Boro battle back for draw
Mido free-kick cancels out Mullins opener
Last Updated: 02/11/08 3:08pm
Mido: Late leveller
Mido emerged off the bench for Middlesbrough to rescue a 1-1 draw against West Ham at The Riverside.
The Hammers controlled the first half and deservedly led at half-time through Hayden Mullins' thunderbolt.
However, Gareth Southgate rung the changes after the interval and his substitutes swung the match in their favour.
After a period of pressure they levelled matters when Mido's drilled free-kick sliced open West Ham's wall leaving Rob Green with no chance of a save
West Ham nearly claimed the all three points late on, but Ross Turnbull pulled off a fine double save to deny Lee Bowyer and Jack Collison at the death.
The home side started positively and Stewart Downing delivered a high ball into the area in the fifth minute but Lucas Neill was able to clear the danger.
The lively Fred Sears robbed Boro defender Andrew Taylor of possession in the ninth minute and ran towards goal, but he could only screw his shot wide from a good position.
Gianfranco Zola's side looked dangerous on the counter-attack and two minutes later Julien Faubert broke down the right flank and slid a low ball into the box, but Chris Riggott read the situation and intercepted before Sears could get a touch.
West Ham took a warranted lead in the 21st minute after Luis Boa Morte broke down the left and fed the ball to Mullins who mis-hit his first attempt at goal.
But the ball sat up and he made no mistake with his second effort to smash a volley past Boro goalkeeper Ross Turnbull and into the top-right corner of the net from 10 yards out.
Riggott was booked for a handball in the 33rd minute and Craig Bellamy whipped the ball into the penalty area from the resulting free-kick but Wheater was able to head the ball clear.
Mullins almost added a second in the 40th minute when he lashed a long-range shot at goal which Turnbull watched fly just over the bar.
West Ham goalkeeper Green was forced to make his first real save moments before the interval when he tipped over a cross-shot from Downing.
Southgate replaced Wheater with Justin Hoyte after the half-time break to try to deal with the pace of the impressive Boa Morte.
A tremendous piece of play in the 52nd minute almost saw Zola's side double their advantage.
After neat build-up play, Bellamy was picked out by a deep cross to the right edge of the penalty area and his cushioned header dropped into the path of Collison. The 20-year-old midfielder drove into the box but could only strike his shot from near the penalty spot at Turnbull who had rushed off his line.
Downing had been the home side's most effective player and his run in the 63rd minute culminated in a superb cross-field pass with the outside of his boot to set up a good chance for Gary O'Neil.
Green, though, was equal to O'Neil's shot and parried the ball to safety before Southgate made his third change of the afternoon when he brought on Mido for Alves.
A sluggish Boro finally came to life with 20 minutes left and had the ball in the net in the 79th minute through Hoyte.
Taylor delivered the ball into the penalty area and Hoyte sprinted into the six-yard box to head the ball past Green but the assistant referee raised his flag to rule it out for offside.
Boro equalised in the 83rd minute when James Collins tugged Mido on the edge of the penalty area as he attempted to win a header. The Egyptian took the resulting free-kick and drilled a low shot past the wall and into the bottom-right corner of the net.
Mido then broke down the left edge of the box three minutes later and forced Green to make a smart save with a snap shot.Turnbull made a superb, close-range double save in injury-time from Collison and Bowyer.
|Middlesbrough||Team Statistics||West Ham United|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|5||Shots on Target||5|
|4||Shots off Target||6|
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|7||West Ham United||22||36|
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