(Apologies to Erimus for referencing matches he's previously referred to - we haven't played on 7 August very often!)
August 7th 1971
Boro 4 Hibernian 2 (Yes, Erimus - Hibs again!)
Boro looked in fine fettle a week ahead of the 1971/72 season as they swept aside Hibernian more comfortably than the scoreline suggests. New signings Stuart Boam and Nobby Stiles appeared to be settling in well. Boam bought more presence to the defence, albeit looking hesitant at times, while Stiles used his experience to control the game from the middle of the park before coming off at half time. He said that he had done so partly to give someone else a run out and partly to have a look at the team from a trainer's perspective and that having done so he had a feeling that it wouldn't be too long before he was playing at Old Trafford again. As it turned out, he was right, but only because Boro drew Manchester United in the FA Cup later in the season.
Against Hibs, Boro were 4-0 up by the interval as Hibs' young goalkeeper, who was only playing because their new first choice keeper's international clearance papers hadn't arrived, was regularly left stranded by his statuesque defence. John Hickton helped himself to a hat trick and Joe Laidlaw chipped in with another.
Hickton got the first after just two minutes with a glancing header from a free kick from wide on the left. It was 2-0 after five minutes after a goalmouth mix up allowed Laidlaw to score off the post. Laidlaw turned provider after 20 minutes, crossing from the right for Hickton to head home, and Big John completed his hat trick on 35 minutes with another simple header.
Boro relaxed in the second half, allowing Hibs to make the score more respectable with two quick headed goals of their own. The first came from Joe Baker after 52 minutes, with second half substitute Hazel adding the second on 58 minutes. All in all though, a good performance by Boro. They now had a midweek friendly with Benfica to look forward to (which famously brought back together Stiles and Eusebio) and then it was all set for the opening league fixture at Portsmouth. (This is Boro we're talking about - you know what happened next).
In the news - 2800 shipyard workers at Swan Hunter voted by just 45 votes to remain on strike after the latest pay offer fell 25p a week below their demands, two brothers were rescued off the North Sea coast after cutting the roof off their van and paddling out to sea on it (yes, really), the crew of Apollo 15 splashed down safely in the Pacific and three soldiers were shot during rioting in Belfast.
Top of the charts - Get it On by T Rex.