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Reds Recover To Keep Boro At Arm's Length



FA Premier Reserve League North
Billingham Synthonia FC, Tue 7 March, 2006

Middlesbrough 1
Graham (29)

Manchester United 1
Campbell (72)

United remain five points clear at the top of the FAPRL table after crucially surviving a spate of first-half injuries to draw with Middlesbrough at Billingham.

An incredible series of events saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Gerard Piqué and Quinton Fortune all depart the action inside the first 36 minutes.

Solskjaer left the field dazed and with a swollen face after just five minutes, having been inadvertantly headed by Ugo Ehiogu, while Piqué was caught high on the thigh by Ray Parlour's studs in a goalmouth scramble.

The most worrying blow came for Fortune, who appeared to twist his knee after a late challenge by a Boro defender. Fortunately, initial reports suggest the injury is not serious.

Middlesbrough started brightly, with left winger Adam Johnson in particularly impressive form, and almost opened the scoring on seven minutes when Danny Graham blazed over from close range.

Boro right-back Tony McMahon sent a right-footed effort just past Tim Howard's post before Graham opened the scoring on 29 minutes.

Johnson broke well down the left of midfield and sent a tantalising cross into the back post. The ball just evaded Quinton Fortune's lunge and gave Graham a relatively simple tap-in.

The goal snapped United out of their sluggish start, and Darron Gibson saw his stinging shot palmed away by Boro keeper Brad Jones.

The impressive Ehiogu, who shone in the centre of the home defence, was on hand to deny Fraizer Campbell a certain equaliser two minutes before the interval, clearing well from Kieran Richardson's low cross.

United continued their resurgence into the second half, and again the superb Gibson saw a venomous effort just about turned over the bar by Jones.

Giuseppe Rossi, who had a relatively quiet evening, had a right footed effort comfortably stopped by Jones before United deservedly claimed an equaliser.

Darren Fletcher burst forward from midfield and fed Phil Marsh, whose cross was palmed out by Jones to Campbell, who slid the ball into the back of the net from close range.

Ehiogu was fortunate not to concede a late penalty for a shuddering challenge on Patrice Evra, who gave a highly energetic performance up and down the left flank.

Luck deserted United there but, with a five point lead over their opponents with just six games left this season, that is a far more promising state of affairs than they were facing at half-time.

United: T Howard, Marsh, Evra, M Howard, Piqué (Gray, 11), Richardson, R Jones, Fletcher, Solskjaer (Campbell, 7), Rossi, Fortune (Gibson, 36).
 

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Unfortunately, I think it is. His contract expires at the end of the season, and I don't think he will get to play for us before that. It's gonna be sad to see the baby faced assasin end his career like this :(.
 

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sHaHed said:
Unfortunately, I think it is. His contract expires at the end of the season, and I don't think he will get to play for us before that. It's gonna be sad to see the baby faced assasin end his career like this :(.
He's going to get a pay-as-you-play deal on vastly reduced wages according to the M.E.N.
 

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SuicideDD said:
He's going to get a pay-as-you-play deal on vastly reduced wages according to the M.E.N.
But that effectively spells the end of his career IMO. His chances of starting will be limited from next season onwards and at 33 one wonders whether his level of itness will be back to what is needed to compete at this level.
 

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Time for Ole to hang up the boots. I love him to bits as he has been a loyal servent to the red army but one must realise when its time to quit. His injuries are wearing him down and his older body cannot handle it anymore. I would atleast like him to score one more goal at OT as a goodbye gesture.
 

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I feel sorry for ole cos he was just getting back to the form before his injuries. But i still think that united should keep him on. He can be a role model for the younger players. But if he does leave at least give the a guy a testimonial. I reckon he deserves that. Correct me if i'm wrong but he won the champions league for us. Didn't he?
 
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