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Match Report

 

Posted Mon 25 May 15 at 14:00 PM

Boro 0 Norwich City 2

Middlesbrough 0 Norwich City 2

BORO must spend another season in the Championship as Norwich return at the first time of asking as two goals in three first half minutes proved enough to take this afternoon’s play off final. GORDON COX reports from Wembley.

City kicked off attacking the end housing the Boro fans thousands of whom had been in Trafalgar Square until the early hours of the morning.

They hadn’t left their voices behind.

Wembley was a sea of red and yellow as a cacophony of sound greeted the tams as they emerged from the tunnel into a warm overcast afternoon and a perfect playing surface despite two games in the last two days.

Patrick Bamford was declared fit to play this morning. In for Kike, he was the only change from the side that started the semi-final second leg against Brentford.

City started the game on the front foot but Boro, as they have done throughout a season where they ended with the tightest defence stood firm. 

With just over eight minutes played the game rendered its first chance as the ball bell to Bradley Johnson in the D and a fierce shot cracked the crossbar with Dimi Konstantopoulos beaten.

Boro broke quickly. Adam Clayton linked with Grant Leadbitter and George Friend was sent away down the left. A deep cross into the penalty area was headed clear but only to Jelle Vossen whose sweetly-struck volley thudded back off the bar.

The opening goal came with 12 minutes played as Cameron Jerome capitalised on a mix up between Dean Whitehead and Daniel Ayala, cut in to the penalty area from the right and drilled a low shot under Konstantopoulos.

Just three minutes later Boro were caught on the back foot again this time as Nathan Redmond cut in from the Norwich right and drilled a low shot across Konstantopoulos and in.

Boro were reeling and it took several minutes before they regained any kind of composure.

Gradually they got a foothold in the game and Friend cross whipped in from the left was flick-headed wide by Vossen.

Another cross, this time from the right, had John Ruddy coming out of his area to clear. The City goalkeeper, under pressure from Bamford, needed a second attempt to gather another right-wing delivery.

Boro had been slow to start but at least were now competing with Friend very much at the heart of most good things.

For all they enjoyed the bulk of possession for the closing ten minutes of the half, there was not a lot to cause overdue concern within the City ranks.

Boro, somehow, from somewhere needed to find a yard of pace and have a real go.

Half-time Middlesbrough 0 Norwich City 2

Aitor Karanka made a change during the break with Dean Whitehead replaced by Emilio Nsue.

It didn’t take long for him to get involved in the action as he set up Albert Adomah on the right and his whipped in cross was turned behind for a corner.

Dominating the early exchanges of the second half Boro quickly won another corner when a Friend cross drilled in from the left was turned behind.

City were pressed back, Lee Tomlin found Bamford 20 yards out and a low shot brought a spreading save from Ruddy who just for a split second looked like he had lost control of the ball.

The question now was had City put so much in to the first half that they couldn’t keep it up?

They very nearly answered that question seconds after Kike replaced Vossen on 68 minutes when Russell Martin headed just over from a right wing corner.

Alex Neil made two changes as he injected fresh energy in to his side, but other than a free-kick curled wide from Redmond there was little to cause concern.

Daniel Ayala had headed just over at the start of the half, entering the final ten minutes he had another cleared off the line when meeting a right-wing corner.

It wasn’t Boro’s afternoon and a fourth defeat in five visits to Wembley will mean the second longest stay in the Championship in Boro’s history.

Scorers Jerome 12, Redmond 15.

Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos; Whitehead (Nsue 46), Ayala, Gibson, Friend, Adomah, Leadbitter (Capt.) Clayton, Vossen (Kike 68), Tomlin, Bamford. Subs: Ripley (gk); Woodgate, Amorebieta, Forshaw, Reach.

Norwich City. Ruddy; Whittaker, Johnson, Martin (Capt.), Howson, Jerome (Grabban 73), Hoolahan (Dorrans 73, Redmond (O’Neil 87), Olsson, Tettey, Bassong. Subs: Rudd (gk); Hooper, E Bennett, R Bennett. Order of subs on 74: 1) Grabban 2) Dorrans

Referee Mike Dean

Bookings
Middlesbrough Vossen 55, diving
Norwich Howson 62, foul

Attendance 85, 636 

Conditions Warm and overcast

Attendance 85, 636 (Approximately 39,000 Boro)

Conditions Warm and overcast

Possession: Middlesbrough 47% Norwich 53%   

Boro Website Man of the Match George Friend

Shots

Cards

Goals

On target

Off target

Blocked

Corners

Yellow

Red

Boro

0

2

5

1

6

1

0

Norwich

2

2

5

0

2

1

0




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