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Match Report: Middlesbrough 0-2 Leeds United (Boro Fan's Perspective)

Wednesday 14th March 2012
A goal apiece from Robert Snodgrass and Luciano Becchio in the opening half hour helped Leeds to a 2-0 victory at the Riverside against a lacklustre Middlesbrough side.

Boro made two changes from their win against Barnsley in midweek, with Nicky Bailey and Rhys Williams returning to the side in place of Julio Arca and Richard Smallwood.

Leeds made two changes to the side that drew with Hull on Tuesday with Paul Robinson and Aidan White coming in for Danny Pugh and Danny Webber respectively.

A minute's applause was held prior to the game in memory of Middlesbrough's long-serving recruitment officer Jack Watson, who passed away aged 90 on Friday.

Becchio glanced a header to McCormack early on, but the Scottish striker spooned harmlessly wide.

The visitors sat deep and harried the home side which restricted the Teessider's to long range efforts and Nicky Bailey attempted a thirty yard effort soon after which went aimlessly over Lonergan's bar.

Marvin Emnes then shuffled in to space but the Dutchmen's powerful effort went wide.

The deadlock was broken in the 18th minute when O'Dea's ball wasn't dealt with by Boro left-back Joe Bennet and Aidan White squared the ball the Robert Snodgrass, whose side foot effort squirmed underneath the body of the despairing Steele.

And it took less than ten minutes for Leeds to double their lead.

Justin Hoyte failed miserably when trying to clear a Becchio through ball which allowed Ross McCormack to square across the six yard box where the advancing Argentine tapped in.

Barry Robson almost pulled a goal back for Boro soon after but Lonegran managed to tip his powerful effort wide infront of the away fans and Becchio could have made it three immediately after but he blazed his strike over despite being unchallenged in the box.

Rhys Williams' bullet header almost gave the home side a life line at the start of the second half, but the Australian international's effort rippled the side netting following a fine Robson free kick.

Boro started to gain some momentum going forward however they nearly conceded again when Clayton smashed an effort goal wards, but his effort took a deflection in the box and ended up going over the bar.

McCormack then almost managed to get on the end of a White back-heel as the game approached the final 15 minutes but the pass just evaded the touch of the advancing Scot.

Shortly after, Boro midfielder Kevin Thompson who had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes took a kick to the head and had to be stretchered off the pitch after temporarily losing consciousness.

To compound the misery of the Riverside faithful, Barry Robson was shown a Red card for raising his hand towards Clayton with only minutes left on the clock.

Leeds held on through seven minutes of added time to ensure their first win under Neil Warnock.

The terrible display from the home side leaves their automatic promotion hopes in tatters and puts their play-off hopes in serious doubt, with some hard fixtures to come.
Matthew Nixon

Total articles: 28

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