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Middlesbrough 2 Crystal Palace 1

PUBLISHED

16:56 25th August 2012

Dougie Freedman named two new signings, Yannick Bolasie and Darcy Blake, in his side for their second away game of the season at the Riverside against Middlesbrough.  

The home side showed four changes from the side that had beat Burnley 3-2 in midweek including striker Ishmael Miller making his debut after joining on a one-year loan deal from Nottingham Forest.

 
There was an immediate early scare for Palace as Faris Haroun got on the end of a Julian Hoyte cross from the left and in front of goal he had a downward header with Julian Speroni to beat but the woodwork came to Palace's rescue. 

Minutes later a brilliant saving tackle by Aaron Martin prevented Miller opening the scoring as he was put clean through by a fine through ball but the perfect challenge averted the danger. 

Just before the half hour mark George Friend beat his man over on the left hand side and he made his way into the box but no one got on the end of the cross as it went across the face of goal.

On 32 minutes Miller was involved again and as the ball came to him on the edge of the box he curled a shot towards the top corner and Speroni dived to his right and would have been relieved to see the effort go over the bar. 

Five minutes on in the match and Palace had their best effort of the game in the opening period as Bolasie's shot was deflected out for a corner but soon play was at the other end and Speroni had to pull off an excellent save from Adam Reach to turn the ball around the post. From Grant Leadbitter's corner the ball was turned into the net from close range by Seb Hines for the opening goal of the afternoon.  

An effort in added on time from Wilfried Zaha rounded off the half with the slender advantage at the break going the way of the home side.  

Speroni was soon in action at the start of the second half as he produced a fine save to put a powerful shot from Merouane Zemmama over the bar but it was not long before the same player was beating the Palace keeper. 

His free kick from just outside the box beat Speroni down low to his right into the corner of the net to extend the lead on 51 minutes. 

The arrears were soon reduced though when Jermaine Easter was fouled in the box and referee David Coote pointed to the spot. The striker got himself up and fired a powerful penalty into the net. 

Andre Moritz was introduced into the game at the expense of Dikgacoi and straight away had a shot that was saved by Jason Steele in the Boro goal. 

On the hour mark at the other end Miller found himself in space running at goal but from a tight angle couldn't keep his shot down and didn't trouble Speroni. 

In a good spell of play for Palace both subs Moritz and Kwesi Appiah had chances that were blocked and then when the ball was headed back into the box it was collected by a relieved Steele in the Boro six yard box.

Moritz was soon involved in another chance as he collected the ball from Bolasie after good work from the winger and the substitute saw his shot deflected wide for a corner as the visitors continued to push for the equaliser. 

Speroni tipped over an effort from Leadbitter and then saved an effort from long range by Richard Smallwood as the home side continued to show their intentions. 

Four minutes of added time was played but despite a last minute shot from Wilfried Zaha Palace couldn't get on level terms and their second half comeback was not too happen.

Despite suffering another defeat the visitors will be pleased with the way they tried to force themselves back in the game although in the end came away with nothing to show for their efforts.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Hines, R Williams (c), Friend; Haroun (Main 78), Leadbitter, McEachran (Smallwood 78), Zemmama, Reach; Miller (L Williams 68). 

Subs not used: Leutwiler, Mcmanus, Ledesma, Arca. 

Palace: Speroni, Ramage, Blake, Martin, Parr, Dikgacoi (Moritz 60), Jedinak, Garvan, Bolasie (Moxey 79), Zaha, Easter (Appiah 63)


Subs not used: Price, Ward, O'Keefe, Wilbraham.


Attendance: 15,494 (377 Palace)  Referee: Mr D. Coote