Very Poor Boro
By Rob Nichols
Saturday 05 Oct 2019 11:13:00
Browse all Match Reviews articles


Boro crashed to a 2-1 defeat thanks to a late, late winner by Birmingham last night. Daniel Ayala had bundled the ball in from close range to equalise with only about 4 minutes to play. But in a frantic finale the home side found a way past Darren Randolph in injury time. In the first half the former Blues keeper had been left exposed and beaten from the edge of the box having kept us in the game with a string of reaction saves. It was a sickening finale for Boro fans to take and leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Teesside will be worried throughout this international break.

Boro were second best all over the park last night and that was against a home team off the back of a winless run and surely desperately short on confidence. An attack led by the always combative former Boro man, Lukas Jutkiewicz, were dominant in the Boro box. But then again they bossed the midfield and controlled most of the possession.

Boro could not prevent a stream of crosses coming into the box and then it was left to Darren Randolph to perform his heroics to keep them out. Randolph is always going to be a largely goal line keeper, which is fine, Stephen Pears was similar or even Jim Platt in having big strong centre backs to deal with most of the aerial stuff. We can now see exactly how important Aden Flint was to the team. Perhaps not such a poor signing by Tony Pulis after all. Flint might have lost his goalscoring touch last season but first and foremost he was a defender and not much got past him in the air.

But we must stop the centres coming in. We must retain possession upfront and midfield. We need to get the pressing game started again. Last night Ayala's equaliser would have been a steal. But that late in the game we should have been able to see out the game. I know we had taken off defenders to allow us to press in attack but even so we should have held back the blue tide for those final few minutes.

I am off to a full Riverside now to watch the Lionesses roar. It will be a much needed break from what is looking like a season of torment and worry.

Difficult times.

Birmingham City 2-1 Boro (Ayala)

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