Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boro Bounce Back to Win

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boro Bounce Back to Win

Article excerpt

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Middlesbrough 3 M IDDLESBROUGH maintained their early season momentum with an accomplished Coca-Cola Championship win at Hillsborough.

Boro needed an own goal from Darren Purse to cancel out home striker Luke Varney's stunning early opener, before second-half goals from Frenchman Jeremie Aliadiere and roving winger Adam Johnson lifted Gareth Southgate's side into the top two.

Once Aliadiere had fired his third goal in two matches to give Southgate's side the lead early in the second half there seemed little doubt as to the outcome.

And Johnson underlined the visitors' extra class with a brilliant 84th-minute finish to secure Boro's fifth league win from seven matches.

The Owls' second defeat and first at home has halted their early promise, but manager Brian Laws will take solace from the fact his side will not face many better than Boro for the rest of the campaign.

The only change to Wednesday's starting line-up saw Mark Beevers step in for Richard Wood (groin) at centre-half, while Aliadiere's two goals for Middlesbrough against Ipswich on Saturday earned the Frenchman a recall at the expense of summer signing Leroy Lita.

Injured Boro full-back Andrew Taylor was replaced by Jonathan Grounds.

The travelling Boro faithful, in good voice prior to kick-off, were silenced in the second minute when Varney smashed home the opener.

The Derby striker, in his second spell on loan at Hillsborough, raced onto Darren Potter's long ball down the left, cut inside a flat-footed Seb Hines and thumped home a rising angled shot from just inside the box in off the crossbar.

But the decibels were cranked up in the visiting end in the 19th minute when Boro levelled in fortuitous circumstances.

Johnson, who had already shown glimpses of why Boro should not miss Stewart Downing this season, whipped in a curling cross and the ball spun beyond Owls goalkeeper Lee Grant after taking the clearest of deflections off captain Purse's head. …

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