Middlesbrough v Tottenham Hotspur, Tuesday 1st March 2022, 7.55pm

Well, well, well, how good was that? Outplaying Spurs in the fifth round of the FA Cup on a night when the game had displaced EastEnders and the like on national telly. I love the idea of people sitting down to with a cup of tea expecting to watch the Mitchell brothers gurning their way around Albert Square but instead getting a Jonny Howson masterclass and then seeing the Boro defence hardly giving Harry Kane a touch of the ball all night.

I’d switched seats for this one and so Harry and I were in the front row of the West Stand Upper. It’s the same row that Gibbo sits in, albeit around fifty yards to our right. The atmosphere was one of the best I can recall at The Riverside, maybe the best. The Liverpool game in ’98 usually gets a mention in conversations like this but that was in the pre-Red Faction days of just one singing end. When songs are started and taken up at both ends of the ground it makes it much more likely that those down the sides will join in too. And we did.

The performance was so much better than when we rode our luck to beat Man Utd in the previous round. We grew into the game in the second half and took it to them in extra-time. What a finish from Josh Coburn. He’s a fella with an eye for a goal and his strike rate per minute on the pitch must be up there with the best at the moment. Here’s hoping for a home draw in the Quarter Final.

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