A good run out for Rovers in the first home pre-season friendly of the campaign but Premier League Boro come out 2-0 winners.Rovers - 0
Boro - 2 (Butler OG 13’ , Pattinson 82')
Saturday 16th July, 2016
Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
The sun was shining at the Keepmoat as we kicked off pre-season against Premier League Middlesbrough. Darren Ferguson named a number of his new signings in his starting eleven including Ross Etheridge, Tyler Garratt, Matty Blair, Tommy Rowe and John Marquis.
It was a typical pre-season game, Middlesbrough were the stronger side enjoying the majority of the possession early on but rarely posed any threat to the Rovers defence.
Tommy Rowe showed glimpses of his quality early on as he made a darting run through the Boro defence but his final pass was cut out by the defence.
As we approached the 15 minute mark Rovers were unlucky to go a goal down. Stewart Downing cut inside from the right and looked to curl one into the top right hand corner. After firing his shot from close range it took a wicked deflection off the head of Andy Butler and ended up in the back of the net.
Boro started to dominate the game slightly and David Nugent went close when he surged forward finding himself in space. Drilling a shot at goal, Ross Etheridge showed safe hands to save the shot.
Latest academy signing Joe Pugh had the best chance for the home side as he was on the end of a lovely move. Harry Middleton sprayed a lovely ball across to Matty Blair on the right hand side. Cheating the ball down, Blair played a ball into the box and Pugh’s first time volley was well saved by Mejias.
That was the action of the half and Rovers went in a goal down at half time.
HALF TIME: Rovers 0-1 Boro
Middlesbrough made eleven changes at half time whilst Darren Ferguson made six.
Riccardo Calder was one player to have been introduced at half time and he was one to cause a few problems for the Boro defence. Using his pace well, he beat the Boro defence before winning a number of corners for the home side.
Andy Butler was appealing for a penalty when a corner was delivered towards him at the back post. He looked to be dragged to the floor but the referee gave nothing.
Marko Marosi was forced into a brilliant save as Alex Pattinsondrilled a fierce shot across the face of goal but the Slovakian somehow got his fingertips to it.
Andy Williams made a number of promising runs in behind the Boro defence but was unlucky with the final ball to him as the Boro defence remained alert.
On 82 minutes the visitors doubled their lead and it was a brilliant goal from substitute Pattinson. Picking up the ball and cutting inside, he found an inch of space to shoot and Marosi was left with no chance as his shot curled into the corner of the net.
Man of the match Riccardo Calder forced Konstantopoulos into a great save as we approached full time. Storming down the left, the Aston Villa loanee volleyed a shot at goal only to be denied by the fingertips of the Boro keeper.
Unfortunately Rovers couldn’t get a goal back and Boro ran out winners, however a good pre-season shift put in by the Rovers lads.
Rovers: Etheridge (Marosi 45’), Lund (Fielding 68’), Garratt (Evina 45’), Alcock, Butler, Middleton, Coppinger (Calder 45’), Blair (McCormick 68’), Rowe (Longbottom 45’), Pugh (Williams 45’), Marquis (Mandeville 45’)
Boro: Mejias, Forshaw, Morris, Gibson, Carayol, Clayton, Nugent, De Pena, McGinley, Nsue, Downing
Bench: Konstantopoulos, Halliday, Friend, De Sart, Pattison, Baptiste, De Roon, Jackson, Reach, Fischer, Rhodes
Attendance: 2,886 (1,118)