Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boro's Hangover

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boro's Hangover

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

One man's misfortune is so often another man's gain and while Peter Reid left the Riverside toasting Andrew Davies' slip, the Middlesbrough youngster would have been excused if he had stayed behind to drown his sorrows.

A first three-point haul of the season for Leeds has ended Reid's self-imposed ban on alcohol and it would be safe bet to assume the drinks flowed freely for the rest of the weekend.

Fingers were already pointing at the young Boro defender after Zoumana Camara had been allowed a free header from a corner to equalise for Leeds, but the spotlight of blame shone even brighter in his direction after Mark Viduka's last minute winner.

Davies was in the perfect position to cut out Jermaine Pennant's hopeful through ball, only for his studs not to grip at the worse possible time.

He went crashing to the turf as a stunned Viduka collected the ball in yards of space before calmly lifting it over Mark Schwarzer.

It was tough on the Academy graduate who, just as he had done at Leicester City on Tuesday night, had looked a polished performer alongside Gareth Southgate in the centre-of-defence.

Yet just as Davies had not deserved his loss of footing, Boro's performance deserved better than defeat. And, while Steve McClaren's side are still searching for their first win of the season, there were plenty of encouraging signs on Saturday to suggest they will not have long to wait.

McClaren will have been delighted with Gaizka Mendieta's display on his home debut and the Spaniard already appears to be tuning into the same creative wavelength as Juninho.

The pair found each other time and time again with neat flicks and clever passes to pull the Leeds defence apart. The only problem was that on too many occasions there was nothing at the end of their intricate interchanges, with the two playmakers as guilty as any other. …

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