Middlesbrough 2 West Bromwich Albion 2

Last updated : 27 November 2005 By Footymad Previewer
Middlesbrough failed to achieve back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time in a year when they were held by West Bromwich Albion.

Not that the Boro could complain over the result. The visitors were full value for a draw.

Indeed, Middlesbrough were thrown a lifeline with a penalty that gave Yakubu his 10th goal of the season and a share of the spoils.

Former Boro manager Bryan Robson was in charge of the Albion and no doubt hoping for a winning return at The Riverside.

Fate, however, is against the Albion at Middlesbrough. The Albion have not won on Teesside for over half a century.

The game had a quiet start but the home fans were given a lift when Mark Viduka scored after 12 minutes.

The striker may had missed out in the penalty shoot-out when Australia beat Uruguay earlier this month, but he was bang on target to beat Tomasz Kuszczak.

Viduka tried to play a one-two with Yakubu but the ball rebounded off defender Neil Clement into his path for him to crash the ball into the net.

West Brom were soon level. When Nwankwo Kanu blocked a Franck Queudrue pass, the ball ran to Nathan Ellington who wasted no time in shooting into the far corner.

Middlesbrough were not at their best following their UEFA Cup tie in Holland in midweek. They certainly missed the midfield guile of Gaizka Mendieta.

Only a brilliant Kuszczak save denied Middlesbrough going ahead through Emanuel Pogatetz. The goalkeeper denied the Austrian when he tipped the ball around a post.

There was a lack of atmosphere in the stands and a lack of midfield flair on the pitch. The teams were well matched with the defences in control for long periods.

Just before the break Ellington shot straight at Mark Schwarzer from a counterattack on the left.

Albion went ahead after 57 minutes when Paul Robinson broke down the right wing. Robinson pulled the ball back to Kanu who beat a defender and then gave Schwarzer no chance with a powerful shot.

Middlesbrough hit back with second-half substitute Szilard Nemeth shooting over the bar from 20 yards.

Boro were awarded a penalty after 66 minutes. At first it looked a harsh decision, but television replays showed that Robinson had barged into the back of Nemeth.

The referee ignored the protests and Yakubu once again showed how to take a penalty. The Nigerian gave Kuszczak no chance for his 10th goal of the season and his eighth in the last ten league games.

It is an impressive record and shows Middlesbrough were justified in paying a £7.5million fee for him in the summer.

West Brom refused to go on the defensive to hold on to a point. They were prepared to have a go and the result was in the balance until the final whistle.

Nemeth shot wide for Middlesbrough in injury time, but a goal at that stage would have been cruel luck on the visitors.