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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 March, 2003, 16:58 GMT
Charlton put brakes on Boro
Jonatan Johansson gives Charlton the lead
Johansson put Charlton in front
Middlesbrough 1-1 Charlton

Charlton stalled Middlesbrough's late European drive as they maintained their own hopes of a Uefa Cup place.

Jonatan Johansson's smart finish gave the Addicks a first-half lead only for Malcom Christie's second goal since his arrival from Derby to draw Boro level after the interval.

It extended the home's side unbeaten Premiership run to six matches, but their failure to take the three points undermined their European ambitions.

Charlton though, after losing their last two league matches, drew level on points with Blackburn in their bid to bring Uefa Cup football to the Valley next season.

They had chances to wrap up victory before half-time, but Boro' deservedly earned a draw for their second half efforts.

Charlton boss Alan Curbishley made four changes to the side beaten by Newcastle, restoring Paul Konchesky, Richard Rufus, Graham Stuart and Kevin Lisbie to his starting line-up.

But it was Middlesbrough who started the more lively, twice coming close to an opener in the early stages.

Key moments
26 mins: Johansson puts Charlton ahead
52 mins: Kiely saves from Juninho
56 mins: Christie levels for Boro
Brazilian midfielder Juninho sent a free kick against the wall inside the first minute and then slipped Massimo Maccarone through, only for the Italian striker's control to let him down.

Maccarone then saw a shot blocked by Jon Fortune before Ugo Ehiogu sent a header wide from six yards from the subsequent corner.

But the pace of Charlton's front pairing of Lisbie and Johansson started to cause Boro problems on the counter attack.

First Lisbie shot over from Johansson's cross in the 17th minute before the Finn saw his effort saved by Mark Schwarzer.

But Boro' succumbed after 26 minutes when Lisbie released Johansson again and this time he made no mistake with a precise finish from six yards.

The home side responded with another Maccarone effort on the half-hour before Stuart - returning after six months out with knee damage - was forced off injured before the interval.

Middlesbrough midfielder Juninho tries to win the ball
Juninho inspired Boro's second-half comeback
Jason Euell might have made it 2-0 for the visitors just before half-time only to curl his effort wide, and they were made to pay for their profligacy on the resumption.

Juninho forced Dean Kiely to make a marvellous double save and Jonathan Greening went close with a 25-yarder.

But Christie equalised in the 57th minute when he met Franck Queudrue's cross with a firm right-footed finish at the near post.

The goal swelled Boro's confidence and they almost went in front immediately when Colin Cooper drilled a shot wide from substitute Michael Ricketts' cross.

But Charlton nearly stole it at the death when Schwarzer denied Euell from close range, and Konchesky hit the bar with an injury-time free kick.

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Cooper, Southgate, Ehiogu, Murphy (Queudrue 45), Greening, Boateng, Geremi, Juninho, Christie (Nemeth 77), Maccarone (Ricketts 45).
Subs not used: Stockdale, Jones.

Booked: Ricketts.

Charlton: Kiely, Kishishev, Rufus, Fish, Fortune, Konchesky, Jensen (Young 76), Stuart (Powell 42), Euell, Johansson (Bartlett 86), Lisbie.
Subs not used: Rachubka, El Khalej.

Booked: Rufus, Lisbie.

Attendance: 29,080

Referee: M Dean (Wirral).

BBC Five Live's Alan Biggs
"An exciting game and a fair result"



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