Spoils shared in entertaining encounter
It was an evening of fantastic goals and defensive mistakes as Town once again gifted their opponents scoring opportunity.
Like Blackburn and Blackpool did, Boro made Town pay for their errors. Albert Adomah netted a brace after capitalising on mistakes from Oscar Gobern and Oliver Norwood.
Adam Hammill had given Town an early lead having being played clear by the aforementioned pair and when Nahki Wells curled home to restore the Terriers’ lead, Mark Robins’ men looked on course for three points.
It wasn’t to be though, with Boro levelling matters just after the break courtesy of Adomah’s powerful effort.
After making three changes at Blackpool, Mark Robins made another four for the visit of Middlesbrough.
Tommy Smith, Danny Ward, Oliver Norwood and Oscar Gobern were all recalled as Town reverted to 4-5-1. The most notable absentee was James Vaughan who had to settle for a place on the bench, whilst Sean Scannell didn’t even make the match day squad.
Gobern hadn’t played for the Terriers since the 5-1 defeat at Elland Road almost two months ago and he certainly made his presence felt in an entertaining first half.
The central midfielder had a hand in all three goals as Town went in at the interval 2-1 to the good.
The 23 year-old forced Boro into an early mistake with some excellent pressing and from it Norwood released Adam Hammill who calmly stroked the ball past Dimi Konstantopoulos at his near post.
However, Gobern had his head in his hands less than ten minutes later after gifting the visitors an equaliser.
His back pass to Alex Smithies sold the ‘keeper short and Albert Adomah nipped in to round the stopper and slide home.
Gobern’s influence on the game continued and he very nearly redeemed himself in the 16th minute when he released Nahki Wells who finished smartly past Konstantopoulos, but the striker was deemed offside.
The midfielder did help Town retake the lead in the 34th minute, but the majority of the praise had to go to striker Wells. Gobern turned sharply and slid the ball to the striker who turned sharply and curled home via the upright from 25 yards.
Danny Ward had looked sharp on his return to the side and almost extended Town’s advantage with two efforts on the stroke of half time. He forced Boro’s stopper into a smart save at his near post before driving just wide from 25 yards to bring to and end a fantastic first 45.
All Town’s good work in the first half was undone within two minutes of the second– and again it was a gift for the away team.
Norwood’s attempt to spread the play was misdirected and the ball fell kindly at the feet of Adomah who drove at Town’s defence before blasting the ball past Smithies.
Town looked at their best down the left flank through Paul Dixon and Adam Hammill. On the hour mark Adam Clayton combined with the former to release the latter who stepped inside Kenneth Omeruo and curled wide from the edge of the area.
Vaughan entered the fray with 15 minutes to go at the expense of Wells, but with the home crowd starting to turn Town’s play was becoming more anxious.
Ward, Vaughan and substitute Duane Holmes all had attempts as the game closed out, but all three failed to trouble Boro’s stopper.
Town’s team (4-5-1):
Alex Smithies; Paul Dixon, Peter Clarke (c), Anthony Gerrard, Tommy Smith; Danny Ward, Oliver Norwood, Oscar Gobern (Duane Holmes, 85), Adam Clayton, Adam Hammill; Nahki Wells (James Vaughan, 74)
Ian Bennett, Calum Woods, Murray Wallace, Jonathan Hogg, yHarry Bunn
Bookings Town: Paul Dixon 42,
Bookings Boro: Emmanuel Ledesma 62, Jozsef Varga 64,