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REPORT: IRON 3-2 MIDDLESBROUGH

8 August 2012

United produced a dramatic comeback to beat Championship Middlesbrough 3-2 in their final pre-season friendly at Glanford Park on Wednesday night.

Goals either side of the break from Mike Grella, Josh Walker and Bobby Grant sealed an impressive victory over Tony Mowbray’s side who looked rampant early on.


Cameron Park gave Middlesbrough an early lead after his thunderbolt beat a stranded Sam Slocombe in the Iron net.

United left-back Callum Kennedy lost possession on the halfway line to goalscorer Park, who then cut in from the right hand flank before striking the ball from just outside the area.


The visitors could have doubled their lead minutes later after Curtis Main also cut in from the right wing before his tame shot was easily saved by Slocombe down to his left.


Scunthorpe paid for a series of missed chances from Mike Grella and Jimmy Ryan squandered chances as Boro doubled their lead from the penalty spot.


Main, who had a goal chalked off minutes prior to the penalty of being offside, was brought down by Niall Canavan. The former Darlington striker got back to his feet to send Slocombe the wrong way.


The Teesside club then continued to pressure the Iron, firstly Luke Williams headed a Andy Halliday cross on to the crossbar and Main failed to hit the target from eight yards.


Robbie Gibbons came close for the Iron on 36 minutes, but Luke Steele who has just returned from duties with Team GB clawed the ball out of the top corner.


United drew a goal back on the stroke of half time after Grella’s attempted cross for fellow striker Bobby Grant floated into the net.


The home side started the second half brightest with American Grella going close but his shot was well held by Conor Ripley, who had replaced Steele in goal at half time.


Walker brought the hosts level just before the hour mark, Bobby Grant played an excellent pass infield to Walker who took on several Middlesbrough defenders before placing the ball into the corner of the goal, past a stranded Ripley.


On the hour mark, Canavan brought down Park on the edge of the Iron area however the resulting free kick from Scotland international Stephen McManus rebounded back off one of the flags situated on top of the Brticon Stand.


Bobby Grant tried to get on to the scoresheet himself with just under 25 minutes remaining but his wild effort sailed over the goalkeepers’ far post. 


Tony Mowbray tried to revitalise his side as they searched for a winner with a triple substitution which saw Justin Hoyte, Rhys Williams and Nicky Bailey all replaced by Bruno Pilatos, Adam Jackson and Curtis Edwards.


The Iron manager, Alan Knill, then counteracted Mowbray’s changes as he withdrew Gibbons and Grella in favour of Connor Jennings and Mark Hughes.


Bobby then staked his claim for a place in the starting team next Tuesday in the Capital One Cup at Derby County, with a brilliant free-kick which he curled round the wall and past a diving Ripley.


Grant showed that whatever Park could do, he could do better.

After picking the ball up on the right flank, he cut inside and ploughed his way towards goal before he was brought down by McManus.


Jennings could have put the icing on the cake for the Iron with minutes to spare, but his low drive sailed well wide of the goal.


Middlesbrough continued to demonstrate a threat after Slocombe spilled Pilatos’ low drive, right at the feet of Main, however Tom Newey diverted the ball behind for a corner.


Godden left the crossbar shaking with the last kick of the match after his thunderbolt beat an unmoved Ripley, following a fantastic ball back from Connor Jennings.


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