Town behind at the interval at Middlesbrough

Half time report from the Riverside

Middlesbrough 1 Ipswich Town 0

SCOTT McDonald gave Championship title favourites Middlesbrough an interval lead at the Riverside on Saturday afternoon.

He headed in from close range in the 23rd minute although it was Ipswich who enjoyed the majority of possession and were denied a deser He ved leveller when Tamas Priskin saw his header strike the bar.

Ipswich gave league debuts to three players with keeper Fulop having arrived from Sunderland for �1.1million on Friday and Kennedy from Cardiff last month. Teenager Hyam – a local Ipswich lad – was also starting his first Town league match having come on as a substitute in the last match of last season.

Apart from Fulop for Murphy it was the same side that lost 1-0 to West Ham last Saturday with Stead and Healy providing experience on the bench along with Murphy. O’Connor was believed to be ill.

Fulop was wearing the number 21 jersey and Kennedy the number 39 shirt.

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Town had Ian McParland, who was on their coaching staff in 2009/10, helping with the warming-up prior to kick-off after originally leaving his post in the summer for family reasons.

Middlesbrough handed debuts to Thomson, Boyd and Bailey with 36-year old Coyne in goal as Jones was serving a suspension.

Town were well supported in a cool and cloudy north east with their fans giving the players a terrific reception.

Flood went down when trying to stop Edwards get in a ninth minute cross, and was carried from the field on a stretcher.

Walters then had a 22-yard shot saved after a forward-roving Leadbitter had posed problems for the home defence – with Ipswich having started quite well.

In the 22nd minute, Ipswich were denied by a smart save by Coyne. The build-up came on the left with Kennedy supplying a cross to the edge of the 18-yard box where Leadbitter took aim and send in a low shot that the keeper saved to his right.

A minute later Boro took the lead. Robson had time to float over a deep cross from the right, and Arca was unmarked beyond the far post to head back into the middle where McDonald completed the formalities of touching the ball over the line from close in.

It was a severe blow to Town, but they hit back with Leadbitter again testing Coyne from distance.

In the 32nd minute, Priskin was a whisker away from an equaliser when he managed to get his head to a Norris right-wing cross and beat Coyne only for the ball to thud back into play off the bar.

Town were having most of the play with the home getting frustrated with one another at times with Peters getting in a terrific 44th minute cross that beat friend and foe alike as it journeyed through the six-yard box. Half-time:

Middlesbrough 1 Ipswich Town 0

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