Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Depressing Loss to Strugglers Caps Miserable Couple of Days

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Depressing Loss to Strugglers Caps Miserable Couple of Days

Article excerpt

Byline: Philip Tallentire Boro Editor philip.tallentrie@trinitymirror.com

BORO slumped to a depressing defeat at Charlton yesterday to complete a miserable 48 hours for the club.

For the second time inside a week, promotion-chasing Boro were beaten by a team in the bottom three of the Sky Bet Championship.

The big question before kick-offwas whether Steve Agnew's stint as caretaker boss would be the start of a new era or a continuation of the old one Judging by the team sheet is was a case of the latter.

The interim head coach named a familiar looking side which featured three changes from the XI that started Tuesday's 1-0 epoch-defining defeat at Rotherham.

He also lined Boro up in Aitor Karanka's preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

Skipper Grant Leadbitter returned to partner Adam Clayton in the defensive midfield positions with Adam Forshaw dropping down to the bench.

The second change saw Stewart Downing replace Cristhian Stuani in the attacking midfield trio.

Downing lined up on the left with Albert Adomah starting on the right and Gaston Ramirez in the middle.

The final switch saw Jordan Rhodes get the nod to start up front in attack in place of David Nugent.

Meanwhile, Charlton head coach Jose Riga opted for an orthodox 4-4-2 line-up.

The match was less than 20 seconds old when the referee was forced to halt play after the home supporters threw hundreds of black and white beach balls onto the pitch in protest at the way owner Roland Duchatalet is running the club.

It took three-and-a-half minutes for the stewards to clear the playing surface so play could get back underway.

Maybe that wasn't a good idea because the protest was pretty much the most exciting incident in a scrappy opening quarter of an hour that featured a lot of effort but little in the way of end product.

Boro did win a 14th minute corner following a promising break down the left but failed to make it count.

It was a lovely spring afternoon and both keepers had plenty of time to savour the sunshine, such was the lack of goalmouth action.

The visitors created the first notable attempt in the 20th minute with Gaston Ramirez striking a decent shot from the edge of the penalty area which Nick Pope gathered safely.

Dimi Konstantopoulos had his turn four minutes later when Ademola Lookman deftly played a neat lay offinto the path of Johann Gudmundsson, who drilled a powerful shot at goal from distance but the Boro keeper made a tidy save.

A fan with a whistle caused confusion midway through the half by blowing it as the visitors threatened to break through in the final third.

The Boro players stopped thinking it was the ref, allowing Charlton to clear the danger.

Soon after the ref stopped play completely after another blast of the fan's whistle. …

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