Kebe inspires hard fought point
20th March 2010
A wonderful run and cross from Jimmy Kebe forced David Wheater into an own goal, that gave the Royals a well deserved point at Middlesbrough. We had the better of the play and had a couple of late chances to win the game against Gordon Strachan`s side.
There was no surprise when Brian McDermott named the same 11 that beat QPR in midweek, and defender Matt Mills received a fantastic reception from the travelling support as he took his place in the heart of the Royals defence.
The first half was certainly not action packed but Gary O`Neil and Mills went close at either end before Shane Long went closest to scoring with a header from Jobi McAnuff`s cross. It looked goal bound but Boro keeper Brad Jones managed to keep it out and David Wheater cleared the ball before Kebe could get to the rebound.
Within minutes of the second half starting though we had fallen behind, a great cross from the right was met by Chris Killen and the former Celtic striker`s header looped in over the outstretched hand of Adam Federici. It was a blow for the Royals who had much the better of the play up to that point.
O`Neil then went close just and the goal had really given the home side a lift, but as has been the way under McDermott we did not lie down and soon came back into the game with Kebe going close once more but Jones just managed to keep the Mali wingers shot out.
Kebe though, was to have a big hand in the equalising goal when he received the ball on the right hand side. There didn`t look to be too much trouble with two defenders approaching him but he glided past both of them and drove a great ball across the face of the goal where defender Wheater could only turn it past his own keeper.
The man of the moment continued to terrorise the Middlesbrough defence and his cross from the right towards Long, set up a chance for McAnuff but his shot was blocked. The sides continued to trade half chances with the Royals looking the most likely team to win.
Gylfi Sigurdsson almost scored with a free kick that was saved at the second attempt by Jones and the Icelander almost won it in injury time but again saw Jones just about do enough to keep his effort out.
Ivar Ingimarsson limped off in injury time with what looked like a knee injury and Mills was given the captains armband for the closing stages. Following the final whistle he then made his way into the away end to throw his shirt to the fans with all 375 travelling supporters giving him a fine reception.
Our winning run was ended, but our unbeaten run goes on and this was a decent result against a good Boro side.