Dragon Slaying Party Poopers: Part 2

WHAT A game! What a team! What a brilliant start to the festive fixture flurry. When the story of the season is told – and if there is a happy ending – that is one of the key moments we will point to. And laugh with glee.
A positive, polished second half show swept Boro to a fantastic coupon-busting win in a top of the table seasonal sizzler at Cardiff. Cardiff were unbeaten in 11 and had won six in a row at home and kept three clean sheets on the bounce. Boro were forced into changes, e without Marvin Emnes, gave a new striker his first start in English football and were playing an experimental 4-3-1-2 system.
We had travelled to Wales with trepidation. Here be Dragons. Their fans and officials were buzzing before the game and totally convinced they would win. But then again, they were last time we visited too, so much so that before the game they issued the press with details and timings of their planned lap of honour. We laughed the way home. All five hours. Party poopers again. LOL. As I believe the young people say.


It wasn’t an easy win, far from it. Boro’s opener from new boy Bart Ogbeche was sweetly struck and well deserved but it did come against the run of the early play.
Cardiff pumelling Boro for long spells with Peter Whittingham’s dead ball deliveries causing all kinds of chaos in the box with jittery Jason Steele adding to the confusion with another couple of nervous fumbles, poor punches and a lack of communication.
He also wiped out prematurely aged McNaughton as he charged out to challenge for a ball into the box. It looked as clear cut a penalty as any you will see this season.
They levelled with an unchallenged header from Ben Turner and then went ahead as sleepy Rhys Williams was bundled off the ball then Gunnarson ran into the box untracked to welly home a superb cheeky back-heel from Kenny Miller just before the break.
At that point it was hard to see how Boro would get back into the game. It was cold and miserable and it looked like a very long five hours home.
But in the second half Boro were far more assertive. Nicky Bailey and Barry Robson got a grip of midfield, stopped Whittingham pulling the strings and started to push play deeper into the Cardiff half.
They got the ball forward quickly with Justin Hoyte looking lively down the right and Haroun and Arca pressing forward more playing good balls behind the Cardiff defence.
The leveller was a cracker. Superbly engineered, well worked and simple. A delightful perceptive ball from Bailey sent Hoyte into the box on the right and he cushioned a ball to the near post for reignited McDonald to stroke home his fifth goal in seven games.
The winner was good too. A poor ball by Robson played Arca into trouble but he recovered to control the ball and chip neatly to the far post where Haroun had appeared unmarked and with everyone willing him to head it he instead chested it calmly down and slotted the ball through the keeper’s legs.
It was the usual torrid finish as Cardiff piled forward in TEN minutes of added time but I was never nervous. Or possibly I was numb with cold by that point. Whatever. We held on.
Two points off the top. Another mooted in-form rival dented. Three wins in a row. Goals flowing again. The Mogganaut rolls on. Merry Bloody Christmas.
******
Comments imported from last night’s emergency hosting on Gazettelive:
Jarkko said…
AV, a great win. More pleasing than the win at Cardiff in the spring time. We spoiled their chances then but we’re already safe then.
Now we have a lot to play for (as they did, too) as we go for the pr*****on. So what a performance! I think we played better in the first half already but let two goals in easily. But we kept the ball more and irritated the home team.
I missed the second half (I was visiting my daughters and had promised them a night out). So what a feeling to take a peep in the mobile at the restaurant and see that Boro had won.
This was very, very important win morally. We have a top match next against Hull now. Hope we get a similar performance as at Hull in April. The Riverside crowd would deserve it. But again it won’t be easy.
Up the Boro!
***
fatcassie said:
Cardiff deserved the 3points.
DETDET said:
RED ARMY RED ARMY .
Fantastic result and hopefully many more like it to come .
Just read in the Sunday Mirror that Billy Sharp has a 1.75 m buy out clause in his contract and must be worth considering at that price
***
BishopsWalthamBoro Said:
Great, great result, especially so for Bart’s first and the assists from Hoyte and Arca. Appreciate it is a year too late but I couldn’t help but chuckle at this YouTube contribution based on last year’s Cardiff game. How they must hate us

Season’s greetings. Up?
****

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76 thoughts on “Dragon Slaying Party Poopers: Part 2

  1. Nigel Reeve – don’t expect any drama from Boro. It will be a boring end to the season as #mogganaut has secured a promotion in mid April. So nothing to play for in the final game against Soton.so just cruising to there and we fans sit and enjoy the ride! Up the Boro!

  2. Jarrko –
    I hope you are right! That would take me back to ’74 when if my memory serves me(!) Charlton’s team secured promotion in mid-january and we partied until May when we rounded the season off by putting Wednesday to the sword!

  3. My New Year wish for Boro:
    I still think we need that different type of player, even on loan, someone who wants the ball, drags defenders around and is a real pest. I think it would make a difference in a league that doesnt have a lot like that.
    I think someone like Benayoun from Arsenal would fit. If we could do a deal on his wages it would be worth it

  4. AV –
    A couple of posts have disappeared and they were not even critical of the now departed leader of North Korea. They were in support of your view about footballers and the dangers of imposing different values on their careers to those in our own.
    **AV writes: There’s nothing wriggling in the spam filter. And it all seems to be working quite well at the moment too. Maybe it has knocked off early for Consumertide?

  5. Adam Johnson played all match yesterday. So no hope to get him here on loan in January?
    How is Tuncay doing nowadays? I haven’t hear from him for ages. Huth played yesterday and Wheater has had his problems to fit in the starting 11 at Bolton. I just wonder how many success stories there have been for players who were forced (or wanted) to leave after our relegation? Not many I think if my memory serves right.
    Really waiting for the Boxing day clash with Hull. Up the Boro!

  6. Williams has made it public that if Boro do not go up this year he is off into the Premier League without us. Well so be it – let him go NOW, if he doesn’t want to be part of the Mogga Project he needs to go this Jan. Bye bye Williams.

  7. Nigel I think we won promotion before easter with a 1-0 over Oxford, seven or eight matches to go. Won the title next week with 1-0 away win over Luton.

  8. Ian –
    I’d be a very happy man if we were to win promotion this season before Easter! Although I’m sure the reality is this seasons promotion race will go down to the wire, my hope is that Boro are serious contenders when the finishing line comes into sight.
    gt –
    My New Year wish for Boro? Messi please! (I can dream cant I?)

  9. Hello everyone, and seasons greetings to one and all. I feel it necessary though for someone to reiterate (sp?) the true meaning of the festive period – and that of course is three points on my birthday!!
    It is down to no small part by Santa himself that I am a boro fan. As a five year old living in Nottingham my dad took me as a pre-Christmas treat to see his beloved Boro, ( I had a brief flirtation with Everton and Gary Lineker, yuk yuk yuk) at Notts County in the 2ndround of the F A cup. We sat in the home end, but next to the away fans. I was mesmorized by the noise, energy and one gent dressed as Father Christmas. I think we won with a Gary Hamilton goal, sang daft songs in the car home with dad. This was the team for me. If Santa’s on board I’m there!
    Have a Red and white Farismas!!
    UTB

  10. Welcome home for Christmas, Smogs (or maybe even longer if you are now a homeowner in Nunthorpe). Three points – now that would be a belated Christmas present welcome to any Boro fan.

  11. Smogon-
    Happy Christmas to you, too. And all the best for your new home. We all wish the best for your birthday – I predict a 3-1 win for you then.
    Let’s enjoy the Farismas party on Boxing day. A Robbo goal, one from Scotty Mac and one, final one from the ever great Smogbeche!
    Merry Christmas to all Boro fans from the home land of Santa Claus. Up the Boro!

  12. Nigel Reeve
    I see where you coming from with the Messi thing,
    But Mogga can only put five players on the bench,and its hard enough now to keep them all happy,I would hope we would put him in a couple of developement games first,and see if he works out.

  13. To all you guys out there on our planet Boro have a great Xmas and a safe and happy new year.Lets hope after all the Xmas pud we can work it all off by jumping up and down to a Boro win on Boxing Day.
    Still no news filtering through on Emmes or did i miss it.
    Have a good one. From sunny SA
    **AV writes: Emnes touch and go for Hull so won’t risked. Ogbeche probably starts.

  14. gt –
    The North Riding Senior Cup must be due to start, perfect environment to see if Messi can hack it. Mind you everybody else will be hacking it be it ball or opposition.
    Personally I think he will be a bit like Nimely but at least he is left footed and could provide bench cover for Robbo, Bennett and Julio.

  15. Merry Xmas to everyone and all good Boro things for 2012!!
    I’ll be in the bumper Boxing day crowd at The Riverside and up for another three points!
    Also noticed in the ‘small print’ of the M&S ‘touch and go’ story that Robbo’s doubtful too – which is probably the more concerning as we’ve shown we can notch without the Dreadlocked Dutchman when we need to.

  16. Here’s hoping Steele has a Stormer and keeps a clean sheet, Ogbeche and Mac get a Hat-trick each and one other coming courtesy of Robbo. Palace beat the Saints by 6 goals and Brum beat the Hammers at tea time.
    Em&nes don’t make League Tables but if they did…………………!

  17. Merry Christmas everyone, let’s hope for a good win on boxing day however big (ish) crowd, three wins on the bounce, it all smells of typical Boro to me.
    I’m actually glad we are playing a decent team on a good run. If we were playing Coventry it would be a nailed on 0-1 defeat.

  18. Greetings from Down Under. A merry Xmas to one and All.
    Dear Santa, please give me for Xmas promotion. Any way I dont care how!!
    Enjoy your roasts and Chrimbo turkey everyone… I’m off to the beach
    Cheers

  19. Merry Christmas everyone.
    Seasons greetings to all smoggies around the globe. I will be listening to Ali and Higgy on t’internet at 10am Boxing Day.
    All I want for Christmas is 3 points on Boxing Day please Santa.
    Up the Boro

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