ALL OVER: Kike scores Mid­dles­brough’s third, his sec­ond, against Bolton

The Football League Paper - - FRONT PAGE - By Chris Dunlavy

AN­GUISHED Neil Len­non ac­cused his play­ers of fail­ing to put up a fight af­ter piti­ful Bolton were oblit­er­ated at the River­side.

A brace from Span­ish striker Kike and a thun­der­bolt from star man Diego Fab­brini saw a one-sided con­test wrapped up by half-time.

Yet Boro missed enough chances to hit dou­ble fig­ures as the lack­lus­tre Trot­ters meekly sub­mit­ted and, while ad­mit­ting to tac­ti­cal er­rors, Len­non was less than im­pressed with the ef­forts of his men.

“I take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the first half,” said the for­mer Celtic boss, who was forced into a late change to 3-5-2 af­ter Gary Ma­dine was in­jured on Satur­day morn­ing.

“I picked the team. I set the for­ma­tion. And it ob­vi­ously didn’t work.The play­ers didn’t get to grips with it and we let Mid­dles­brough dic­tate and dom­i­nate the game.

“But while I take the blame, I still ex­pect my play­ers to com­pete and press. They didn’t get their dis­tances right. They were off the pace, phys­i­cally as well.

“When you come away from home, es­pe­cially to a good side like Mid­dles­brough, you have to fight. You have to com­pete. We didn’t do that well enough.”

Bolton weren’t just beaten. They were an­ni­hi­lated. Hu­mil­i­ated. Em­barassed. Had Boro scored seven or eight, the Trot­ters would still have got­ten off lightly.

As the home side poured for­ward, the ex­cla­ma­tions in the press box were telling.“This is em­barsss­ing, isn’t it?” said one lo­cal hack with a sad shake of the head.

“Charge of the bloody Light Brigade,” was his Bolton coun­ter­part’s re­sponse to yet another Boro over­load – an ob­ser­va­tion marred only by the fact that the Britsh cav­alry faced some re­sis­tance.

Bolton had no can­nons to volley or thun­der. They didn’t even have shape or dis­ci­pline. Full-backs Dean Moxey and Josh Vela were more char­i­ta­ble than Ox­fam, al­low­ing Stewart Down­ing and Al­bert Adomah the free­dom of the flanks. A three-man back­line had more gaps than Ken Dodd’s teeth.

In the cen­tre, Boro play­maker Fab­brini ran riot, start­ing the party with a fear­some 25-yard bullet that rock­eted into the top cor­ner.

Ten min­utes later, the Ital­ian evaded Jay Spear­ing’s weak chal-

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

DOU­BLE DE­LIGHT: Kike cel­e­brates with team-mates af­ter scor­ing twice for Boro

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