St. Ledger Should Be Pleased He Is Not Going To Africa!

Last updated : 10 December 2009 By Boro Mad


OK, a player handled the ball ... which happens in every game the world over.

But even if the French goal had been chalked off, the Irish still were not in the driving seat ... and would have had to face penalties ... with no guarantee they would win.

So where is this leading us? No-one has moaned about it more than Sean St Ledger, who has described the even on a par with the "end of the world as we know it".

So ... should our loan defender be going to Africa? On the half-hearted showing against Blackpool I think he should be thanking God he hasn't to face the world's best, because the Seasiders took him to the cleaners on Tuesday night showing he is not even a CHAMPIONSHIP player, never mind a World Cup player!

Blackpool picked up an impressive three points, and they can thank St Ledger, as they secured their first win against Middlesbrough in 22 years.

Middlesbrough Jones, Rhys Williams (McMahon 46), Wheater,St. Ledger, Pogatetz, Arca (Digard 80), O'Neil (Yeates 62),Osbourne, Johnson, Lita, Kitson.

Subs Not Used: Coyne, Hoyte, Emnes, Luke Williams.

Gary Taylor-Fletcher's first-half double helped the Seasiders to a well-deserved lead against the hapless home side, before Charlie Adam waltzed into the Boro box late in the second half to wrap up the victory.

The result contines Middlesbrough's derisory form on Teesside, and continues boss Gordon Strachan's wait for a home win since taking over in late October.

The match got off to a tentative start, with both sides failing to get a foothold in the first quarter of an hour.

As the half progressed Blackpool began to leave gaps at the back, which Boro striker Dave Kitson came close to capitalising on in the 18th minute.

Adam Johnson twisted and turned on the right-wing before delivering a deft cross onto the head of the on-loan Stoke striker, yet he could only direct straight at goalkeeper Paul Rachubka.

And the Teessiders were made to pay a minute later when Blackpool counter-attacked and took the lead.

The impressive Barry Bannan put through Taylor-Fletcher, who battled his way past an oncoming Boro defender into the box before side-footing the ball around goalkeeper Brad Jones in the 21st minute.

The home side were visibly shell-shocked and five minutes later they were further behind when Bannan and Taylor-Fletcher combined once again.

The on-loan Aston Villa winger found space and played through Taylor-Fletcher, who turned - putting Sean St Ledger on the floor - before unleashing another curling shot that nestled in the bottom right-hand corner.

And as the boos rang out around the Riverside, the Tangerines continued to press.

Charlie Adam came close with a 25-yard free-kick which just flashed across the face of the goal, before the Scotland international saw a header caught by Jones.

Middlesbrough were struggling to regain composure as Blackpool continued to close down across the pitch - normally a feature of Strachan's sides.

At the break, the Boro boss took decisive action to strengthen his out-of-sorts backline, replacing Rhys Williams with Tony McMahon at right-back to try and cope with Bannan.

And the Scot's re-jig seemed to have the desired effect in the opening stages of the second half, as the home side came out with renewed vigour.

But Boro were still struggling to fashion an opening and again it was the visitors who came closest to scoring, when David Vaughan unleashed a 30-yard half-volley that flew whiskers wide.

And things got even worse for Middlesbrough when Gary O'Neil - on his 300th league appearance - collided with Pool midfielder Keith Southern in an innocuous looking clash in the 57th minute.

The Boro captain lay motionless on the pitch after the collision and received lengthy treatment before being carried off in a neck brace, to a warm ovation from all corners of the ground.

Mark Yeates came onto replace the injured captain and was soon looking dangerous down the left-wing.

Strachan's men were looking a lot more lively and continued to threat.

Johnson came close when he cut in from the right before shooting wide across the goal and then Ian Evatt deflected a dangerous-looking cross from the 22-year-old just wide.

The Reds were piling men forward seeking redemption but the attacking mentality was leaving their already flimsy-looking defence exposed.

And Blackpool capitalised as Adam drifted into the box unchallenged and thumped into the bottom corner to secure the win and send the 836 visiting fans home happy.