Middlesbrough v Fulham, Wednesday 6th April 2022, 7.45pm

It seems a while since Harry and I had sat in our regular seats. I checked and it’s over a month although we’ve seen the Boro away and from the West Stand in that time. It was a dash to get there as he had rugby training in Stockton that didn’t finish until after seven. I only caught the back end of the session and saw them play a couple of games of bulldog. I suppose it’s probably good practice for rugby as long as you bring the runners down with a tackle to the legs rather than a straight arm clothesline to the throat. I saw a bit of both.

As usual we parked up near the old Gazette office which meant a twenty-minute walk. It worked out fine, with us entering the East Stand with three minutes to spare and reaching our seats as Pigbag piped up. With no time for food or drink, I had to wait until half-time to get a molten lava pie. There were a lot of empty seats and clearly fewer people there than the near twenty-two thousand attendance that was announced, although with it being mid-week and also on the telly I could understand why people might not want to travel or cough up thirty odd quid.

The team news was disappointing, with Isaiah Jones missing due to illness. He makes such a difference to the team that my hopes for a win immediately changed to being happy with a point. It brought home how influential he has been in our run of good form under Chris Wilder. Lee Peltier is a decent full back, but his strengths are defensive rather than causing teams problems at the other end.

First half was cagey, and I thought that we gave them a little too much respect at times, but you could see why they have run away with the league. In the second half we picked up the tempo and looked the side most likely to score. We didn’t though, missing some decent chances and then failing to pick up Mitrovic at a free kick. His thirty-eighth goal in thirty-seven Championship games this season was enough to take the points for Fulham. Hopefully we’ll have a chance for revenge next season in the division up.

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