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BBC Five Live's Ian Brown
reports from Highfield Road
 real 14k

Saturday, 19 August, 2000, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Boksic double seals Boro win
Paul Ince
Paul Ince (centre) was in commanding form for Boro
Coventry 1-3 Middlesbrough

Croatian striker Alen Boksic scored twice on his debut for Middlesbrough in their impressive 3-1 win over Coventry.

The 2.5m summer signing netted with two cool finishes in the second-half and also had a goal controversially disallowed in the first.

Joseph-Desire Job was also on the scoresheet on his debut for Boro and was threatening throughout.

Coventry's woe was confounded when new-boy David Thompson was sent off for two bookable offences.


Boro manager Bryan Robson played an attacking formation with three strikers and gave debuts to Boksic, Job and Christian Karembeu.

When I've seen Boksic play he has always excited me. Can he improve on today? I certainly hope he continues in this vein
  Bryan Robson
The Sky Blues started with new-boys Thompson and Craig Bellamy.

The lively Job was the pick of the players in the first-half.

After 16 minutes the Cameroon international set up the first clear-cut chance of the game for Brian Deane, whose effort was an early contender for miss of the season.

Job broke into the box after latching on to a miscued Coventry pass and cleverly squared for the tall frontman, who was level with the penalty spot.

Deane had only keeper Hedman to beat, but struck the crossbar.

Coventry failed to heed their warning and after 20 minutes Job put Middlesbrough into the lead.

Karembeu and Ince
Boro's Karembeu and Ince go for the ball

New signing Alen Boksic broke down the left and crossed for the Cameroon international to head in unmarked.

Just minutes later Boro thought they had doubled their lead.

Keith O'Neill crossed the ball into the box from a free-kick and Boksic headed in unmarked.

But the goal was disallowed, to the bemusement of both the Middlesbrough and Coventry players.

The Sky Blues had their first effort on target after 35 minutes, with centre-back John Williams shooting straight into Schwarzer's hands from long range.

Resumed control

This seemed to be the cue for them to work their way into the match.

After 41 minutes unmarked midfielder John Eustace headed a goal from the edge of the six yard box from a tantalising David Thompson cross.

And just before the interval veteran midfielder Carlton Palmer made a marauding run down the right wing and his inviting cross was desperately cleared by the Boro defence.

It was a big disappointment not just for the players but for me their manager as I picked the team
  Gordon Strachan
Bryan Robson's men quickly resumed control in the second-half and moved into the lead with a Boksic goal after 59 minutes.

The striker shot from inside the box after a quickly taken free-kick from Gary Pallister and Hedman parried, buthe made no mistake from the rebound.

Boksic added another just three minutes later.

David Thompson
Thompson: Forlorn after being sent off
Gary Pallister, who had a magnificent game but worryingly limped off near the end, slotted a through ball for Boksic to coolly slot over the oncoming Hedman.

Boro were rampant and could have added several more goals.

Job had a curling effort acrobatically saved and Deane headed wastefully wide from an O'Neill cross.

Coventry were in disarray and had the combative Thompson sent off for his second bookable offence of the game when he made a clumsy tackle from behind on Ince.

Noel Whelan, who made his debut after coming on for Boksic, missed two excellent chances to increase Coventry's embarassment late on.


Coventry: Hedman, Williams, Hendry, Thompson, Chippo, Roussel, Palmer, Eustace, Breen, Bellamy, Hall. Subs: Shaw, Zuniga, Telfer, Kirkland, Aloisi.

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Fleming, Vickers, Pallister, Karembeu, Ince, Deane, Boksic, O'Neill, Job, Cooper. Subs: Okon, Ricard, Crossley, Whelan, Gavin.

Referee: B Knight (England)

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See also:

18 Aug 00 |  Eng Prem
Coventry v Middlesbrough preview
17 Aug 00 |  Middlesbrough
Pallister's praise for Job
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