Flood fluke denies Swans
Boro rescued by fortunate strike
Last Updated: January 23, 2010 6:25pm
Willo Flood's fortuitous goal earned Middlesbrough a 1-1 draw with Swansea at a sparse Riverside.
Middlesbrough were heading for a seventh defeat in eight games when Gorka Pintado fired the visitors in front shortly after the interval.
But former Celtic midfielder Flood marked his home debut with a somewhat fortunate equaliser as his attempted cross from the right sailed over Swansea goalkeeper Dorus de Vries and into the top corner.
Although there was a significant slice of luck involved in Boro's equaliser, the hosts will feel they deserved at least a point from a largely even encounter.
And they may have gone on to claim all three points had Leroy Lita taken one of the numerous chances to come his way early on.
Boro boss Gordon Strachan made three changes to the side defeated 1-0 by Sheffield United last weekend.
With Barry Robson, Isaiah Osbourne and Jeremie Aliadiere all joining a lengthy injury list, there were recalls for Adam Johnson, Julio Arca and Lita.
For Swansea, Ashley Williams came in at right-back, with Angel Rangel dropping to the bench.
The visitors started the game on the front foot and Pintado tested Boro goalkeeper Danny Coyne inside the opening minute.
But the Teessiders soon got into their stride, with Lita spurning three opportunities to fire his side into the lead.
The former England Under 21 striker fired wide from the edge of the area in the fourth minute and forced De Vries into a fine save with his feet 10 minutes later.
Pintado then came close for Swansea with a low shot from 25 yards before Lita wasted another chance, heading wide after he had been picked out by Gary O'Neil's cross.
Johnson was causing plenty of problems on his return to the side and came close with a left-footed strike that flashed past the post.
But Swansea finished the half strongly and threatened again 10 minutes before the interval when Garry Monk headed wide from David Cotterill's free-kick.
It was the visitors who made the breakthrough 76 seconds into the second half.
Highly-rated teenage midfielder Allen broke clear down the right and his low cross found Pintado, who rifled home a powerful shot from 18 yards.
Boro initially struggled to respond to the setback as Swansea enjoyed long spells of possession.
But Strachan's men were handed a lifeline in the 58th minute as Flood delivered an attempted cross from the right which deceived De Vries and sailed into the top corner.
Flood tried his luck from a more central position eight minutes later, but De Vries got down to his left to make a comfortable save.
At the other end Cotterill shot wide from 20 yards and substitute Thomas Butler tested Coyne with a free-kick.
Cotterill saw another effort saved by Coyne with eight minutes remaining, while Boro's Chris Killen headed over from 12 yards as both teams pushed for a late winner.
Sky Bet Championship
|2||Queens Park Rangers||18||38|
|11||Brighton and Hove Albion||18||25|