Date: 8th August 2009 at 9:45am
Written by: Dominic Ellis

Middlesbrough and Sheffield United played out a 0-0 draw at the Riverside Stadium on Friday night in the first match of the new Championship season.

The Blades had a forceful start with early chances from Keith Treacy and Stephen Quinn but slowly allowed Boro into the game, who arguably had the better of the first half.

New signing Mark Yeates and Adam Johnson caused problems down the flanks for Boro, but the few chances they had were either wasted or dealt with comfortably by Bunn making his debut for the Blades. United looked to spring a surprise on rare counter-attacks, but failed to commit enough men to the cause.

Both teams struggled to deal with set pieces. The Blades seemingly having the better chance to take the lead. Stephen Quinn should have done better when the ball was presented to him unmarked in the box, but resulted in scuffing a volley tamely into fray of bodies.

Boro`s Didier Digard’s troubles with injuries continued , which saw him limp off moments before the break with a groin strain.

The second half took similar form, with Middlesbrough having the majority of the possession. A penalty appeal for a Kyle Walker challenge on Johnson was the closest either team came to breaking the deadlock. However, was waved away as a fair challenge

With neither side able to create a clear chance following half-time, both teams introduced new firepower, with Boro handing a debut to Leroy Lita and United replacing Brian Howard with Ched Evans

The new strikers made little impact in the time that was left, both seemed still short of match sharpness

The pace of the game slowed in the final 5 minutes and both teams seemed happy of a share of the spoils


Boro: Coyne, Yeates, Digard (O’Neil 42), Aliadiere, Emnes (Lita 65), Huth, Johnson, Grounds, Williams, McMahon, Wheater

Unused: Hoyte, Taylor, Arca, Franks, Steele

lades: Bunn, France, Montgomery, Morgan, Kilgallon, Henderson, Taylor, Howard (Evans 68), Treacy (Cotterill 63), Quinn, Walker.

Unused: Reid, Bennett, Bromby, Sharp, Little


24 Replies to “Stalemate at the Riverside”

  • Good result, The new signings slotted in well, Taylor at full back looked comfortable and Treacys pace out wide looked useful for future. The tried and tested 4-5-1 worked as well as it did all last season away from home. Hendo was outstanding despite getting nothing from Lee Mason all night and Montys work rate was excellent, I have never seen him looking so fit at the start of a season. Once again Morgs and Killa were totally in control, the best signing on the close season would be a new contract for Killa. We are going to be hard to beat again this season lads.

  • totally agree gloch but….. going forward there was nothing there at all. nothing in the centre of midfield that was creative and no one running down either flank. the deffence look didgy at time but once again very trusty and good comms. very very please with bunn looked totally comfortable but needs to communicate better with his deffence. my big issue is scoring goals not sure where they are going to come from.

  • We played 4-5-1 for the majority of the match! so we were never going to score loads of goals. last season we had a fantastic away run using the same formation. Bfl, your prediction was that we would lose against boro and we didnt. A point away at boro is a good result when you consider they are favorites for an automatic spot. Lets not forget we are a point better off than at same stage last season!

  • my feelings exactlly but the game was there for the taking last night and we didnt have the quality to score or create 1 real clear cut chance in the second half.

  • Agree 100%Blade, The 4-5-1 was only ever going to give us a goal on the break, but that worked well last season and it is clear that at teams like Boro KB will use the same strategy this season, I do think that Treacy / Reid one side and Cotts / Little on the other will give us a great deal more options at other grounds but at Boro clearly France played in front of Kyle to give more protection than Cotts could down that flank. Having just come down, Boro are used to getting it wide and KB was clearly protecting the flanks last night. Remember also that it was Treacys shot in the first few minutes that came closest to scoring.

  • TimBoro, Welcome to the most competitive league in England. I think you boys have a few shocks coming. You managed one snached shot on goal in 92 minutes and I could have saved that! Granted you wont come up against Morgan and Kilgallon every week but other decent sides in this league will work you out pretty quickly.

  • TBW….What was the atmosphere like in the Tunnel Bar last night? Were there many in? I must admit at 2.15am this morning as I crawled into bed I did wonder if a few pints in the bar and watching on the telly wouldn’t have been more sensible!

  • Think you could be right there glouchblade, and i also think you guys could be one of the most competent teams in the Championship for many years to come.

  • Sixpot….Thanks, lets hope you dont follow other soft teams like Leicester, Norwich, Charlton Saints etc into the third tier by clinging to the image of the beautiful game!

  • Great point and agree with Blackwell who said we looked stronger than last season. Still can’t get my head around our supporters who seem to think we should have smashed them 5-0. Their keeper was the busier of the two. Killer was superb as was Morgan, Hendo amazing considering he hadn’t done anything this season with regards to training. Liked Taylor as well, good solid left back. Not so sure on France and Treacy but give them time to make an impact and lets see what happens.

    Cautiously optimistic as always.

  • decent start, for away games other than the obvious wba, ipswich, maybe cardiff and readung would like to see two wide men and two up front..understand completely for this game (ex prem, lack of options) and id have snatched your hands off for a point before – lets build on this, slaughter watford and leicester with positive football, evans hendo up front cotts one side treacy/reid the other and go after some team – seven points from 9 with 4 or 5 goals in the bag and none conceded will do very nicely…both taylor and walker grew as the game went on, keeper had nothing to do but could kick well (which was a pleasant difference from kennys usual awful kicking!), centre halves confident, monty as always, quinn loose on the ball for my liking but industrious, howard on the periffary, treacy and france just did jobs expected protecting full abcks which i dont mind for this game and hendo was outstanding…

  • i thought Quinn was really good the other night. He looked up more than he has done in months. I thought we used the ball quite well especially in the first half. It left me feeling quite optimistic for our chances. Glouc, didnt make it to The Tunnel, we were in town so watched the game in ‘The old Monk’! Killa has to stay but did his chances of a move to the prem no harm at all on Friday – immense again. And Monty….he gets better and better! I was slightly worried that we would look off the pace after what appeared to be a low key pre season but they looked fit and raring to go. I cant keep up this confidence all the time though, i need another scapegoat now danny boy has gone. Watch this space.

  • Firstly I cant understand all the hype about Ipswich being one of the favourites to go up. I dont believe they will finish in the top 6. Secondly I thought the fitness level of the team just carried on from last season, Monty especially looked even fitter! TBW, I think your next player to hate might be Howard?

  • MightyWednesday, Thanks for your input. Sounds like a Brian Laws teamtalk to me. Talking of which, I wonder what he said to the players at half time on Saturday…?

  • No’p they watched the lowlights of the friday night game. They were lucky to be awake in the second half at all. Beattie, great player and so was Kyle. But you’ve got Chad. Good business LOL

  • Who is this latest piggy comic on our page? Not only are we host to the Three Stooges ( Aussie, Auckland, Worksopowl) – at least a couple of the Stooges make the occasional semi literate contribution – this latest comedian reminds me of why our bankrupt poor relations are where they are.

  • all said and done though glouc – they don’t sell their best players all the time like we do though, and that’s with 30m in debt. least they have shown some sort of ambition and desire to prees on on this season – again unlike us.

Your Comment