Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Boro New Boy Turns on Style with Winner; Digard's Superb Strike Ends Carlisle's Resistance

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Boro New Boy Turns on Style with Winner; Digard's Superb Strike Ends Carlisle's Resistance

Article excerpt

Carlisle United 1

Middlesbrough 2

THE trek across to Cumbria is becoming a regular July event for Gareth Southgate and his Middlesbrough side with the now eagerly-anticipated head-to-head firmly billed as the jewel of the pre-season programme for Carlisle United.

The Brunton Park pitch invited the teams to play football and they didn't need to be asked twice as the League One minnows kept the ball with confidence in front of their Premier League opponents - reminding fans why they had come so close to play-off success.

A tentative opening 45 minutes of few real chances saw Marc Bridge-Wilkinson try his luck for the Cumbrians with a dipping 23-yard free kick that kept Brad Jones on his toes as it flew just beyond the angle of the woodwork.

Academy product Adam Johnson should really have opened the scoring on 19 minutes when he raced on to a return pass from Mido. But with the width of the goal to aim at, he whipped his shot high over the bar.

If the first half suggested the game might have something to offer, the second half delivered with three goals in the opening 15 minutes of an exciting end to end spell.

Aliadiere notched his second goal in two games within 60 seconds of the restart when he combined with substitute Tunay to carve his way in to the box. A touch out of his feet was enough to create the space he needed, and he left Howarth with no chance as he stroked it in to the bottom corner.

Shocked but by no means stunned, the home side pressed forward in search of an equaliser and they were back on level terms within three minutes when Boro fell asleep at a short-corner routine.

Bridge-Wilkinson took advantage of the unexpected space and whisked the ball in at pace, allowing Danny Carlton the luxury of glancing his header beyond the despairing dive of Jones. …

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