Middlesbrough 0 Everton 1

Last updated : 29 April 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Everton snatched a late winner as they recorded a double against Middlesbrough in the Teessiders' final home game of the season.

Not surprisingly, the game lacked the drama, atmosphere and tension of Boro's sensational UEFA Cup win over Steaua Bucharest.

Middlesbrough rested several players from Thursday's game including the three goalscorers who had clinched a final place in Eindhoven on May 10th.

Despite the defeat Boro manager Steve McClaren must have been pleased with the performance of his young side.

Middlesbrough can boast the most successful Academy in the Premier League. The club encourage local talent and no fewer than 11 Academy players were in the squad.

Everton no doubt were pleased to pick up the points but it was not an impressive performance against such a young side.

Boro held the balance of play in the first half but lacked a cutting edge.

For the visitors James Beattie sent over a cross from the right that Brad Jones punched and then grabbed at the second attempt.

Yakubu, who has had a lean time in the Middlesbrough attack over the past two months, then hit a powerful shot just wide of the target.

Beattie, rather optimistically, appealed for a penalty for handball by defender David Wheater only for the referee to wave on play.

Ray Parlour was then booked for a foul as James McFadden made a determined run into the Middlesbrough penalty area.

Early in the second half Everton goalkeeper Richard Wright raced off his line to deny Malcolm Christie and was injured in the process. After play was held up for treatment to Wright the keeper was forced to leave the field with substitute Iain Turner taking over in goal.

McFadden came close to putting Everton ahead with an accurate shot from outside the penalty area only for Jones to deny him.

Middlesbrough made a double substitution with Danny Graham taking over from Christie in attack and Lee Cattermole replacing Doriva in midfield.

For the visitors Simon Davies shot into the side-netting after breaking into the penalty area.

Yakubu tricked two players and then shot wide at the other end.

In the final minute McFadden delighted the Everton fans when he lobbed the ball into an empty net after Jones had rushed off his line to try and check the danger.

This was the 60th game of the season in a gruelling schedule for Middlesbrough who face three more Premier League games before they seek European glory against Sevilla.

Everton manager David Moyes will have been pleased to return to Merseyside with the three points but this was not a vintage performance by his team.