MCDONALD TO BORO’S RESCUE
and I’ve told the players that, but I can’t be too hard on them because they’ve been terrific for me this year.”
Charlton could hardly have wished for a better start as Ricardo Fuller broke down the left-hand side to enable Bradley Pritchard to slot home after just 29 seconds.
The visitors doubled their advantage 16 minutes later, with Yann Kermorgant volleying Mark Gower’s free-kick across the face of goal and Rhys Williams diverting the ball past his own goalkeeper.
Charlton should have had a first-half penalty when Williams fouled Fuller in the box, but the second-half introduction of Scott McDonald and Emmanuel Ledesma finally woke Middlesbrough from their slumbers.
Marvin Emnes pulled a goal back with 14 minutes left, touching home Grant Leadbitter’s floated cross at the front post, and after Jason Steele saved well from substitute Jonathan Obika, the hosts levelled in the 87th minute.
Mustapha Carayol delivered a corner from the left-hand side, and despite being one of the smallest players on the pitch, McDonald found sufficient space to nod home.
The goal keeps Middlesbrough in 12th position, but having been third at the turn of the year, the North-Easterners have endured a catastrophic second half of the season.
Mowbray said: “Our standards have got to be a lot higher next season in terms of the way we defend and the number of clean sheets that are required.
“We need a strong mentality and whether we can do that remains to be seen at this stage.
“It was our last home game and we wanted to finish strongly, but we started off badly to be two goals behind and that leaves you open to criticism.
“We recovered to earn a point, but in my opinion we should be beating Charlton at home. Thankfully in the second half we came back to get a point, yet ultimately we’re disappointed.”
BROTHERS IN ARMS: Middlesbrough’s Scott McDonald, second left, has just scored the winner