Poor Finishing Sees Game Drawn
The Riverside, Middlesbrough
29 January 2010; 15:00
City were lucky to escape with a point at the Riverside against the 10-men from Boro.
Following the 6-0 drubbing by Cardiff in midweek, Johnson picked a team with an eye on containing a mis-firing Boro side who had only won once at home in the last seven.
One change was made from the midweek debacle, Lewin Nyatanga returned in place of Danny Haynes as Johnson opted for five at the back.
Within seconds of the start, troubled ex-City striker Leroy Lita seized on a wayward Paul Hartley backpass only to be denied by a good, recovering challenge from Fontaine.
Both sides traded long range efforts there after before David Wheater and Chris Killen both wasted good chances for the hosts before Louis Carey was called upon to stop a jinking run from right-winger Willo Flood.
Skuse went off with a knock at the break as City, sitting deep for most the game thus far, replaced him with Marvin Elliott.
Moments after the re-start, Hartley was unlucky to see his drive from the edge of the box skim just past the post whilst the sought-after Adam Johnson was a cat's whisker away for the home side following a trade mark mazy run on 53.
City's' chances of winning the game should have been boosted when ex-Celtic midfielder Barry Robson was given his marching orders for a clumsy clip on Maynard but, if anything, his dismissal seemed to galvanise the hosts.
Killen headed two glorious chances from close range over the bar with only Gerken to beat as the City defence looked increasingly fragile.
Campbell-Ryce nearly caught Coyne napping on his line with an audacious 35-yard lob that had the keeper scrambling whilst Elliott and Campbell-Ryce again warmed the keepers gloves.
The last minute curse nearly struck again as Wheater evaded Carey and headed a great chance to snatch it over the bar so City, and Gary Johnson, can head back south with a big sigh of relief.
BORO (4-4-2): Coyne, McMahon, Wheater, Grounds, Hoyte (Arca '64), Flood, Robson, O'Neil, Johnson, Killen, Lita (Franks '73).
CITY (5-3-2): Gerken, Orr, Carey, Nyatanga (Sproule '85), Fontaine, McAllister, Skuse (Elliott '46), Hartley, Campbell-Ryce, Maynard (Haynes '71), Agyemang.
REFEREE: C Webster
He was first to everything, beat his man with trickery so many times and had a decent final ball to boot. My MOTM by some way.
Dean Gerken 5
Bradley Orr 7
Jamie McAllister 6
Liam Fontaine 6
Lewin Nyatanga 6
Louis Carey 6
Paul Hartley 6
Cole Skuse 5
Jamal Campbell-Ryce 8
Nicky Maynard 5
Patrick Agyemang 4
Marvin Elliott 5
Danny Haynes 6
Ivan Sproule 5
Understandably set us up with an eye on damage limitation after the midweek mauling. We seemed to have no intention on winning the game, often we were very deep despite Boro's poor home form. A decent point though and a welcome clean sheet.
Got a committed performance out of his team of ex-Celtic players and created a host of chances. He'll probably more disappointed with the lack of an end product than anything else tonight.
Another Point Towards Safety
Time To Rest Maynard?