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U18's vs. Blackburn (H) Sat 6th April - Match Report

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Finally some fantastic weather for football as Middlesbrough played Blackburn at Rockliffe Park in the U18 league.

 

Boro started with a 4-3-3 formation, including 2 U16s in the starting line up. Jonny Helm at right back And Junior Mondal up front.. They also included Tom McAloon who has been recovering from a serious leg break and Ross McNab who has played very little in his first season due to injury.

 

With Shane Bland away on loan at Guisborough and other keepers injured Joe Fryer started after making his debut vs. Man City last week. A back 4 of Helm, Weledji, new signing Jonny Burn and Ross McNab. A midfield of Coleby, Griffiths and Kitching and front trio of McAloon, Warnett and Junior Mondal.

 

The home side started well, playing the usual fluid short passing that the Academy is renowned for playing. Tom McAloon driving down the left and pulling the ball back across the 6 yard box but just too deep for Warnett to get onto the end of.

 

Boro saw most of the running early on, Warnett playing off the shoulder of the last defender being played in and forcing the keeper into a fine save only to see the lineman’s flag raised during the build up. A Warnett deep cross had the visitor’s keeper panicking and Junior Mondal was on hand for a rebound. Boro did have the ball in the net shortly after; Mondal working brilliantly on the left got the ball in to Griffiths who struck the ball from the edge of the box. Griffiths pulled shot went straight to Mondal but he was well offside as he put the ball into the Blackburn net.

 

It wasn’t all Boro though, Joe Fryer saved easily from a Blackburn free kick, then from a corner he saved amazingly with an outstretched right foot then again shortly after coming out saved a shot that was straight at him but manager to get it away from goal in the process.

 

The deadlock was broken with a truly awesome individual goal. Tom McAloon picked the ball up and beat his man, he continued towards goal turning the last defender and slammed the ball across the keeper into the far corner of the net giving the home side the lead.

 

GOAL BORO - McAloon 1-0

 

Blackburn had a chance straight away to level it, but a flicked header from 3 years went just past Fryers far post.

 

Boro may have been one up but they were soon to be one man down, Jonny Burn recently signed from Sunderland went in hard and high on his man and after deliberation by the referee he pulled out the red card.

 

RED CARD – BORO – BURN

 

Despite the 10 men Boro nearly doubled their lead. Priestly Griffiths back from England U17 duty lines up a free kick from a good 25 yards out. He curled the ball away from the keeper who was flapping at fresh air but the ball rebounded off the bar back onto the keeper and went wide.

 

Blackburn were on level terms quickly after though, a neat turn on the edge of the 18 yard box saw the Boro defence wrong footed, a quick pass and a strike across Fryer saw the ball in the net and the score 1-1.

 

GOAL BLACKBURN – 1-1

 

A reshuffle was needed to cope with the loss of centre back Burn, McNab moved to centre back and Kitching into the left back slot. Griffiths in front of the back 4 and Coleby dropped a little deeper.

 

Boro could have scored another before half time despite the numerical disadvantage. Tom McAloon was played in well and found himself running through on the keeper, he tried a little dink over the Blackburn goalie but he stayed on his feet well and blocked with his body.

 

Half Time Boro 1 (McAloon, Burn Sent off) Blackburn 1

 

Middlesbrough started the second half with a passion and vigour, an early chance for McAloon from a Griffith’s free kick was headed wide but Boro were constantly on the push. Jonny Helm flying forward from the right back position started to cause the visitors problems. On the other side Kitching was solid and got involved in attacks time after time. Junior Mondal struck the ball sweetly from the edge of the box but his shot was well saved.

 

Blackburn were not playing for the draw though, they started making their numerical advantage count playing the ball about and shifting the Boro defence looking for a space to take advantage of.

 

Boro though continued to push forward, a thrilling left side attack found Kitching wide, his low teasing cross was just inches away from McAloon's out stretched leg though.

 

Jimmy Warnett who recently secured a 3rd year scholarship turned into space on his right foot and from all of 35 yards drove the ball towards the Blackburn goal. With the keeper struggling the Boro forward unfortunately saw his effort bounce off the bar and over for a goal kick.

 

Boro Sub Mondal off, Tinkler on.

Boro Sub McAloon off, McGlade on.

 

Fryer in the Boro goal had to remain aware of things going on, he saved well low down to keep the 10 men of Boro level.

 

Boro Sub Warnett off, Armstrong on.

 

Boro’s counter attacking pressure paid off when Dylan McGlade chased down a back pass, getting onto the ball and going wide as the keeper advanced, McGlade slide the ball into the goal and Boro had the lead again.

 

GOAL BORO – McGlade 2-1

 

McGlade wasn’t finished, a poor defensive mix up saw the ball headed straight into the young Irishman’s path and he put the ball past the advancing keeper to make it 3-1 Boro and 2 goals for the young Boro sub.

 

GOAL BORO – McGlade 3-1

 

McGlade completed a 7 minute hat trick but had U16 Jonny Helm to thank for the 3rd, the defender strode forward stealing the ball and drove at the heart of the Blackburn side, touching the ball one side of the defender and racing round the other he squared the ball as the keeper came out leaving McGlade a 6 yard tap in to an empty net!

 

GOAL BORO – McGlade 4-1

 

Blackburn had gone, their confidence drained away their side resorting to in bickering and blaming each other for the total collapse from possible match winners to whipping boys.

 

McGlade did show he wasn’t superhuman, he ran onto yet another defensive mistake to find himself 1 on 1 again with the keeper, the keeper stood strong and saved but the match was won and McGlade very much deserved the match ball!

 

FULL TIME MIDDLESBROUGH 4 (McAloon, McGlade x3, Burn Sent off) BLACKBURN 1

 

Boro: Fryer, Helm, McNab, Griffiths, Weledji, Burn, Kitching, Coleby, Warnett (Armstrong), McAloon (McGlade), Junior Mondal (Tinkler)

 

Thoughts/Man of the match.

Boro played fantastically well as a side after the sending off. Fryer was strong in goal, collecting superbly when crosses came in deep. Full backs Helm and Kitching were strong in defence and offered a great deal going forward. Helm as an U16 is playing beyond his years and looks a fantastic prospect. His run for the 4th goal showing that. Kitching the same on the left side, getting forward and causing issues with over lapping and teasing crosses. Weledji and McNab were strong in the heart of the defence, throwing their bodies in where needed and making superb tackles on the edge of the box. Coleby as usual looks a very tidy player, moving the play well and always keeping possession. Griffiths protecting the heart of the pitch, and moving the ball well was unlucky to see a brilliant free kick rebound back off the bar. Mondal pressured his man into making mistakes and was at best when flowing forward. Warnett in the second half was unlucky to see his strike hit the bar also. McAloon was a monster, causing all sorts of problems in the Blackburn rear line. His goal was simply sublime. And of course as a sub McGlade did what he was brought on to do, chase down Blackburn players and then capitalise on mistakes.

 

Picking a single individual is very harsh on everyone else, but McAloon was brilliant in his continued comeback from a serious leg break. Today’s goal was his second in 2 games. Along with the deadly McGlade they did what was needed putting the ball into the net. So for me they get the MOTM award!

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Guest The Modfather

Great report as per usual Chris, makes me feel like I was there. Hope he got the ball signed by all the lads so I can add it to his collection of memorabilia :-)

 

Correct me if I'm wrong but is that the only

hat trick that's been scored by a Boro U18, Reserve, U21 or 1st team player this season or last season

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Dave Parnaby might have a rethink about releasing him if he keeps scoring hat-tricks.

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Great report as per usual Chris, makes me feel like I was there. Hope he got the ball signed by all the lads so I can add it to his collection of memorabilia :-)

 

Correct me if I'm wrong but is that the only

hat trick that's been scored by a Boro U18, Reserve, U21 or 1st team player this season or last season

 

pretty sure lukey williams netted a hat trick for the U21s this season? Maybe vs Blackburn ;) (they like concceding hat tricks to us it seems)

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Guest The Modfather

Great report as per usual Chris, makes me feel like I was there. Hope he got the ball signed by all the lads so I can add it to his collection of memorabilia :-)

 

Correct me if I'm wrong but is that the only

hat trick that's been scored by a Boro U18, Reserve, U21 or 1st team player this season or last season

 

pretty sure lukey williams netted a hat trick for the U21s this season? Maybe vs Blackburn ;) (they like concceding hat tricks to us it seems)

 

Indeed he did and i duly stand corrected :-)

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Great report Powlay. Sorry if you've answered this question before but is Junior Mondal one of the lads from Itueno? If so, how has he looked?

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