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Match Report


Posted Sat 09 Aug 14 at 18:42 PM

The Report: Middlesbrough 2 Blues 0

Blues made a disappointing start to the 2014/15 season with a 2-0 defeat at the Riverside Stadium.

As Lee Clark highlighting during his post-match thoughts, the stat of no shots on target from the visitors tells the story of this match.

Whether it was down to opening day nerves, Blues just never asserted any attacking authority on this game and Boro were happy to continue to apply the pressure throughout.

Daniel Ayala, so often a thorn in Blues' side at set pieces, had handed the hosts a deserved lead with a 33rd minute header, from Grant Leadbitter’s right-side corner.

Boro’s second in the 66th minute was a little fortunate. A Lee Tomlin shot deflected off Grant Hall and fell kindly into the path of Kike who slotted past the hapless Randolph from 10 yards.

Blues, lining up in the 4-2-3-1 formation that had put Inverness Caledonian Thistle to the sword in their final pre-season game a week prior, handed four summer signings their debuts.

However the new-look side couldn’t continue their pre-season positivity and will now look to make amends when Cambridge United visit St. Andrew’s in the first round of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.

Mark Duffy and Clayton Donaldson lifted that debutant tally to six in the 55th and 67th minute respectively but neither could add a significant impact on the visitors’ lacklustre attacking approach.

It could have been worse for Blues and the 1,044 fans who had made the long journey up to the north east but Randolph was on hand to limit the damage.

The Republic of Ireland international kept out the ever-dangerous Albert Adomah down the right on successive occasions, in the 49th and 63rd minute, before being alert to further second-half chances.

A clever free-kick from Boro in the 79th minute outfoxed the defenders but Randolph was  quick to bloke Kike for a second before he got down well to palm away Emilo Nsue’s goalbound effort, after Paul Robinson had blocked an initial shot.

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