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Season 2005-06
 Middlesbrough (a) Premier Reserve League
Date: Tuesday 8th November 2005, 7.30pm

Venue: Central Avenue, Billingham


Admission: 2




Newcastle United


4 - 3




8mins Graham shot 0-1

Graham shot 0-2

Chopra penalty 1-2

Owens header 1-3

Half time:  Smogs 3 Newcastle 1

56mins Chopra shot 2-3

59 mins
Craddock shot 2-4

89 mins
Edgar header 3-4

Full time: Smogs 4 Newcastle 3

We Said

Tommy Craig said:

"We got off to a poor start, and we never looked like getting back into the game.

"The scoreline suggests we were close, but in real terms I don't think we were. We were outgunned, outplayed, and to their credit Middlesbrough outfought us.

"One of the things we pride ourselves on is being able to get the ball back quickly, but that didn't happen last night. We were easy to play against and that disappointed me. We didn't do enough on the ball, and we didn't carve out chances.

"When we scored our goals to get back to 2-1 and then 3-2, we were vulnerable. The concentration wasn't there, and we paid the price.

"The way we played as a team, we never gave ourselves a chance.

"I plan to sit down with the players and go through it. I have my views on the performance, and I want to get their views now. It will be interesting to see what they think and what information comes back from them.

"I just feel we looked inept, and when I use words like inept I think that highlights just what I felt about the performance as a whole.

"It was a Tees/Tyne derby, and while it may not have the same passion as a Sunderland game, you still expect a bit of blood and thunder from the game but that wasn't the case. There was no zest from our display, and I cannot take any positives from the match."

"In our last home game we beat West Brom 5-0, and the team that we put out in that game wasn't that much different from the one that went out at Middlesbrough.

"You get highs and lows at this level, especially from the young lads in the team, so we will see how they react next week."

Michael Chopra added:

"You cannot blame the defenders. We all have to defend as a team and we didn't do that. We just weren't at it in the first half, they put us under all sorts of pressure early on. To be honest we didn't know what had hit us after last week's game against West Brom.

"Maybe some of us thought we could just pick up where we left off from in that game but it wasn't to be and although in the second half we played a lot better it was very disappointing.

"In the second half it was still difficult at times but every time we pulled one back we conceded again. They just kept coming back at us and that makes it hard work."

"Maybe in the first half myself and Shola didn't get much service and in the second we got the ball up there a bit better, yet we could have had more.

"It was good to get two goals again but I am disappointed not to win the match."


Two more goals from in-form Michael Chopra couldn't prevent us slipping to defeat (quite literally) on a rain-sodden pitch at Billingham on Tuesday night.

Former Magpie schoolboy Danny Graham had put the Smoggies two ahead with efforts on eight and 18 minutes, only being prevented from completing an early hat-trick by two decent stops from Krul.

We were handed a way back into the game on 35 minutes after referee Short decided that a Boro hand had touched the ball in a melee involving Chopra on the home side's goal line.

Chopra calmly slotted the ball past David Knight for his fourth spot kick success in six games. Perhaps crucially however, there was neither a red nor yellow card for the defender who had been penalised (possibly David Wheater) 

But just when United looked to be in with a shout of getting back on level terms - and Krul saved well from Craddock - Boro struck again to restore their two-goal cushion just before the break, Owens heading home.

Newcastle coach Tommy Craig replaced Daryl Smylie with striker Carl Finnigan at the interval, Ameobi dropping into midfield.

And with the Magpies starting the second half strongly and seemingly having realised that the home side looked unsteady at the back, further scoring looked a strong possibility.

Chopra squirted his shot wide when played in by Ameobi on 54 minutes, but within two minutes had grabbed his ninth goal in six games as he touched Brittain's cross from the right over a defender, before cracking home a fine effort from the edge of the box for 3-2.

The crucial period of play was to come just before the hour, as Newcastle substitute Finnigan got to a cross before a defender, but could only place his header into the goalkeeper's hands.

What could have been 3-3 then became
4-2 to the 'Boro within seconds, as a counter-attack led to Craddock getting on the end of Johnson's centre to shoot low past Krul.

A last minute free kick from Brittain was headed home by David Edgar, but we failed to fashion any chances in the remaining time to threaten what would have been an unlikely and undeserved draw.

Quite simply the home side looked more interested in claiming the points in less than perfect conditions than our more experienced lineup. 



Page last updated 08 November, 2012