Middlesbrough 1 – Middlesbrough 8
Glorious sunshine set perfect conditions for the second game of the Football Aid Championships last Saturday. On arriving, the 28 excitable participants were delighted to meet their management teams for the day, Boro legends John Hendrie and Steve Vickers (Home) and Curtis Fleming and Robbie Mustroe (Away).
From the start, Boro Away dominated the game, attacking hard and early. They stole an early lead with a goal in the 11th minute by centre forward Tribe, who beat the offside trap and finished with a silky shot just over the Home keeper Mosley. 0-1.
A couple of minutes later, centre midfielder Martin broke through the home team’s defence once more and cut a good ball back from the right wing to an unmarked McDermottroe who slotted it confidently home making the score line 0-2.
Away continued to press with Legend Curtis Fleming getting in on the action with a rather enthusiastic effort from 25 yards Unfortunately, it ended in Row Z…
Middlesbrough Home forced a corner which Away team scrambled out. A 2nd corner saw the Home team step up a gear with a great curved ball in towards the goal which forced Away keeper Bowie to make a tremendous save.
Home team kept the pressure for the next 10 minutes maintaining possession and forcing several corners that were continually met with a stoic Away defence.
30 minutes into the first half saw Middlesbrough Away awarded a penalty! Hobbins stepped up for his team but proved unlucky as his powerful shot went wide.
In the 34th minute, a great long ball was picked up well by away striker Tribe who held the ball as he skipped past a napping defence and finished superbly from 12 yards to make it 0-3.
David Marsh was brushed aside on the ball deep in his own half nearly leading to a hat trick for the relentless Tribe but after a surging run his shot ended just wide.
Home’s Midfielder Bishop sent a great ball down the left wing to teammate Wilkins who proved unlucky and failed to find the net.
In the very last minute of play, a hanging cross in from the left was knocked on by Wilkins to substitute Kennedy at the back post who blasted it home to finish the first half 0-4.
The first 10 minutes of the second half saw both sides struggle to retain possession of the ball. Finally, Hendrie’s men broke forward with striker Wilkins going head to head with Away’s Bowie, only to be defied once more as the tenacious keeper smothered his superb strike.
The 63rd minute saw another penalty awarded to Fleming’s team after the knockdown from a deep cross from Tribe on the right wing, was adjudged to have been handed by Marsh. Tribe slotted the resulting penalty tidily into the bottom right corner, taking his team to a comfortable 0-5 lead.
Home continued to battle despite Away’s dominating lead and striker, Wilkins was unlucky to see another strike blocked before play raged to the other end of the pitch forcing defender Marsh to make a fantastic clearance. A 1-2 between Home substitute Carter and midfielder Ansell on the edge of Away box left Ansell to just shave a fantastic strike past the left hand post. Again, so close!
However, Away continued to dominate and a great ball from McDermottroe from the middle of the park to striker, Tribe led to the Away side being 6 goals up. A quick break down the left wing just 2 minutes later by Martin resulted in another goal, as a turn of pace and a well-drilled shot made it 0-7.
Martin again proved himself to be instrumental to the success of his team as his corner 1 minute later was converted with a great strike by Hobbins taking their goal lead to 0-8.
Finally – on the 90th minute a last ditch attack from the Home team was rightly rewarded with a penalty. Striker White stepped up – but the pressure was too much and he skied it over the bar.
The referee then asked for the kick to be retaken. Up stepped a determined Marsh to blast home the last kick of the match high into the roof of the net finishing the game at 1-8 to a triumphant Away side.
Man of the Match awards went to midfield powerhouse, Jonathan Bishop and silky striker Paul Tribe.
As Home defender, Richard Watts commented after the match, “Like a lot of young lads I always dreamed of being a pro footballer, something I never achieved of course but as a 42 year old, this event brought me as close as I will ever get to that and I loved every minute of it! Many thanks Football Aid and Middlesbrough FC and I hope the finances allow me to take part again in the future!”