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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 07 Dec 13 at 16:55 PM

The Report: Blues 2 Middlesbrough 2

Blues extended their unbeaten run to five games with a 2-2 draw against Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon.

It was a case of the late, late show for Blues as substitute Kyle Bartley scored the equaliser in the 94th minute. 

The Teessiders took the lead mid-way through the first half through Mustapha Carayol but Blues hit back just before the hour-mark courtesy of a Paul Caddis penalty conversion.  

Boro looked to have claimed all three points with a late effort from Daniel Ayala. However, Blues refused to give up and Bartley was there to head the ball home for a share of the spoils. 

Lee Clark made just a single change to his starting XI with Dariusz Dudka replacing Tom Adeyemi in the centre of midfield.

Blues fashioned their first chance after just three minutes when Nikola Zigic headed the ball down for Jesse Lingard, but the on-loan Manchester United man scooped his volley high and wide of the target.

The hosts were looking the far livelier side in the opening stages and regularly forcing the Boro defence onto the back foot.

After 13 minutes a corner ball eventually found Dudka on the edge on the edge of the area, but the Polish international didn’t quite get hold of it and scuffed his shot just wide.

But against the run of the play Blues found themselves a goal down after 22 minutes.

A Boro move down the left culminated in the ball reaching Mustapha Carayol deep inside the Blues area. The Boro midfielder swivelled and struck a low shot past Darren Randolph and into the bottom corner of the net.

The goal inevitably gave the visitors a boost and they were looking particularly threatening on the counter attack.

Right on the stroke of half-time Paul Caddis tried his luck with a shot from outside the box which was comfortably saved by Shay Given.

Blues boss Clark made a change at the break with Chris Burke replacing striker Aaron Mclean. A second substitution followed on 53 minutes, as Olly Lee was sent on for Dudka. 

Blues then created a trio of chances in the space of just two minutes.

Nikola Zigic was just inches away from equalling the scores when he just missed getting a toe to Burke’s cross, with an empty goal beckoning.  Jonathan Woodgate headed a cross against his bar, and then Lee Novak shot just wide.

But Blues were not to be denied for much longer as they were awarded a penalty after 59 minutes for after a foul on Burke by Ben Gibson.

Paul Caddis stepped up and made no mistake as he sent Given the wrong way.  

Blues looked to have been dealt a hammer-blow with ten minutes to go when Boro regained their lead with a scrappy goal that stemmed from a corner.

Randolph punched the initial cross ball away, but it was scooped back into the Blues box, headed on by Lukas Jutkiewicz and finished by Daniel Ayala from close range.

With the match seemingly having slipped away from the hosts, Bartley stepped up to the plate and planted a firm header past Given from Burke’s corner.
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