Quids In: Boro Sting Pays Dividends

LUKE WIlliams’ family are in the money after their daft quid double on the Ginger Messi as first scorer in a 2-0 win came up at 50-1. Result. But for long spells as the clock ran down they looked very unlikely to be collecting. Seasoned Boro gamblers doing a Ray Winstone and betting in-play would have been piling into Ipswich to score the next goal.
With the visitors piling forward there was a scrappy spell in and around the Boro box with scrambles and slips and blocks and some frantic no-frills defending. Battle scarred Boro fans were groaning inwardly, expecting Ipswich to score at least one goal. Jason Steele made a couple of good saves, Jonathan Woodgate glanced a Chopra overhead effort over the bar (and got away with what looked a stonewall penalty as he hauled back Cresswell at a free-kick) and Boro were really struggling to get and keep the ball.
Then a quick ball forward from safe-hands assist king Steele sent parmo-powered speed king Muzzy Carayol streaking forward to seal it in stoppage time. The final 2-0 scoreline looks a lot safer than the game felt. It was a nervous finish and Boro made far harder work of seeing the game out than neccessary. Again.
But let’s look at the positives: last season that would have been a draw. Or worse. For all the jitters Boro kept a clean sheet, the first in the league this term. It was a solid show at the back with blocking machine and new boy Andre Bikey showing he is not just ‘a big unit’ but can play a bit too (there was one drag-back, turn and nut-meg by the corner flag which was what I believe young people call #tekkers). Woody did OK too. And Steele. And the full-backs worked hard too – although they needed to as the midfield crumbled when the pressure was on in the second half.
That makes three home wins on the bounce at home to help slowly build a platform at the Riverside. None of those victories have been overly convincing but, hey, three wins; nine points … that’ll do. Considering Mowbray is still nowhere near finding his first choice team – seasonal debuts for Carayol, Thomson, Bikey and Jutkiewicz mean Boro have used 24 players in the Championship already this term – his newly reshaped side have showed real promise. They pass the ball crisply, move well off it and create chances. There is pace and an attacking instinct. Add to that some extra steel at the back and it is the makings of a decent side in this league.
Of course, so far we have seen just flashes of 30, 45 or 60 minutes at a time and have yet to see them do it over a sustained 90 minutes. It’ll come. Early days.

15 thoughts on “Quids In: Boro Sting Pays Dividends

  1. I think Mogga’s post match comment that many players were not fully match fit is about right.
    Williams looked very good. Bright player, always there for a pass, willing to go past players, grown a bit and an ability to take a chance.
    Miller looked like he needed the outing. He is a quick and powerful player once he gets going but it appeared he needed a breather after a run. His finishing was as I remember it when I have seen him before.
    Tafkab did well after some early uncertainty as Ipwich played in the channel between him and Friend. To be fair, sometimes you have to say well done to the other team, they played some nice football with good movement and smart passing.
    Our passing was sloppy at times and I dont think we helped ourselves by taking off Williams. When Carayol came on and went straight over to the right and we went 901 I suspected Mogga was trying to shut up shop.
    Juke tried holding it up and passing it to, er? No one. Listening to the post-match interview the hint was Williams was tiring.
    Still, we held out and Steele provided one of the passes of the match. I dont think you did justice in your match report, it was a top piece of football from Steele.
    I suspect Jewell is shaking his head tis morning. If I was an Ipswich fan I would feel mugged.
    A tough week ahead but at this stage of the season you take points where you can get them.

  2. It wasn’t great and certainly far from convincing but a vast improvement over last season when we would have been undone near the end or snatched a draw from the jaws of victory.
    Steele is starting to become monotonous and predictably safe, Hoyte barely gets a raised eyebrow let alone stick and abuse, Bikey wasn’t exactly universally accepted across the diasBoro yet had the MOM nicked away by Steele and looks like a real solid and dependable stopper with a bit of finesse. Carayol is yet to get estabished but shows enough to look both promising and entertaining, Juke is back fit, Friend is becoming a favourite and the Youth Club are pushing hard. Overall its very early days but the squad does look to have some potential.
    Blackpool and Blackburn will be the real measure of where we are in our development. Two defeats would not mean the end of the world but a few points would certainly push us up the BBC popularity chart to a earlier timeslot on their Championship show.

  3. At times in the second half it was more of a struggle than it should have been.Hard to disagree with Mogga’s post match assessment that the midfield ran out of steam and we couldn’t get hold of the ball.
    Like everybody else I was waiting for the inevitable equaliser but for once it did not happen. We didn’t use the flanks as we should, it was rare that Reach was able to get into shooting positions. As for Bikey it was good to see opposing forwards bouncing off a red shirt- he will be sorely tested this week. So we saunter on with options and possibilities and remember no Emnes yesterday.
    I have given up trying to imagine what team will be selected and also beginning to forget who we have to choose from. How different from last season.
    We also seemed to have missed an opportunity to show our solidarity with the Hillsbrough families as some other clubs did before kick off.

  4. The Thommo fan club is so happy. He started the game yesterday and Boro won 2-0. Shame the Doubting Thomases. Anyway, happy days!
    I think the points are more important than the way we got them. This is a totally new team – so maximum points from three home matches are a joy. I hope this adds to the crowd in the future.
    Interesting to read that we keep the ball more than any other team in the division. Very much like a well known Spanish team. And we have #gingermessi in the side, too.
    Tough week coming up. Let’s hope we get some points on the road, too. Up the Boro!

  5. Comfortable win in the end. For all of Ipswich’s bluster, they didn’t create many, if any clear-cut chances, our defending was excellent and we dealt with their corners well.
    What was missing from the previous two home games was the excellent ball retention, we gave it away too much in midfield which ended up putting pressure on us. It was amazing after the second goal went in, how we suddenly returned to our free-flowing former selves.
    As for stonewall penalties, Jukebox practically had his shirt lifted off him as a free-kick was pumped into the box, the linesman somehow didn’t put his flag up, yet not long after managed to flag for a much less obvious foul on Jukebox.
    Can’t argue with three wins out of three at home, just need to sort the away form out now.

  6. Lucky to win 2-0 I thought, and Ipswich have two very good attacking players in Taylor and Martin who gave Friend a very tough match.
    Martin was a tricky winger and Taylor was exploiting the gap between Bikey and Friend at every opportunity. He is one hell of a tricky player with loads of ‘tekkers’, but lucky for us he left his shooting boots at home, otherwise we would’ve been looking at a defeat.
    Our midfield got over run in the final 30 mins. Although Leadbitter was guilty of a few stray passes at times I felt he was the only one taking on responsibility to show for the ball and he put a bit more graft in than Thomson and McEachran who both looked a bit subdued, not match fit perhaps.
    Most of Ipswich’s attacks seemed to be shy of our 18 yard box, Bikey putting in a very good performance and when the pressure was on, and the team as a whole seemed to be struggling he began to lead by example, getting in, in front of the Ipswich attackers then trying to gee up the rest of the players, to try and wake them up to put a bit more fight in. Very impressive and a good sign for the future.
    Thought Jutkiewicz did well when he came on and showed Miller how to win the ball in the air and bring it down straight away. Miller is certainly not a finisher but could be handy as a presence up top for the long season ahead.
    We held out and a job well done.
    Any news of the Marvin Emnes situation with his family back in Surinam, is he home yet or able to play on Tues or Friday?
    **AV writes: Expected back Monday I think.

  7. AV and Ste –
    Sweating on the traffic following a long delay on the A1 – I had to drop Mrs G off in York before the match. I was well into prematch with Ali as I drove up the A19 but no further hold ups.
    The point is that they announced the team as I parked and it appears M&S was back on Friday but wasnt ready yet and probably in the stand. So he is or isnt back depending on which info is correct.
    Shows how cheered up I was, I didnt even mutter when a certain party filled the boot with sundry bags when I picked her up.
    It makes it a very expensive football match, the good news is we have saved a fortune apparently. Have you ever heard of the iceberg theory of retail therapy?
    When you come in and find a nice shirt or tie on your side of the bed or, for those with kids, the new pair of shoes/school uniform they need then think of an iceberg. Somewhere are the nine tenths you cant see ready to hole the bank account under the water.

  8. I’m still expecting Ipswich to score. The last 20 minutes was awful. But they didn’t really create a chance as good as they did in the first half.
    We’ll have to get better. But I hope that will come once we get a settled XI. Three more points. Lovely

  9. A tense wait to see who is fit enough for Blackpool.
    I suppose we would normally say many needed the match and would be better for it but another so quickly at Blackpool will give Mogga some headaches. I suspect Thommo and Miller may need to be rested for this one. Possibly Josh as well. Will Emnes need a few days training.
    At the moment I will take a point from Blackpool.

  10. Quite a stat that mogga has used 24 players so far this season – so it’s not another result by a ‘new team’ it’s actually two new teams.
    OK some changes will have been forced upon Mowbray but he should be reminded that his is only the English Championship not the Euro Championship – you need to get a settled team to gain consistency. It’s still seems more like pre-season where the manager tries out different players to see which ones best fit together.
    Also bringing in Miller on loan and then playing him to get him match fit and then in the same breath saying Main (who seems a better finisher) might have to go out on loan to get match fit doesn’t make sense.
    So overall, Boro are not badly placed after five games but still far from convincing – let’s hope we’re still within three points of the top after another five games.

  11. Trying to second guess Mogga’s thinking regarding his young strikers is facinating, he clearly feels Williams is ready for first team action on a regular basis, but not Main. Maybe this is more to do with their emotional maturity rather than technical ability? From what I saw of Main last year he seemed to have the makings of a cracking player, hopefully we’ll see a lot of him in a year or so.
    A couple of tough games ahead, to keep it in context if we draw both then that’s promotion form (based on an average two points per game, win at home, draw away), if we win one and loose one then we’re ahead of the curve. If we loose one and draw one then that to my mind would be satisfactory, given they are the early front runners and in decent form. for certain our season wont be determined by any of the results in the next 5 or 6 games.
    Jason Steele – great assist for the second goal, he’s maturing fast and becoming a key asset to the team.
    Ian – Ah yes, the ex-pat routine for a visit to the Riverside, I’ve dropped off the missus once or twice in York on my way up. as you say an expensive visit, although I have to say I’ve enjoyed one or two pubs/restaurants in York on a saturday evening after a match. It takes the pain of the clothes bill away a little!

  12. Something that made me chuckle on saturday morning.
    Listening to Danny Baker and fans were phoning about unusual happenings.
    Dont know if it is true but as a Boro fan one caller struck a chord. In some obscure league this chaps team needed to lose by three goals or less in their last match to avoid relegation. He checked the regulations to find that if they didnt turn up it would be treated as a three goal defeat.
    Didnt turn up, match was treated as a three goal defeat and didnt get relegated.
    lucky buggers

  13. I think the squad is shaping up well. Considering more than our fair share of injuries after so few games. This mostly accounts for the 24 players used so far.
    I think the only nailed down player just now is Steele getting better all the time. I will admit i was one of the doubters but he is playing well. All the other places up for grabs which is what you want.
    Pity about Main injury thought that this might be his year. But he will be around for the run in.
    Hoping for something tonight but we haven’t done well there in the recent past.

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