Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boro Escape Valley with Dream Alive

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boro Escape Valley with Dream Alive

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jack Pickering

Boro's heavy burden of fixtures threatens to smother them after a new date was added to the list last night, writes Jack Pickering.

Steve McLaren's men can look forward to an FA Cup sixth round replay with Charlton Athletic on April 12 after a dour stalemate at The Valley.

It was the result that Boro did not want but neither side did enough to decide a match which started brightly but threatened to strangle itself in the second half.

The replay wiped out Boro's only free date next month but leaves them still on course in two major cup competitions as they will also be back in Uefa Cup action next week.

McLaren did his best to try to get this tie settled by fielding his full strength line-up.

And in the first ten minutes it seemed Boro might run away with it, starting like a house on fire with Lee Cattermole and George Boateng showing early dominance in midfield. In fact Boro missed a golden chance during this spell when Yakubu headed over from close range after a left wing cross from Franck Queudrue.

But Charlton gradually settled and gained control. The home side had their first attempted on 15 minutes when Shaun Bartlett headed the ball down for Matt Holland shoot inches off target with Mark Schwarzer struggling.

But Schwarzer kept Boro in the tie after 22 minutes, saving the best shot of the game. He reacted quickly to a Hermann Hreidarsson free-kick as it came through a crowd.

Boro struggled at times to keep their heads above water for the next ten minutes or so thanks to some dreadful passing.

It allowed Charlton to stay on the offensive and with a vociferous crowd behind them, it seemed the Addicks must break through.

But Radostin Kishishev missed a great chance when volleying over from 12 yards after Hreidarsson headed down a free-kick from Luke Young. …

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