Middlesbrough 2 Blackpool 2: Jonjo rides to rescue for Holloway  

By Steve Martyn for MailOnline

Tony Mowbray was left frustrated as his side dominated for long spells against Blackpool but still had to settle for a point.

Middlesbrough created a string of good chances at the Riverside, rattled the post and brought a string of superb saves from Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilkes.

Scott McDonald twice put the home side ahead to take his tally to three goals in his last two games after an 11-game drought, but Blackpool clawed their way back with a goal from Ludovic Sylvestre in the first half.

Loan star: Blackpool's Jonjo Shelvey celebrates scoring

Loan star: Blackpool's Jonjo Shelvey celebrates scoring

Then a second-half leveller from Jonjo Shelvey, on loan from Liverpool, took his tally to six goals in eight games.

'Yes it is frustrating,' said Middlesbrough manager Mowbray.

'We played very well, we created a lot of very good opportunities, we hit the post and their keeper made some very good saves.

MATCH FACTS

MIDDLESBROUGH: Steele, McMahon, Bates, McManus, Bennett, Robson, Bailey, Williams (Nimely 77), Zemmama (Haroun 84), Emnes, McDonald (Ogbeche 83). Unused Subs: Arca, Martin.

Booked: Bailey.

Goals: McDonald, 15, 73.

BLACKPOOL: Gilks, Baptiste, Evatt, Cathcart, Crainey, Southern, Shelvey, Ferguson, Sylvestre (Clarke 75), McManaman (K. Phillips 71), Taylor-Fletcher (M. Phillips 65). Unused Subs: Basham, Angel.

Booked: Baptiste.

Referee: David Coote

'Twice we were in front and we couldn't see the game out. So the result is frustrating – but not the way we played. There were times last year when we were leaking late goals and we had played poorly, but that wasn't the case.'

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway was delighted with a point that he insists shows his new-look team are starting to gel.

'Middlesbrough should have won and we nicked a point,' he confessed.

'We just about deserved something.

'But what pleased me was that we didn't look like a team that kicked off eight points behind them. If we want to be in the upper echelons of this league, we need to do well against teams like this. They are a good side and we matched them.'

Blackpool are being rebuilt on the hoof after 15 players left following relegation, including key men like Charlie Adam.

'Players have come in because they liked the way we play, but with the players we have lost we are having to learn a new way,' added Holloway.

'Maybe that has made us a bit more predictable. Maybe we need to be a bit more clever. But that is starting to come. We are getting the shape and getting the character and in the last three games we have been better.'

Holloway also revealed that Congolese striker Lomana LuaLua had been dropped after failing to make a team meeting.

'You can say it is a disciplinary measure if you want,' he said. 'For me it shows a lack of respect.'

Middlesbrough started brightly and Stephen McManus headed against a post from a corner.

They went ahead after 15 minutes when Barry Robson surged down the right to cross for McDonald, who powered home an eight-yard header.

Blackpool equalised when Middlesbrough failed to clear and Sylvestre slammed home through a crowd.

Boro continued to threaten after the break and Gilkes made a superb double save to deny angled efforts from McDonald then Marvin Emnes.

The pressure finally told after 73 minutes when Rhys Williams squared for McDoanld to flick home his second.

But Blackpool quickly levelled when Shelvey poked home instinctively.



 



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