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Middlesbrough 1 v 0 Swansea City
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 4th December 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Middlesbrough v Swansea City : Past Glories In depth ...
Thursday, 2nd Dec 2021 09:00 by David Cornish

It’s that time of the week again where we wind back the clock to years gone by. We have picked a few memorable games for you as well. We have called these two games ‘past glories’ and in these two cases they probably were.

First off that FA Cup replay at Ayresome Park in January 1995.
Middlesbrough 1 Swansea City 2

The Swans claimed a memorable FA Cup win in what was their final trip to Middlesbrough’s former home at Ayresome Park. First Division Boro were strong favourites to progress in this third-round replay having drawn the original tie at Vetch Field 1-1.

The hosts included the likes of Paul Wilkinson and John Hendrie, but it was Frank Burrows’s Second Division ( tier 3 then ) Swans who took charge on Teesside thanks to goals from Steve Torpey and Dave Penney. Roger Freestone had little to do before Hendrie netted what proved to be a consolation goal for the hosts late on.

Then there was this game, even more memorable ?

Middlesbrough 3 Swans 4
Championship – February 12, 2011

The Swans went to Middlesbrough in 2011 and the win that day cam in dramatic fashion. Craig Beattie struck a last-gasp winner for Brendan Rodgers’s side, who had trailed 3-1 at one stage. The Swans’ never-say-die attitude was on display at the Riverside Stadium as they took another step forward in their bid to win promotion to the Premier League.

A familiar face opened the scoring as Marvin Emnes put the hosts ahead from inside the area after eight minutes, but Nathan Dyer levelled soon after as he tapped home Luke Moore's cross. Middlesbrough seemed to be heading for victory when Jonathan Grounds and Leroy Lita scored either side of half-time, but the Swans rallied. Scott Sinclair cut the deficit from the penalty spot after Julio Arca fouled Joe Allen, then Ashley Williams tapped home the equaliser after Angel Rangel's shot rebounded into his path. A remarkable comeback was completed in injury time as substitute Beattie struck a fine left-footed effort from 20 yards to earn the Swans all three points.

The Northern Echo saw it like this.
SWANSEA CITY defender Ashley Williams has been hitting the gym in an attempt to become better equipped for the Championship and ensured Middlesbrough were also left feeling the need to toughen up. Boro might have become a more attack-minded and attractive team to watch under Tony Mowbray, but the manager was left to reflect on an afternoon when Swansea effectively battered them in to submission after a promising start.

For an hour it had all been going to plan. Boro conceded a 14th minute goal from the electric Nathan Dyer, but they were 3-1 up and on course for a win that would have lifted them eight points clear of relegation. Then Julio Arca pressed the self-destruct button. His clumsy challenge on Swansea substitute Joe Allen earned the visitors a penalty which Scott Sinclair dispatched.

Arca's error then handed the Swans a hint that the game could be saved, but more worryingly it brought the worst out of a new-look, inexperienced Boro defence. Mowbray, a former defender, looked on, puzzled and in dismay as Swansea were gifted an equaliser from Williams before allowing Craig Beattie the space to pick his spot to strike a winner in the fourth minute of injury-time.

With a trip to Millwall's New Den to come on Saturday, followed by visits from leaders Queens Park Rangers and promotion-chasing Nottingham Forest, Mowbray needs to find a way of repairing damaged confidence - and fast. "I am sorry for the fans who came here to come and see that," said a subdued Mowbray. "I feel for them a bit. The defending is what it is. I can't defend that. We are very disappointed, the game should have been finished but some poor defending, bad decisions, the penalty let them back in, that gave them the sniff they could get back in. It was not through lack of effort. The team worked extremely hard. Psychologically, the penalty was damaging to the team. The clock was ticking down and we could have scored when they over-committed. But we ultimately paid the price."

It was supposed to have been a day of celebration for one fan, Nick Waites, who was presented with a shirt before kick-off to mark his 750th consecutive appearance at a Boro game. Mowbray could be forgiven if he wished for a back five boasting that many outings between them. Instead he has a backline all 24 or under, with Tony McMahon - 62 league starts - representing Boro most experienced defender.

And with Matthew Bates, Stephen McManus and Danny Coyne sidelined until next month at the earliest, Mowbray knows there is little room for manoeuvre with the exception of bringing in German Maxi Haas for his debut. Boro started brightly enough. Marvin Emnes, whose only other league goal for the club came against Swansea during Gareth Southgate's days, slotted the Teessiders ahead after turning Alan Tate.

And even though Swansea carved open the defence for Dyer to equalise six minutes later, Boro's response looked perfect. Barry Robson floated over a free-kick which Jonathan Grounds flicked beyond goalkeeper Dorus de Vries with a fine header and Emnes was denied his second just before the break by the goalkeeper's legs. Seven minutes after the restart Robson's delivery from the right was exceptionally placed for Leroy Lita to rise unmarked and head powerfully in.

A third win in five looked secure but then, after Swansea midfielder Allen ran in to the box, Arca knocked him to the floor in an attempt to make up for losing possession. Sinclair, an £800,000 signing from Chelsea, converted the spot-kick and that paved the way for the Boro collapse. Seb Hines and Grounds lost their way at the heart of the defence, while goalkeeper Jason Steele lacked the sort of composure that has earned him and England Under-21 call-up.

When County Durham-born Tate chipped the ball back in to the area, Steele came out to gather rather than punch. The ball dropped off the head of Luke Moore before dropping for Williams to poke over the line, despite having two defenders nearby. With the score level, Beattie - who Mowbray signed for West Brom during his time in charge at the Hawthorns - was afforded far too much freedom before finding the bottom corner in stoppage time.

Mowbray said: "It was a silly tackle for the penalty; a bad decision from the keeper who tried to catch a ball he should have punched, then two defenders clashed and let the boy tap in to an empty net. Then for the winner nobody wanted to get in front of him. "We need to improve. We have sat in that dressing room for half hour after the game and watched them goals go in. Really disappointing."


Craig Beattie scores the winner

Mowbray knows the situation and the squad he has now is likely to be the one he has at the end of the season. Where Boro will be come May is unclear, but more displays like Saturday and there is every chance they will be back in the bottom three.

MATCH FACTS
Bookings: Gower (79, foul); Williams (83, unsporting behaviour)

Referee: Rob Madley (Leeds) - correctly awarded the penalty that turned things around and Boro can't even blame the official for their downfall. 8/10

Attendance: 14,825 (429 away)
Entertainment: 5/5

SWANSEA CITY (4-5-1): De Vries 5; Rangel 4, Williams 6, Tate 5, Richards 4; DYER 8, Pratley 6 (Dobbie 57, 5), Britton 6 (Allen 57, 6), Gower 6, Sinclair 7; Moore 6 (Beattie 75). Subs (not used): Ma-Makalamby (gk), van der Gun, Serran, Augustien.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Nathan Dyer - showed the sort of tenacity and drive that Boro could do with on the flanks.


More news on this game later today and tomorrow.

Photographs licensed from Reuters



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