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PLAYER WATCH v Middlesbrough (H)

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PLAYER WATCH v Middlesbrough (H)

Each incident in the match was rated on the following scale: 

+5 GOAL 

+4 Excellent play 

+3 Very good play 

+2 Pleasing/good play 

+1 Decent play 

  0 Routine stuff 

 -1 Sloppy play 

 -2 Disappointing/poor play 

 -3 Very poor play 

 -4 Terrible play 

 -5 Own goal 

The ratings for each player were then combined to produce a measure of the players overall contribution to the match. 


Key incidents per player = coloured stars              Overall contribution = numbers

Kaminski                       ***  *     4                               

Nyambe                        *********  *****     6     

Lenihan                         ********************   *******     19

Wharton                       ********  ******     6

van Hecke                     *************  ***      17

Edun                              *************  **********     6  

Travis                            ************  ***     15     

Buckley (88)                 ************  ******    9        

Johnson                       ***********  ******     5     

Khadra (76)                  ******** *******     7

Gallagher                     ******************** ***     29 



Butterworth (76)         * ***    -3    

Zeefuik (88)             ***     5


Highlights and Lowlights 

(A justification for the main ratings given above)


Rothwell injured and Diaz on international duty. Travis and Nyambe are back and Johnson and Gallagher start. This is a massive game and many fans fear the worst with the largely enforced starting line-up.


00 A huge roar erupts. The fans are up for this.

02 It’s a lively, encouraging start from Rovers. A nice period of possession ends when Buckley’s attempted shot from 25 yards is high, wide and not very handsome!

03 Travis takes exception to a foul on Nyambe and is thrown to the ground. He is the picture of bemused innocence by the time the ref arrives! Khadra’s free kick is decent and Johnson gets up first but heads over the bar from around the penalty spot.

06 Buckley, near the centre spot, finds Gallagher 30 yards out and he controls it nicely on his chest and manoeuvres himself away from 2 defenders before shooting from over 25 yards but it’s not the bazooka this time and the goalie collects comfortably.

08 Edun wins a corner. Khadra takes and it’s deep for Gallagher to head back across goal and it’s very crowded in the goalmouth. A Boro player,moving back, almost directs the ball into the net but the keeper panic-kicks it away as he falls backwards on the line and they’ve escaped!

11 Travis commits a foul, on our right wing, midway  in our half. Gallagher, in the box, heads the free-kick away. Boro retrieve and, after some nice interplay, Crooks hares off into the box. But Gallagher has shadowed him all the way, forcing him to the byline where Boro win a dodgy corner. Great stuff from Sam. After giving him all-sorts for his performance at Hull, I have to admit he’s made an impressive start today. Kaminski punches the cross away.

14 Now Sam wins the ball in midfield and Khadra is fouled. Second yellow card for Boro.

16 Buckley, on halfway, launches one for Khadra to chase but the keeper read it well and rushes out of his box to clear.

17 From a throw, Buckley collects and glides gracefully through the Boro half, he gets a lucky break of the ball in the D and tries a shot but it’s blocked.

18 Khadra shows his pace as he sprints clear from our own half. He tries to bend the ball behind the defence to Gallagher but it’s way off target. Disappointing end.

21 Another awful cross from Khadra!

23 Rovers bring it out of defence and van Hecke plays a good long ball deep to Nyambe on the wing. He does his trademark drop of the shoulder and sprint to the byline. He puts in a cross but the defender gets something on it and it’s headed away from the goalmouth. It only falls to Gallagher though 15 yards out with his back to goal. He tries a half-decent overhead kick and it’s on target but not  powerful enough.

26 Connolly brings down Buckley on halfway and it’s another Boro’ yellow card.

28 Another elusive, graceful run from Buckley takes him from halfway into the D where he’s dropped by Tavernier. Boro can’t handle him at the moment and that’s the 4th yellow card! Khadra takes the free-kick and goes for the top right hand corner but it’s disappointing and over the bar.

33 A bit of a mix-up as a long Boro’ ball bounces just outside our box and Edun, under pressure, chests it down, into the box, and past Kaminski. Kaminski falls, the Boro man stumbles over him and Edun is able to put it out for a throw. Phew! A bit fortunate there. Now it’s a clever throw in and Edun and Johnson are left for dead. Jones is clear on the byline but Wharton rushes in and smashes it out for a corner. Van Hecke heads the corner clear and it’s a foul anyway.

36 Nyambe earns a yellow card for a foul near halfway.

41 Good pressing from Rovers prevents Boro from moving forward. Oh! Eventually it’s a good ball forward, over Edun’s head and into the box but van Hecke is there to clear up.

41 Wow! Jones does Edun all ends up and heads into the box. Edun chases and tackles him from behind - looked like a penalty but we escape as Wharton clears for a corner. This time Johnson heads away but it falls to Taylor who fires it back but it’s well over.


48 Jones goes past Johnson easily and heads into the box but his square ball is intercepted by Travis. Boro are having a lot of joy down their right wing!

49 Needless yellow card for Travis. His 7th so far!

50 The already booked Connolly elbows Lenihan in the face….blood everywhere but he gets away with it.

53 Gallagher wins a corner but Khadra’s delivery is poor.

57 It’s all very quiet so far this half!

58 Khadra gives it away in the centre-circle and Boro attack. Jones breezes through midfield and slips the ball to Connolly in the box but Lenihan is there to block the shot. Just one lazy piece of play by Khadra and we could have been one down! Boro still have it and Edun rushes in recklessly and misses the tackle. Johnson is beaten on the edge of the box. Jones goes on past Lenihan but thankfully shoots wide of the post. A let off.

61 A Boro 1-2 high up on their right wing allows Jones to get away from Edun and his cross finds Connolly on the edge of the 6 yard box but his shot is deflected just wide by van Hecke! We’re living dangerously here! Ohhhhh! The corner comes in, Crooks gets high above Wharton and his header is powerful and on target. Amazingly Travis, on the line, saves the certain goal by heading clear! It’s all Boro at the moment, their fans are enjoying it!

Play is halted due to a medical emergency in the stands.

72 A long looping ball comes into the Rovers Box from a free-kick and Gallagher is back to head away.

74 A nice long ball from Wharton finds Edun who wins a corner. Khadra whips it into the near post and the defender heads away. It comes out to Edun 30 yards out and he knocks it straight back, it’s deflected by Buckley and picked up by Gallagher on the edge of the box, just right of centre. He immediately turns and fires a great low shot across goal and into the net by the left post. Great goal….Ewood erupts with relief and ecstasy!

76 Khadra off, Butterworth on. It’s been another disappointing day for Khadra I think.

79 Gallagher is chasing down everything! I can’t understand how he can go from abysmal against Hull to excellent tonight!

82 Buckley gives the ball away in the Boro half. He’s not been so influential this half.

83 Balugan gets the ball in our box but he’s shepherded by a strong Lenihan. The Boro man goes down claiming a penalty. No way! But he wins the corner. It’s a poor cross and Butterworth heads away but doesn’t chase after it! He seems lethargic.

85 Nyambe and Lenihan fail to stop Balugan threading the ball into the box but Boro are crowded out. A long high ball comes back and Sporar just gets a foot to it, outside the 6 yard box, but Lenihan deflects the ball off-target for a corner. Boro bounce the ball around our box but Johnson and Buckley clear.

86 Gallagher blocks the keeper’s attempted clearance.

87 Gallagher picks up just over halfway on the right and heads for goal. Johnson has gone with him. His first attempted pass is blocked but the ball bounces back to him. He shoots from the D but it’s blocked and falls to Johnson on the edge of the box but the keeper gets down well to save, then Gallagher blasts over from 5 yards! Never mind, Johnson was just offside! Let’s pretend that Sam heard the whistle!

88 Buckley off, Zeefuik on.

89 It’s a great Boro ball through the middle to Sporar in the D. Wharton brings him down and concedes a yellow. Very, very dangerous! McNair blasts it way over the top. 12 minutes of extra time!!!!

91 A nice touch past the defender by Zeefuik in the Boro half but he’s brought down. Butterworth’s free kick goes out for a goal kick.

93 A nice cross comes in from Sporar and Nyambe heads clear. Boro keep the pressure on.

96 A fantastic chase across the field by Gallagher and he tackles McNair into touch. The crowd loves that as it sings his name.

The Boro attack comes back down their right wing again. Watmore flicks the ball on and another attacker beats van Hecke and heads it forward into the box to Crooks. He lays it right to Connolly who goes past Lenihan but blasts it wide. Good grief, that was a fair chance! Connolly’s pretending he’s hurt….I think I would after missing that one!

97 Wharton heads away and Edun flies into a 50-50 with Jones on halfway with absolutely no compromise. He’s hurt though and it’s a foul. Brave commitment from Edun.

100 A long crossfield ball from Boro and Edun let’s it go but Jones collects at the byline. Oh! That was surely out of play. Play goes on and Edun fouls Jones near the touchline and is booked. The cross comes in and Crooks gets in front of Gallagher in the 6 yard box but incredibly heads it over! All the Boro men have their heads in their hands. Big, big let off!

The ball goes forward to Zeefuik on halfway, on the right wing. He bamboozles 2 defenders and drives on into the box. His shot is defected wide for a corner. Impressive stuff from the new man - great pace and footwork. It’s loud!

92 The corner is taken short and it’s embarrassing as Johnson gives it away immediately!

Finally the whistle goes and the roof comes off! Mowbray raises both fists. A massive massive win and we’re back into second place. I must admit I feared the worst tonight but it’s a big statement from the lads on the field.

Edited by tonyoz
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1 hour ago, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

Thanks for that Tony. The stats bear out a lot of my thoughts. Is Gallaghers 29 a record ?

No! He got 31 v Reading but he did score an all-player record v Luton of -17. His inconsistency from game to game is crazy. It’s not too long ago that whoscored had him the 6th best player in the Championship! How can he have such awful games where old-timers are saying “that’s the worst performance I’ve seen …….forever!”???

Edited by tonyoz
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2 hours ago, tonyoz said:

No! He got 31 v Reading but he did score an all-player record v Luton of -17. His inconsistency from game to game is crazy. It’s not too long ago that whoscored had him the 6th best player in the Championship! How can he have such awful games where old-timers are saying “that’s the worst performance I’ve seen …….forever!”???

He must have been near to -17 in the game against Hull. He was completely ineffectual then.

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