First 10 minutes we took the game to them and, with a bit more composure might have caused more problems. Why Clarke didn't hit that chance on the pull back first time to make it 1-0 only he will know - again seemed to be a bit of hesitancy or indecision maybe down to confidence?
My initial thoughts on their goal (which until midway through the 2nd half by the way, was their only shot on target) was that Bash was pushed, but watching the replay I don't think there was enough contact to warrant a foul and he should have cleared it with the first header. Agreed that Blackman should have come or gone back on his line.
Stevens looked out of place all of the first half and most of the second half and I must confess to wondering why Lafferty wasn't starting in that position. He didn't look like a championship player yesterday but give the lad a chance, he's just made a big step up and needs to adapt.
Carruthers was frustrating me. He seemed to lose composure too often and would scuff a pass or try a shot, cross or clever ball when something easier was on. He has the talent I only wish he'd use it at the right times.
First half in general we struggled to find space. I think this was causing us to resort to hoof ball or to go sideways/backwards. We seemed hesitant to play a quick ball to drag the Boro players around the pitch like we used to with teams last season. The confidence to play our usual game doesn't seem there at the moment. Players too often played their teammates into trouble when there were better options on.
When we did start to play a bit in the second half, we had a spell where we were on top.
Duffy seemed to change the game when he came on, and it was a shame he was pushed out wide in the 4-4-2 when Brooks came on.
The "goal" should not have been given offside. When the camera cut to the lino with his flag out, he could be clearly seen mouthing "number 5" into his mic. O'Connell was onside when the ball was struck. He was in an offside by the time the ball struck his back and went in, but that shouldn't have mattered.
The new rules do mean that "clear daylight" is no more and, even if only the end of his nose in ahead of the defender then it's offside, but I've looked at the stills and the replay and even with the slightly skewed angle he looked on to me.
Oh well. We've played probably the toughest game of the season and could have come away with a point and maybe, if we'd played with a bit more swagger and in our usual style, could have got more.
Gary Monk was singing our praises after the game saying we're a very good side and should do well this year...
Shame about the nobheads after the game having a go at Boro fans including kids in the car park. Twats.