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Middlesbrough 0-0 Blackburn: Eustace still waiting for first win
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
John Eustace is still seeking a first win as Blackburn boss (Nick Potts/PA)
John Eustace is still seeking a first win as Blackburn boss (Nick Potts/PA)

John Eustace’s long wait for a first win as Blackburn boss continues after his side ground out a goalless draw at Middlesbrough.

It was a sixth draw in eight games for Rovers since Eustace replaced Jon Dahl Tomasson in the dugout and their third on the bounce – with Blackburn still three points above the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone.

Middlesbrough are now unbeaten in four league games and have kept three clean sheets on the bounce, but their hopes of a top-six finish are hanging by a thread. Norwich’s win at Stoke means Michael Carrick’s side are now seven points adrift of the play-off places with eight games to play.

Both teams had their moments at the Riverside but lacked the clinical touch needed in front of goal.

Middlesbrough almost made the perfect start when Emmanuel Latte Lath was denied by the feet of Aynsley Pears inside two minutes. And the home side should have taken the lead when a corner from the right was glanced on by Luke Ayling into the path of Marcus Forss, who looked certain to score from just two yards out but somehow missed the target.

Blackburn threatened early on as well, with the Championship’s top scorer Sammie Szmodics unsurprisingly looking the away side’s best route to goal. He saw one low drive well saved by Seny Dieng and had another opening soon after but was denied by a fine slide tackle from Paddy McNair.

Boro were dealt a blow when Forss went off injured and lost their way a bit afterwards, but they almost forced a breakthrough on the stroke of half-time when Ayling’s header was blocked on the line by Dominic Hyam.

Sensing an opportunity, Blackburn started to grow in confidence and Sam Gallagher stung the hands of Dieng with a fierce strike from the edge of the area.

Riley McGree scored a stunning winner for Boro at Birmingham on Tuesday night and looked to repeat it here but his shot from distance flashed wide. Defender Matt Clarke then headed wide from a Jonny Howson free-kick.

A Blackburn corner caused Boro problems and, after Scott Wharton’s header was blocked, substitute Tyrhys Dolan looked to turn in the rebound but was crowded out before the hosts managed to scramble clear.

Boro almost snatched a dramatic last-minute winner through Isaiah Jones when his shot was deflected onto the bar and substitute Sammy Silvera miskicked the rebound.


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