Boro See Red and Sink to Swans
By Rob Nichols
Monday 16 Dec 2019 11:53:00
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It was a poor, poor Saturday for Boro, 2 red cards and a 3-1 defeat. What perhaps makes it even worse is that before Marcus Browne's idiotic rush of blood Boro were level and right back in the game.We had every chance of taking a point or points back on the long road to Teesside. Ayew finished emphatically to add to his dodgy penalty before Surridge finished us off. Then McNair's red card meant Boro finished with only 9 men on the pitch. It was a long way back from there.

It is thankfully a very rare event witnessing 2 Boro players being sent off and I hope I don't see it again but 4 reds in just a couple of months is atrocious. Two of those reds completely turned the match around. Just as with Marvin Johnson at home to Hull City Marcus Browne has made a stupid, completely needless challenge that has handed the match to our opponents. Just at the point we had drawn level through a fine finish from Tav and looked to have all the momentum. It was an appalling foul as well, Browne knew it immediately as he walked away from the incident. He let down his team and all those fans that had travelled hundreds of miles to support them.

Boro began the game pretty well. We played the ball around much to the pleasure of the very small away contingent. My mate Mick told me that we were struggling to get 20 people into the stand half an hour before kick off. But it was bitterly cold so you stayed down in the concourse or better still in the warmth of your car until the last minute.

Swansea had just started to have a little spell when they won the penalty. Pears palmed out a close range effort, Boro struggled to clear the lines but then Fry appeared to nick it away from Ayew who toppled like a tree. Penalty. I shouted out “No Way.” It looked a fair challenge and the ball was cleared from a player already going down in advance. Hard done by Boro. Ayew coolly dispatched the spot kick.

Second period and Boro now had to come back from behind but we did it earlier in the week at Forest, so could we do it again? We brought on Browne into the no.10 berth to make us more positive. He soon got into an advanced position but fell to the ground himself and was booked. There was a lot of that falling and diving about all afternoon.

Mid way through the second period Fletcher cut diagonally at pace across the Swansea half and laid the ball off for Tav who hammered it like a rocket into the corner of the net. Get in. It was right down in front of the away section and we all celebrated together. Hopefully, we could go on and get a share of the points. No bad return from the trip and the week.

But Boro were actually now looking to push on for all 3 points against a home struggling for confidence and results. We looked the likelier to score again as Coulson charged down the left, Fletcher was full of movement and holding up the ball for a buoyed up Tav who oozed with belief.

Then came that stupid, awful challenge by Browne. Just like Johnson against Hull it was in a nothing position near the half way line. This time the foul looked dangerous. At least once, maybe twice before in his short Boro career Marcus Browne has had to be subbed at half time to save him from converting a yellow card into red. He has made a habit of reckless, dirty challenges. This time he has let a lot of people down and it needs to be the very last time.

Boro responded positively attacked the Swans goal but then all too soon Ayew carved a hole in our defence and blasted home, showing real Premier poise and purpose.

Boro were now in trouble and struggling with 10 men and a goal down. A couple of minutes later Surridge made it three from close range and there was no way back. Could we make sure we got out of the Liberty without an absolute hiding?

Gestede came on to boos from the Swans fans, not popular in this part of Wales. Boro tried to keep playing to Fletcher and Rudy up front. But then came the second red. From the away end it looked an innocuous challenge by McNair, looking on youtube afterwards there appears to be an elbow. Was it on purpose? Whatever, Boro were now down to nine in all kinds of trouble. Wing came on and we brought everyone back. Thankfully we held it to a 3-1 defeat. That meant 3 points lost but even worse we now have 2 men out for 3 games. Paddy McNair is our best player this season and to miss him for such a vital run of games could be so costly.

This defeat coupled with a big win for Barnsley and a draws elsewhere increased the pressure on Boro but the suspensions are what will really hurt. For one player to throw away a winning position against Hull is bad enough but for a second player to destroy our chances a month later is terrible. Four reds in eight games is just about the worst record I can remember at Boro, we have to immediately stop that rot. Is it a result of the pressing game or just appalling indiscipline and misjudgement? Whichever, Woodgate must stop any more red mists descending before we hand over our Championship status from “unfriendly” friendly fire.

Swansea 3-1 Boro - Tav

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