Boro hold Bournemouth to a draw in the Championship

Boro hold Bournemouth to a draw in the Championship

Boro welcomed fans back to the Riverside Stadium, with 1,000 supporters seeing Boro put in a solid home performance.

Kevin Blackwell, who stood in for the absent Boro boos Neil Warnock, believed that the presence of a crowd influenced the game as Boro searched for a first home league win of the season.

Boro were punished as the visitors scored from a set-piece, something Boro will be lamenting once again, but the home team dominated most of the game and put in a good performance with glimpses of quality on display enough to salvage their first point of the season.

The players seem to have benefitted from the support of the crowd as they dominated most of the match, spending long periods camped in the opposing half.

George Saville fired an effort wide of the upright inside the opening few minutes and Jonny Howson also fired a shot from distance, but it was not until the middle of the first half before Boro had a clear cut opportunity in the game.

Marcus Tavernier made a dangerous cross from the left side of the pitch with Grant Hall reaching out his head for the ball from close range.

The away team had not created any serious chances by this stage, but they took the lead three minutes later through a corner when Marcus Bettinelli tipped David Brooks' 20-yard strike around the post, with Solanke putting the opponents ahead.

Boro created their best opportunity of the game two minutes after the break. Hall got up well to meet Tavernier's corner from the right, but his header was directed straight at Asmir Begović, who comfortably saved the ball.

Boro's situation became worse when Fletcher was forced to limp off with an injury in the 68th minute, although Britt Assombalonga went close moments later to scoring as he looped a header from George Saville's cross onto the roof of the net.

Assombalonga was also involved in the incident that should really have led to a Boro equaliser with 17 minutes left. Begović was only able to parry Assombalonga's free-kick into the path of substitute Browne, who should have scored from the rebound.

Instead, he was unable to control the ball properly, and while it came as a rebound for Saville, who stabbed home, the Northern Irishman was in an offside position and the goal was ruled out.

Bournemouth nearly added another goal in the 78th minute, but Bettinelli saved Solanke's low effort with his right foot after the striker had surged on to Diego Rico's pass.

The save proved to be crucial as Boro scored a late equaliser with 9 minutes left. The outstanding McNair swung over a cross from the right, and Browne made up for his earlier error as he evaded his marker to head home from eight yards out.

Bettinelli was called upon to make a couple of late saves in the dying minutes as Bournemouth's attempts to reclaim their lead before the whistle signalled an end to a good Boro performance.

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