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Middlesbrough vs Crystal Palace
 1 - 1 
Sat Apr 03 15:00:00 BST 2010
The Riverside Stadium
G Salisbury

Following the midweek win at Watford the Palace side knew that they needed to follow that up with a good Easter programme but started that against play off chasing Middlesbrough, undefeated at home since mid-December.

Matt Lawrence, left back and Johnny Ertl on the right were the two full backs as injuries and suspensions hit the starting eleven once again but Shaun Derry recovered from his dead leg to take his place in the centre of midfield.


Palace nearly got the perfect start when Alan Lee was denied by the woodwork in the 5th minute. He picked up the ball just inside Boro's half and beat two defenders before facing 'keeper Brad Jones but he saw his right footed strike hit the post.

It was not long though before the home side had the breakthrough but it was harsh according to the Palace backline. As Boro attacked down the right they appealed for offside but the assistant referee didn't raise his flag and play went on. Scott McDonald had the easy finish in front of goal to put his side ahead but it was him who the defence were claiming was offside as Gary O'Neil broke clear with the ball down the right. The ball was played across for McDonald and his 15th minute goal counted but the words from the visiting players continued even as the game was ready to be restarted.

Both responses came from Darren Ambrose soon after the goal, he shot wide of the target and then a shot from distance which appeared to take a deflection on the way through was gathered by Jones just past the half hour mark.

McDonald looked to be in to add to his earlier effort but a perfectly timed tackle by Paddy McCarhy to deny him even a shooting chance.

At the other end Palace's Alassance N'Diaye shot over from just inside the box but in added time of the half it was him who was to put Palace back on level terms. A well executed header as he rose to meet a cross from the right by Lee after he picked up a throw in by Ertl.

In a half short on chances for both sides it was a perfect time to give the visitors a lift going into the break.

In the opening minutes of the half Julian Speroni made a good reaction save from McDonald but this time the flag was raised and the danger was cancelled out courtesy of a the positive offside decision.

Neil Danns

Palace started the second half in a much more positive fashion and won a couple of corners but at the other end it was Chris Killen who had the next goal scoring opportunity. His close range header was saved by Speroni just before the hour mark of the game.

Gordon Strachan made his second change of the game, Kyle Naughton had come on just before the break whilst on 57 minutes striker Leroy Lita was introduced from the bench.

He nearly had an immediate impact as he got on the end of a Jonathan Franks cross but his glancing header went wide of Speroni's left hand post.

Palace's 'keeper once again was the last line of defence on 68 minutes as he dived low to his left to turn Barry Robson's right footed shot around the post.

The first change from the Palace bench was made with just under twenty minutes remaining as Sean Scannell replaced Nick Carle.

Franks was once again the provider down the left for Boro as he crossed into the box and ball reached a climbing McDonald but his header landed on the roof of the net.

An enforced substitution for Palace as Lee had to leave the field with an injury to be replaced by Calvin Andrew with thirteen minutes remaining.

The closing period of the match saw Palace defending really well to take something from the game as Boro kept pushing forward with patient build up to try and snatch a winner. It was Speroni who once again denied them the chance with a tremendous save as Mc Donald got a shot in on goal.

At the other end Andrew broke away but put his shot over the bar.

Three minutes of added time was played out with a no further chances and a well earned on point on their travels for Hart's side.


Middlesbrough Jones, Hoyte, Wheater, McManus,Taylor (Naughton 42), O'Neil, Rhys Williams (O'Shea 78),Robson, Franks, Killen (Lita 57), McDonald.

Subs Not Used: Coyne, Miller, Arca, Grounds.

Crystal Palace Speroni, Ertl, McCarthy, Davis, Lawrence,Carle (Scannell 72), N'Diaye, Danns, Derry, Ambrose,Lee (Andrew 77).

Subs Not Used: Manns, John, Comley, Zaha, Holland.

Booked: Davis, Lee, Speroni.

Att: 18,428    Referee : Graham Salisbury (Lancashire).









Alassane N'Diaye
A full match report and the stats from our trip to Teeside.
 Match Information
  Middlesbrough Crystal Palace
Goals : 1 1
Possession : 59% 41%
Shots On Target : 4 2
Shots Off Target : 2 4
Corners : 11 5
Fouls : 10 7
Most Fouls : O'Neil (2) Davis (2)
Yellow Cards : 0 3
Red Cards : 0 0
Scorers :
McDonald 15
N'Diaye 45 + 2
Full Match Stats
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