Middlesbrough vs Sunderland

4th of February 2024


Middlesbrough FC gave me my big break in football and having spent 3 years of my life enjoying my dream of playing professional football at this club, it was fantastic to have the opportunity to return and watch a game here.

During my time at Middlesbrough 1994 – 1997 the club achieved some great things which is another reason the club holds a special place in my heart. This was a great time in the club’s history, moving from Ayresome Park to the Riverside Stadium, achieving promotion from Division 1 to the Premiership, attracting world-class players like Juninho and getting to two cup finals at Wembley.

Middlesbrough FC Riverside Stadium

It was my first visit to my old club Middlesbrough in 10 years today and it felt great to be back at the place where it all started for me. Seeing the stadium, the supporters, some old friends and the club looking after my return made the day all the more special.

It would’ve been nice to top off the day with a win especially as my mate Stan is a Sunderland fan, but you can’t have everything.

A Derby, not a Derby as they say in the North East.

Middlesbrough and Sunderland played a frustrating 1-1 draw at the Riverside Stadium. Boro looked set to claim a vital victory in their play-off push after Marcus Forss’s clinical strike, but a late error from goalkeeper Tom Glover gifted Sunderland an equaliser.

It was a tale of two halves, with Sunderland dominant before the break but Boro much improved after it. The visitors created several good chances in the first half, with Jack Clarke and Abdoullah Ba going close. Boro struggled to get a foothold in the game, looking disjointed in attack.

After regrouping at halftime, Boro was rejuvenated in the second period. They started to control possession and opened Sunderland up on several occasions. Their pressure finally told just after the hour mark, when Forss emphatically fired home to give Boro the lead.

It looked as though Boro would hold on for a precious three points. But deep into stoppage time, Glover fumbled what should’ve been an easy save to allow Nazariy Rusyn to equalise for Sunderland.

Boro will be frustrated not to have seen out the win after their second-half comeback. But ultimately a draw was a fair result between two well-matched sides. The point edges Boro closer to the playoffs but they will feel they missed an opportunity to gain ground on the teams above them.

It was not the result I was hoping for, but it was a fair result in the end. Overall what a fantastic day to be back at the club where it all started for me.

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