Middlesbrough 1 – 1 Peterborough United
Location: Riverside Stadium
Date: 31st December, 2011
Attendance: 18,899 (343 Posh fans)
Going into the final game of 2011, Posh were buoyed by back to back 1-0 wins, but Middlesbrough were on a 4 game winning run and had only lost one League game at home all season so it was going to be a tough ask to get anything out of this game.
Posh began with the same starting line-up for the second game in a row but Lee Tomlin, who made a surprise appearance against Forest last week, although he didn`t look fit, failed to make the bench and was replaced by another youth team player in defender Peter Grant. Fellow youth team player Dan Lawlor retained his place on the bench alongside him.
Boro also went into this game with the same starting line-up as their Boxing day match as they looked to make December a 100% winning one.
It was Boro who started the brighter of the two teams as Nicky Bailey sent a long range volley wide of Joe Lewis` goal.
Ogbeche had Boro`s next opportunity but Lewis made a comfortable save. The one player that was a constant threat for Boro was Australian Scott McDonald and he should really have opened the scoring after the ball rolled nicely to him following a low shot from Justin Hoyte but he somehow missed his kick!
A rare burst of speed from Emile Sinclair nearly caught the home defence napping but a superb tackle inside the box from Rhys Williams after 28 minutes denied him an opportunity to get his shot away.
Despite the domination by Boro, they created very few chances and had only two shots on target in the first half!
Half-time: Middlesbrough 0 – 0 Peterborough United
Only one change was made at half time with Bailey being replaced by Thompson. Posh made a change five minutes after the restart with Joe Newell coming on for Danny Kearns.
However, only a minute after Posh made a change, Boro finally broke the deadlock when Scott MCDONALD converted a Barry Robson corner. It was disappointing to concede from a corner as in the previous two matches between these sides this season, Boro had scored from a corner!
Things had to change for Posh and they finally started to up their tempo. George Boyd (pictured below) was unlucky not to equalise on the 70 minute mark after good work from Paul Taylor had found Boyd but his effort was saved by Boro keeper Jason Steele.
Paul Taylor then had a chance but blazed his shot over the bar.
The match was now going from end-to-end as McDonald then had a chance to double the advantage but his shot hit the crossbar before the rebound was put wide by substitute Marvin Emnes.
McDonald then hit the post as he was set up by Robson after Rowe had been cautioned for a foul on the Boro skipper.
Taylor then had another opportunity to get an equaliser with just four minutes remaining but his shot was pushed round the post for a corner. The resulting corner kick from Boyd was superbly met by the head of Tommy ROWE, who beat the keeper to the ball after 87 minutes, and send the ball into the top corner of the net .
With the travelling fans ecstatic, Posh would surely look to put the game to bed and keep hold of the point by keeping Boro at bay, but it was Posh who could`ve nicked all three points during the four minutes of added time when Taylor had two chances. One went inches past the post while the second was saved by Steele.
Full-time: Middlesbrough 1 – 1 Peterborough United
POST MATCH QUOTES
Read quotes from both Tony Mowbray and Darren Ferguson – “That felt like a defeat” – Tony Mowbray
Vital Posh Viewpoint
This was going to be one of Posh`s toughest away matches of the season and although they weren`t at their best, they finally seem to have cracked how to stop multiple goals being scored against them each game!
Boro aren`t big scorers at home so Posh knew if they could limit the chances Boro had, they could always nick something from this game and that is exactly how it turned out.
A good defensive display again backed up by a confident Joe Lewis is starting to make Posh harder to beat.
With the defence now showing what they are capable of, Posh must now surely look at other areas to strengthen. The forward line is looking very sparse and with the only dangerous attribute Emile Sinclair seemingly has to offer is speed, we surely need to look to strengthen this area. David Ball looks out of favour now and hasn`t been doing much on loan and Ajose has just had a nightmare season so far. This is Fergie`s responsibility though but he must surely be able to see things that every Posh fan can see?
Anyway, back to the game and it was a very good point won on our travels.
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UP THE POSH!
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