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Season 2004-05
Middlesbrough (a) Premiership


Date: Saturday 14th August 2004, 5.15pm
Live on SKY PPV 

Venue: Riverside

Conditions: Hot and sunny.

Away tickets: 30 (last season 28)

for their new format programme Red Square - basically a ripoff of last season's Manchester United design.



Newcastle United

2 - 2



14mins Aaron Hughes picked up a loose ball midway inside our half and attempted a ball through to the scampering Bellamy. Riggott should have easily cut the ball out but missed it and away went Bellamy to round Schwarzer and tuck it into the net with two defenders helpless to prevent it. 1-0

Half time: Middlesbrough 0 Newcastle 1

73mins Sloppy defending as Hasselbaink was left unmarked down the right and his cross found an equally unattended Downing, who had time to steady himself and fire past Given although the keeper got a hand to it. 1-1

83mins Shearer played a neat ball to Shola on the edge of the box and he just got a toe to the ball as Zenden challenged. The barge from the Boro man was clumsy and enough to persuade ref Bennett that it was a penalty. Shearer stepped up and fired powerfully into the top left corner in front of the away fans -Schwarzer guessing correctly but unable to get near the ball. 2-1

90mins Zenden picked up the ball down the left and took advantage of a slip by Dyer to break forward and bend a cross into the six yard box. Mendieta - in an offside position - missed it but Hasselbaink was at the far post to bundle the ball in with his hand after missing it with his head. The linesman and ref missed both offences.  2-2

Full time: Middlesbrough 2 Newcastle 2

We Said

Sir Bobby said:

"It was a good open game, both teams had a go and they never gave up after twice going behind. We did this so many times last year when winning games and giving it away.

"It was a classic derby - nip and tuck, everybody nip and everybody tuck - but we are disappointed to lose it. You are winning 2-1 away from home and you've got to win it.

"Their second goal was very questionable. He was between Olivier Bernard and Shola Ameobi, and missed it with his head and knocked it in with his hand. 

"Don't let them tell you anything different. The linesman has let us down.

"The players are upset as well. We could have been 3-1 up when Jermaine Jenas got into a strikers position but shot wide.

"I thought we coped very well. They did not turn us round and Hasselbaink clearly handled the ball. Sometimes you get decisions, sometimes you don't.

"We are winning 2-1 away from home and need every decision, but they got out of jail."

On the Dyer stories:

"I had a long discussion with Kieron on Friday, I felt when it came to picking the team that Nicky Butt and Jermaine Jenas were in a fitter condition.

"It's utter rubbish to say we had a row. If Kieron is unhappy, he should come and tell me. I didn't know that Keiron has a camp - I know he has a nice house. 

"I don't know where these wild stories come from."

Alan Shearer commented:

"This is the same old scenario from last season. We do not seem to have learned the lessons about conceding late goals. It has already cost us two points this season."

They Said

McLaren commented: 

"I've just seen it on TV and he stooped low and headed it in at the far post. "He said it was a goal and the ref gave it so it is a goal."

"Obviously I am pleased with the point after we were twice behind. It was a typical first-day game, very scrappy at times.

"I thought Newcastle played well but my players showed tremendous character to come back twice. I was pleased with their attitude and commitment.

"There is a lot more work to put in before we can become a good side. Hasselbaink made a goal and got the equaliser, so I was pleased with his performance."


Toon on Smogside - Premiership

Drew 2-2 Bellamy, Shearer
Won 1-0 Ameobi
Lost 0-1 No scorer
Won 4-1 Shearer 2, Dabizas, Robert
Won 3-1 Shearer, Goma, Dyer.
1999/00: Drew 2-2 Speed, Pistone
1998/99: Drew 2-2 Charvet, Dabizas
1996/97: Won 1-0 Ferdinand
1995/96: Won 2-1 Watson, Ferdinand

A day of milestones: One day after his 34th birthday and in the first game of his final season, Alan Shearer scored his 174th toon goal on the occasion of his 500th competitive league appearance for Southampton, Blackburn and Newcastle.

100th Newcastle appearance for Jermaine Jenas in all competitions (78 starts.)

Craig Bellamy scored his 33rd Newcastle goal as he also notched up 100  appearances for us in all competitions (92 starts.)

Debuts for messrs Carr, Milner, Butt and Kluivert - the late introduction of whom made him the 108th player to represent us in the Premiership.

And the forgotten man Robbie Elliott made only his 30th senior appearance since returning to SJP in July 2001.

Elliott last started a Premiership game for us on April 23rd 2002 at Blackburn. Until today's return, we played another 78 league games of which Robbie was needed for 1 minute of our home win over West Ham in August 2003 and the final 17 minutes of a home win over Liverpool on New Years Day 2003.

The nearest Elliott came to playing last season was when he was stripped and waiting to come on at Villa last April following the dismissal of Andy O'Brien, only for Sir Bobby to change his mind and tactics.

First selection of Peter Ramage on the bench for a Premiership game - he was wearing 42 but wasn't called upon.


Welcome back to the People's theatre.

When last you left us, our performing minstrels were taking their leave at a sunny Anfield, after Michael Owen could only manage one against us and that nice Gerard Houllier stood his troops down in the final minutes (allegedly) to allow us that vital point for UEFA qualification.

Now 13 weeks later, Owen is a Galactico, Houliier is a manager without portfolio and Sir Bobby's first team selection of the season included only three of those who began our previous game.

In stark contrast to last summer's transfer embargo, old stagers and young pretenders have departed while new blood has arrived, including....gasp, someone who has actually won England....this century!

But in reality, nothing has really changed. Apart from Bellamy borrowing his fellow Welshman Robbie Savage's wig, that is. 

Woodgate is still injured, we still cannot stop conceding late goals away from home, we still cannot keep a clean sheet and thankfully we remain a thorn in the side of the Smoggies on their own midden.

After another less-than-perfect pre-season, with some self-inflicted (Far Eastern) misery followed by an it-could-only-happen-to-us infection scare, all against a backdrop of internal friction between Chairman, Manager and Captain, we'd probably have taken a point before the start of hostilities.

That didn't make the feeling of loss any more bearable when that second late equaliser came, especially when later TV replays showed that Ameobi's penalty claim had in fact been legitimate and Sir Bobby had been done by an illegal hand for at least the second time in his career. And by a player as unloved as Mister D. Maradona at that.....

But had it been Alan Shearer's paw at the other end, we'd all have been hee-hawing our way to the bar and ironically hollering that damn pigbag jingle yet again. As it was, by the time McClaren and his mob celebrated their release from prison (minus those home fans who had already walked out), Shearer was a spectator himself. 

Another replacement by Kluivert - with only three minutes remaining - looked like no more than a vanity substitution but as Robson virtually admitted afterwards, probably cost us dear as we repeatedly cleared our lines only to surrender possession and come under renewed pressure once again.

Some trademark Shearer ball-shepherding into the corners then might have just run the clock down sufficiently, but as was the case at Celtic, when the number nine went off, his duties weren't fulfilled - to our cost.

We'd highlighted before the game that the likely appearance of our quartet of new arrivals would be the largest influx of debutants since the 1999 season opener when we lost at home to Villa. On that fateful day, Al saw red and warning bells were already ringing as the body of the team rejected its multiple transplants, almost from the off.

On that basis, there was much to admire in the performances of our new recruits - notably Butt, who played like a man who'd been waiting for his chance for too long, attacking the game and the opposition players with a zeal that put his fellow midfielders to shame. 

It was Jenas who should have celebrated his 100th appearance for the club with a clinching third goal, but the number 4 alongside him looked more like he'd been there for the duration. Even Robert was infected with the tackling and tracking back bug, albeit in a gallic strain.....

And down the right, both Milner and Carr put in decent shifts before they started to wilt in the heat, the former showing some good balance and ball skills but like his young England counterpart Ambrose being frustratingly inconsistent with his final ball though. Early days though and easy to forget he's still almost 6 months shy of his 19th birthday.

Carr also gave a good account of himself with some fearless challenges and a physical presence that Hughes seldom showed in that position. However it's to be hoped that his fitness will improve in the coming weeks and that his previous injury problems won't restrict his contribution. 

Kluivert we didn't see for long enough to form an impression but he did at least move along the front line, a rare feat for a Newcastle centre forward and one which seemed to bamboozle his new team mates. Bit puffy round the eyes though as more than one onlooker commented - not quite jumpsuit Elvis in Vegas, but a few sessions in the steam room rather than the Head of Steam could be in order...

But like the Boro, amidst the big names and reputations, we were ultimately grateful to a home-grown player for some vital work to secure what could have been three points, but never looked like being less than one.

The Smoggies hailed young Stewart Downing for his goal - a local lad who was farmed out to the mackems for part of last season - while our defensive gap was plugged by the long-lost figure of Robbie Elliott, whose last game against the Boro came almost two years to the day - in a reserve game at Gateshead Stadium, that Downing also featured in.

In the absence of Woodgate, Bramble, O'Brien and Taylor, Elliott lined up in the centre alongside Hughes and proved equal to whatever the home side could muster in the way of an attacking threat. Not bad for a bloke who didn't cost us a penny in transfers either time he joined us...

Precisely who we would have seen alongside him though had the Carr deal not gone through is a moot point - either the inexperienced Ramage or even Shearer? We'll never know what would have been said on the training ground, had that latter one been suggested. And Kluivert started up front.

Just time to mention a good performance from Ameobi when he was introduced in an unfamiliar left wing role - shame that his positive attitude wasn't shared by Dyer, who came on and looked anything but motivated - and whose chief contribution was falling over very easily to allow Zenden space to work in and create the second home goal.      

In truth this was a game that neither side wanted to lose and despite our much-trumpeted selection issues, the vital absence may well have been that of Southgate for the home side.

More positives than minuses then and not the clattering we'd forecast beforehand - miserable old curmudgeons that we are. 

Don't run away with the notion though that Elliott and Hughes were any more than stopgaps - when Sir Bobby has finished fuming about that handball he'll no doubt be wondering how the cross penetrated his six yard box with the minimum of resistance. Elliott can go back to getting his money for turning out in the reserves, until the next time we're short-handed - maybe at left back after Xmas?

Two home games in quick succession now provide an ideal opportunity to get off to that all important good start, but new boys Norwich and a Spurs side with a new boss to impress won't be total pushovers - after all, there's no Carr for Robert to run rings round this season and Huckerby as ever will have a point to prove, to someone, somewhere.

Great to be back - but then we always say that. 



Page last updated 14 July, 2016