Sat 12 Dec 15
at 17:23 PM
Report: Middlesbrough 0 Blues 0
Blues earned a valuable point against Middlesbrough with a fantastic away performance.
Blues defended strongly under pressure in the first-half, but Gary Rowett will be delighted that his side dominated the second-half and created a host of chances.
Michael Morrison and Jonathan Grounds both had efforts creep past the post late on, whilst David Nugent was sent off deep into stoppage time.
Middlesbrough dominated possession for most of the first-half, but Blues defended strongly by keeping an excellent shape.
The hosts went close after two minutes through Adam Clayton. The midfielder picked up Emilio Nsue’s cross and tried to curl an effort to the far post, but Tomasz Kuszczak did excellently to tip wide.
Blues nearly took the lead minutes later, but Stephen Gleeson’s effort from a deflected Jonathan Grounds cross went just pass the post.
Conditions continued to play their part with Stewart Downing slipping just as he was about shoot from outside the area.
Blues gave possession away immediately and David Leadbitter’s low strike hit the inside of the post and bounced out with Kuszczak beaten.
And Kuszczak made a another good save from Emilio Stuani moments later, whilst Albert Adomah’s curling effort went just over.
Blues however had their best chance just past the half hour mark. Jacques Maghoma’s low cross was perfectly rolled across the six yard box, but James Vaughan was unable to slot home from close range.
Vaughan went close minutes later, but after getting across Ben Gibson his header was too strong and went wide.
Blues started the second-half brighter and could have gone ahead.
Dimi Konstantopolous’ poor punch fell to Michael Morrison, but his effort was excellently blocked with the goal gaping.
Blues were settled and looking comfortable, but Emilio Stuani shot over on the turn after Leadbitter had dummied a low cross.
With twenty minutes left the game sprung into life.
Maghoma broke, going one way and then the other before his powerful strike was tipped over the bar.
And Blues went close again, but Jonathan Grounds’ effort went just wide from a corner.
With ten minutes left, Blues had their best chance.
David Davis’ chipped pass put Gray through, but the keeper made an excellent save to deny the winger from close range.
Blues were finishing the stronger and should have won it at the death.
Morrison made a late run at a corner and his glancing header bounced just wide of the post with everybody ready to celebrate.
Middlesbrough tried to force a last chance from a free-kick, but David Nugent killed their momentum through a red card.
With Stephen Gleeson holding onto the ball, the striker pulled him down from around the neck and the referee had no option to send him off.