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West Brom survive late Boro surge

SoccerNews in English Premier League 27 Sep 2008

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West Brom weathered a late Middlesbrough onslaught at the Riverside here on Saturday for a 1-0 victory that sees them push clear of the Premier League’s bottom zone.

And the away side have the goalkeeping display from England goalkeeper Scott Carson to thank as he thwarted Boro’s advance to protect a 53rd-minute goal by Jonas Olsson – and hand West Brom their first away win of the season.

The clash stuttered into life when a threatening inswinging corner by West Brom’s Jonathan Greening was cleared by Andrew Taylor in the fourth minute.

But the early mood was cautious after a serious injury to West Brom’s Do-heon Kim, who was replaced by Sherjill MacDonald, as both midfields cancelled each other out.

The first clear-cut chance fell to Czech international Roman Bednar, who sprung Middlesbrough’s offside trap but steered a tame effort into the hands of Ross Turnbull.

However, the home team rallied with former Spurs striker Mido and Frenchman Jeremie Aliadiere probing the Baggies’ backline, and on the 24th minute Mido sent a rasping 20-yard shot just wide. Coach Tony Mowbray was not a happy man.

But in the 36th minute West Brom’s Ryan Donk brought back the smiles when he forced a spectacular save from Turnbull after the Dutchman beautifully connected with a Greening corner.

Two minutes later, and at the other end of the pitch, Scotland star James Morrison cleared a goal-bound header from Middlesbrough’s Afonso Alves.

No goals at the interval but it was definitely game on at the Riverside.

Baggies’ MacDonald was replaced by Ishmael Miller and it was the substitute who helped Mowbray’s men break the stalemate seven minutes into the second period.

Another Greening swerving corner found its way to Miller who hooked the ball back into the box and onto the right foot of Olsson, with the Swede sweetly dispatching a six-yard shot through Turnbull’s legs.

Boro bounced back with Alves wriggling into penalty area but Carson parried his low effort, and with the clock showing 63 minutes the Brazilian sent a shot wide after hooking onto a Mido rebound.

By now the Baggies were on the backfoot, and Bednar let the pressure get to him by picking up a needless yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

Gary O’Neil was next up for the home side in the 74th minute with a low drive that Carson could only parry, with Mido following into the box but scuffing the opportunity.

But Boro could not find the chink in West Brom’s armour as Carson engineered an all-important win for Mowbray.

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