Boro snatch the advantage in epic comeback (5-5)
MIDDLESBROUGH staged an epic comeback from four goals down to earn a vital point in the race for the playoffs away in Sheffield.
Damon Shaw’s Boro side are without a win away at Sheffield since the league began and they looked condemned to another defeat as Sheffield took control of the game in the second half.
Ryon Leyshon, former Boro captain, gave Sheffield the lead after five minutes before Collarile doubled their advantage. Despite Ernesto Casan finishing low in the bottom corner, and a strong start in the second half it was Sheffield who scored against the run of play through Collarile to make it 3-1. A quickfire double late in the second half appeared to give Sheffield an unassailable advantage with only five minutes on the clock.
Boro then changed to flying goalkeeper, where they left their goal unattended to play with five outfield players and they were given a glimmer of hope when Bulmer pounced on a blocked shot to fire past England ‘keeper Curtis Holmes. Former Spain under-21 international Ernesto Casan then finished superbly from ten metres into the top corner and Boro were back in the game.
In the dying seconds Bulmer skipped past a defender and slotted home before Mikey Roberts, playing through injury, shot low and hard into the danger area only for Sean O’Brien to turn it in beyond the goalkeeper and was greeted in the manner of a victory by the travelling support. Boro had 30 seconds to hold out for the point while Sheffield threw on the flying goalkeeper, but to no avail.
The draw means Boro can’t catch Manchester who sit in first place in the North, but are a win away from a place in the end of season playoffs in London in May, where they can launch an assault on the national title and a place in the UEFA Futsal Cup, against the best teams from the midlands and south.
Manager Damon Shaw is delighted at the way his team fought back.
“At 2-1, even 3-1 I was confident we had it in us to turn it around at the end of the game but when Sheffield got their fifth with just five minutes left it was all but over. However we didn’t panic, the season was on the line and the boys handled it superbly.
“We conceded sloppy goals, something we need to sort out, but we had the better chances in the game, it just didn’t go for us. Sheffield will be devastated, not many teams will lose from this position with so little time left, but when we got the first two we knew it was there for the taking. Credit to the boys for fighting to the end.
“Mikey [Roberts] was outstanding playing with a suspected dislocated spine and Pete Bulmer has been playing really well lately, he deserves his two goals. Ernesto carried on his good form too – he’s here to win and he took the game by the scruff of the neck for us, his experience in this situation was invaluable.”
Middlesbrough play East Coast on Easter Sunday needing a win to guarantee their spot at the playoffs. For more information or to follow Middlesbrough Futsal Club visit BoroFutsal.com.
Posted by Luca Ranocchiari