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Watford 2-1 Middlesbrough (Middlesbrough Fan's Perspective)

Sunday 6th May 2012
Middlesbrough's season ended in disappointment as they were beaten by Watford at Vicarage Road to end their play-off hopes. The Teessider's play-off hopes hinged on Cardiff being defeated at Crystal Palace so the result was irrelevant in the end after the Bluebirds came away from Selhurst Park with a win.

Tony Mowbray made three changes from the side that won against Southampton last time out with Marvin Emnes, Joe Bennett and Rhys Williams coming in for Scott McDonald, Tony McMahon and Merouanne Zemmama.

Boro nearly gifted Watford an early goal when Nicky Bailey played a short back-pass to Jason Steele but Chris Iwelumo just couldn't nip in to finish.

At the other end Bailey and Haroun both fired wide from distance as the visitors started to dominate.

News of a Palace opener further inspired Boro and Watford keeper Scott Loach had to be alert to deny Marvin Emnes and fellow England under-21 international Joe Bennett.

Loach pulled off another fine save minutes later as he pushed Barry Robson's effort around the post to deny the Scotland international on his final Boro appearance.

Jonathan Hogg and Carl Dickinson then saw speculative long-range efforts go wide as the hosts struggled to breach Boro's deep defence.

Loach again frustrated Boro shortly after when he pulled off a magnificent save to deny Haroun's effort from Justin Hoyte's cross.

Watford started to show they were a threat on the break and Iwelumo almost bundled the opener in but his effort went just wide of the target.

After the break Tony Mowbray's side continued to press for the opener, but Dickinson last-ditch clearance denied Jutkiewicz his third league goal for Boro.

As news of a Cardiff fight-back filtered through Boro seemed to lose confidence and Iwelumo tested Steele from the edge of the area.

Former Wolves and Burnley striker Iwelumo then went one better to give Watford the lead.

The Scottish striker flicked Troy Deeney's cross home at the front post to further dent the visitor's play-off hopes.

Barry Robson again forced Loach into a great save as Boro went in search of an equaliser and Iwelumo skied a good chance to double his tally minutes later.

The Teessider's then finally scored as Marvin Emnes' 12 yard effort went in off the underside of the bar in front of Boro's 2,000 visiting fans with five minutes left on the clock.

It was Watford however that struck the final and decisive blow as Troy Deeney rifled home from just inside the area to end the season on a high.

The result meant Middlesbrough finish in seventh place on 70 points while Watford end the season in eleventh with 64 points on the board.
Matthew Nixon

Total articles: 28

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