Hoyte sent a 25 yard shot dipping over.

Then Boro won a corner and when it was only half cleared McDoanld sent a snap-shot fizzing wide from the edge of the box.

And in stoppage time - the fourth official had showed a surprising seven minutes - Bennett surged forward before being robbed by Byrne on the edge of the box.