Middlesbrough 0 Blackpool 3

Last updated : 08 December 2009 By Footymad Previewer
Middlesbrough remain the Jekyll and Hyde team in the Championship as the side with an impressive away record continue to show alarming inconsistency at the Riverside Stadium.

Middlesbrough fans hoped an outstanding 5-1 win at QPR last Saturday would inspire their team. Yet Blackpool had the points wrapped up with two goals in the opening 26 minutes.

To pile on the agony for Middlesbrough, skipper Gary O'Neil was stretched off in the second half in a distressing way to mark the 300th game of one of the best midfield players in the Championship.

Blackpool were the more determined and dangerous side throughout and were never in danger of losing after Gary Taylor-Fletcher had been their two-goal hero before the break.

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway would have been pleased with the overall performance, but Middlesbrough's Gordon Strachan clearly has problems.

The opening goal came when Taylor-Fletcher held off a feeble challenge by Sean St Ledger and shot into the far corner of the net after 21 minutes.

The Middlesbrough defence did not inspire confidence and it was no surprise when a second goal arrived with Taylor-Fletcher virtually walking through the defence.

Middlesbrough clearly had a mountain to climb in the second half to win back their fans and get back into the game.

Play was held up for several minutes in the second half with lengthy treatment for O'Neil.

It was obvious something was wrong when a stretcher was called for and after a five-minute delay, the former Portsmouth player was carried off to sympathetic applause from the crowd.

The home strikeforce of Dave Kitson and Leroy Lita was well held and there was never any prospect of the pair reproducing their match-winning form against QPR.

In the closing minutes, Blackpool skipper Charlie Adam piled on the agony for Boro with a third goal.

The 800 Blackpool fans were jubilant, but thousands of Middlesbrough supporters made their way to the exit.