Sunday, 6 October 2013

Middlesbrough 5/10/13

With only a week between away games, it was a rare novelty that I had a football trip two weekends in a row. As I had spent the last one at my parents instead of travelling all in one day, I decided I'd do just that for Middlesbrough. I wanted to be able to have a Saturday night at home, in my own bed, and have the whole day Sunday rather than football taking up my whole weekend. Unfortunately housework doesn't do itself... ;) so the plan was settled - I would drive up and back to Middlesbrough all in one day.

I left the house around 7am, and with a stop at Tibshelf services halfway up the M1, I made it to Middlesbrough at around 12. I found some free on street parking just a short walk from the ground, and an even shorter walk from Doctor Browns - the away fans pub as recommended by Boro fans. After meeting up with my dad and a swift half of cider in the pub (can't be too careful when driving!) we headed on down to The Riverside.

Another very impressive stadium - it's quite clearly a a Premier League ground in the wrong division. We bought our tickets and were told we had to sit in our seats... guffaw :)

Being on the side of the pitch we couldn't get our customary top left of goal seats, but it was a pretty decent view from where we were!

The travelling contingent was much smaller this weekend -  probably due to Bolton away, Leicester at home on the Tuesday (another defeat...) and having been to the Riverside before in the cup fairly recently. There's something different about visiting a ground in the League though - we were finally on the same level, or so it seemed...

A bright start for Yeovil with the goal coming on just 4 minutes from Liam Davis. It was a beautiful strike too - as he sprinted past the defender to slot it home from outside the box. Absolute jubilation from the 236 Yeovil fans who had to be impressed by our early showing. But all too quickly, it fell apart. On just 8 minutes, Grant Leadbitter slotted home a well taken shot from a corner that we just didn't deal with. And that became the recurring theme. End to end didn't even begin to cover it, with both sides having chances and running at two poor defences. But it was Middlesbrough who capitalised and after scoring their penalty on 20 odd minutes - a definite penalty we couldn't argue with - they completely took over. It was embarrassing, to say the least. Middlesbrough absolutely cut us to ribbons with our defence stationary. It was quite clear, to me at least, that the issues were in midfield. Middlesbrough just has so much room, and we were chasing shadows to coin a popular cliche.

Our substitutions, in light of where the obvious problems were, were baffling. Andy Williams was taken off after half an hour and quite rightly so - he was absolutely dire. But he was replaced by Hoskins -  a little dink against massive midfielders and defenders -  a poor choice. And at the start of the second half, an ineffective Paddy Madden was replaced by.... KIEFFER MOORE. A completely untried forward from Dorchester. All the while we were still completely wide open in the midfield.

We did finally bring on Dawson with around 10 minutes to go. This should have been at least half an hour earlier, half time or even before. I don't know what Foley and Dawson have to do to get in this side. I really don't.

I go over all this in the video anyway so give it a watch if you like! Thought it would make a nice change. Sorry its poor quality though, it's clear that driving and making videos doesn't mix with all the road noise. If I do a video again I'll make sure I'm stationary first! Bear in mind this is also very raw after an embarrassing and gutting defeat so I am not exactly complimentary...

A very bad photo of me at The Riverside
The trip home wasn't too bad -  I stopped on the way to pick up some cider as I had a feeling it was going to be necessary to try and forget the absolutely dire performance. I made it home just before 10, after over 9 hours driving in one day and costing me around 100 pounds including petrol and the £27 ticket price. Just not good enough...

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