Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It May Be Scrappy - but Boro Claim Vital Points; MIDDLESBROUGH 1 BOLTON WANDERERS 0

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It May Be Scrappy - but Boro Claim Vital Points; MIDDLESBROUGH 1 BOLTON WANDERERS 0

Article excerpt

MIDDLESBROUGH held on to second spot in the Championship in a tense tussle at the Riverside.

They took control in the first half and deservedly took the lead as Lee Tomlin sent in Albert Adomah to slot home.

But as the game wore on the nerves set in and edgy Boro retreated and dug in - and let Bolton back into the game.

They then had to scramble clear from their box several times in an anxious finale.

They had chances to seal it as Tomlin rattled the crossbar with a freekick, but it was far from a polished display.

But Boro won't mind. They won a crucial game on a night when all their promotion rivals also picked up full points.

Boro started to take a grip on the game with a long spell of possession and some patient probing passing.

And they almost made the breakthrough on eight minutes as after a crisp move Patrick Bamford swept a ball down the left for Adam Reach to burst to the byline and drill a low ball in that Bolton man Barry Bannan deflected it just outside the near post.

From Grant Leadbitter's corner, Tomlin connected with a shot on the turn but it fizzed wide.

And soon after Reach went on a weaving run down the flank and wriggled into the box past two defenders, but he stumbled and went sprawling as he tried to cut inside to find an angle for a shot.

Then on 22 minutes Reach again scythed in from the left to get into the box but his angled effort was turned behind by a blocking tackle from Dervite.

Boro almost broke through on the half-hour as a perceptive Leadbitter back-heel split the defence and sent Bamford breaking into the box to drill in an angled 12 yards effort that was well saved by keeper Amos.

Then after a tussle in the centrecircle Bamford broke free and darted between two defenders to get into the box before being crowded out by two more. And Boro finally broke the deadlock on 33 minutes as Tomlin shaped to send a ball out wide then deftly steer it forward between two sluggish defenders to send Adomah darting to the edge of the box to slot calmly under the advancing keeper.

Boro may have had a second in a furious scramble on 44 minutes. …

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