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Page last updated at 16:56 GMT, Saturday, 23 January 2010

Middlesbrough   1 - 1   Swansea

Middlesbrough 1-1 Swansea

Middlesbrough 1-1 Swansea (UK only)

Middlesbrough new boy Willo Flood rescued a point for under-pressure boss Gordon Strachan with a long-range stunner against Swansea City.

Flood's 35-yard strike from the byeline deceived Dorus de Vries and flew over the Swans keeper and into the net.

Boro's Leroy Lita had missed two great chances before Swans striker Gorka Pintado broke the deadlock after the break, firing in Joe Allen's cutback.

But Flood's leveller ended Boro's run of three straight defeats.

The Teesiders had won just twice in 13 games since Strachan replaced Gareth Southgate in October so rescuing a point against fourth-placed Swansea would please the manager - although Flood's equaliser on his home debut was extremely fortuitous.

Boro looked set to suffer a seventh defeat in eight games before the former Cardiff City midfielder levelled the scores against Swansea when his attempted cross from the right sailed over de Vries and into the top corner.

Middlesbrough deserved at least a point from a largely even encounter but may have gone on to claim all three points had Lita taken one of his numerous chances.

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The former England Under-21 striker fired wide from the edge of the area in the fourth minute, forced De Vries into a fine save with his feet 10 minutes later and headed wide after he had been picked out by Gary O'Neil's cross.

Johnson was causing plenty of problems on his return to the side and came close with a left-footed strike that flashed past the post.

But Swansea finished the half strongly and threatened again 10 minutes before the interval when Garry Monk headed wide from David Cotterill's free-kick.

It was the visitors who made the breakthrough 76 seconds into the second half.

Teenage Welsh international Allen broke clear down the right from Darren Pratley's pass and his low cross found Pintado, who rifled home a powerful shot from 18 yards into the top corner.

It was the Spaniard's second goal in successive games after a 10-month goal drought.

But Strachan's men were handed a lifeline in the 58th minute by Flood and Boro went close late on when Chris Killen headed over from 12 yards.


Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan said:
"Yes, it was a lucky break for us. But we've had more than our share of injuries and we've had to decimate the youth team just to turn out a bench so maybe we deserved that.

"Willo didn't mean that goal to go in and he would be the first to admit it but I think we deserve a wee break right now. And I think we earned it.

"We worked hard and we created a lot of chances, especially in the first half which was very pleasing.

"And after they scored we rolled up our sleeves and were terrific in forcing the game and winning the point and that was pleasing too.

"It was difficult for us at times because they had the extra man in midfield but between the two boxes there were some terrific performances."

Sousa praises controlled Swans

Swansea City manager Paolo Sousa said:

"The draw was a fair result. They started off better than us, they created difficulties and it took a while for us to impose ourselves.

"We came out at the start of the second half and got the goal, which was a fine goal, and then we showed our quality in possession and our creativity.

"Then they equalised and then they began to believe the possibility that they may come back. Their goal agitated us a little bit and they had a good spell towards the end.

"Middlesbrough are a good team and they have quality and that is why I believe draw was a fair result."

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Championship results

23 Jan 2010 23:59 UK


Championship table snapshot

As it stood on 23 Jan 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Newcastle 25 25 52
2 Nottm Forest 26 19 49
3 West Brom 25 24 46
4 Swansea 26 3 41
5 Cardiff 25 15 39
6 Blackpool 26 10 39
7 Sheff Utd 25 3 38
8 Leicester 24 3 38
9 Crystal Palace 25 2 37
10 Bristol City 25 2 35
11 QPR 25 2 34
12 Middlesbrough 26 4 33
13 Doncaster 24 3 33
14 Watford 26 -6 32
15 Coventry 26 -8 31
16 Barnsley 24 -8 30
17 Preston 24 -5 29
18 Derby 26 -11 29
19 Ipswich 25 -6 28
20 Sheff Wed 26 -11 28
21 Scunthorpe 25 -16 27
22 Reading 25 -14 23
23 Plymouth 24 -14 21
24 Peterborough 26 -16 18


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