FOOTBALL

STEVE’S ARMCHAIR REVIEW – MIDDLESBROUGH V LEEDS

Then on the 75 minute mark, I got my wish. Ogbeche was going to enter the fray. The circumstances as to why he came on were unfortunate, however. Kevin Thomson bent down to head the ball away as Adam Clayton raised his foot. You don’t need to be a genius to guess what happened but the result was Thomson being stretchered from the field.

Ogbeche was involved instantly showing some strength under pressure from about 13 Leeds defenders before passing to Emnes who crossed into the box, only for Main to head disastrously wide. He then had a shot from a position that should have been crossed but as his teammates made no effort to get into the box he really had no other option but to shoot. He was looking lively, within five minutes delivering a performance head and shoulders above any of the other Middlesbrough players.

The Middlesbrough cause was then made tougher by the stupidity of Barry Robson. In one short spell on the ball, under pressure (although not being fouled) from Adam Clayton, Robson managed to push out twice, throw two elbows and then kick the Leeds man. The decision was excellent by the referee as on first viewing it looked like Clayton was the aggressor and Robson the victim but the referee saw what I couldn’t.

Although they were a man down, Middlesbrough had the best chance to score before the end of the game. After some dodgy hands from Andy Lonergan, Seb Hines had the chance to tap the ball in from all of three yards out but managed to tap it wide. This was a predictable end to a diabolical second half of Championship football. As the full time whistle was blown and the game came to an end, so did my interest in lower league football.

Leeds star man: Ross McCormack — Before being subbed to a standing ovation McCormack was causing no end of problems for the Boro defenders. He was coming deep to collect the ball, he was running to collect balls that he should have had no chance collecting. His intricate passing in and around the penalty area will cause problems for any team and he came away with an assist as well. A really dominant display from the striker.

Boro star man: There wasn’t one. There isn’t one Boro player who I can single out and say, ‘yea he kept his head while those around him were losing theirs.’ If I had to choose one then, just to follow the theme of this piece, I’ll go for Ogbeche. He came on and he was trying to cause problems for the Leeds defenders, something that no other Boro player was doing.

Referee performance: 7/10 — Carl Boyeson gave a good account of himself. He wasn’t too whistle-happy and made a brilliant call with the sending off. A minor criticism was that towards the end, a few bookable offences were going unpunished but all-in-all a good display.

Pleb of the Match: Barry Robson — This almost went to Adam Hammill for his temper tantrum and then, later on, his berating of the referee for making the correct decision and penalising him for a foul. However, following Robson’s conduct in the lead up to getting sent off he suffers the misfortune of being labelled a ‘pleb’ for this game. Get a grip lad, you’re better than that.

It’s unlikely that there will be another armchair review of a Championship game. This was, to put it bluntly, shit. Ta-ra for now…

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