WARBS’ SWEET RETURN
Forest boss gets better of Bees
MARK Warburton returned to haunt his old club Brentford as his Nottingham Forest side ran out 4-3 winners in a Griffin Park thriller.
Warburton preferred to talk about Greek midfielder Bouchalakis’ stunning league debut.
“In practice he has shown us that he can be dynamic on the pitch,” said the exRangers boss. “And those two goals were just the icing on the cake for us.”
Bookies’ favourites Aston Villa were trounced 3-0 at Cardiff, while Wolves won 2-0 at Derby. Ipswich triumphed 2-1 at Barnsley to continue their fine start. the club’s recruitment policy.
His return yesterday couldn’t have gone much better as Andreas Bouchalakis (two), Daryl Murphy and Kieran Dowell netted.
Instead of his own satisfaction,
Manager Warburton surprisingly left the Bees a couple of years ago after a ‘difference of opinion’ over
THE tightest of calls saw Sheffield United denied a last-gasp equaliser at the Riverside as Middlesbrough claimed victory.
With the game heading towards a frantic conclusion, Jack O’Connell thought he had salvaged a point for United, but his header was ruled offside with replays causing plenty of debate as a matter of inches separated the visitors from a draw.
His manager Chris Wilder was unimpressed by the decision after leaving a deflated and disappointed dressing room to conduct his postmatch interviews.
“It has cost us,” said the Blades boss as his side suffered defeat for the first time in 20 games.
“It’s a great bit of play, Jack gets across and we’re all off the bench, what a fabulous point at the home of the favourites.
“I’ve got a lot of disappointed players and staff. The travelling fans and those at home feel we have been robbed of a point. I believe we deserved something from the game with the second-half performance.
“I’m not saying we have come and steamrollered them. You can be overawed by the team-sheets and I don’t want that to be us.”
Rudy Gestede bagged the allimportant goal, an opportunistic moment following Chris Basham’s tame and ineffective 20th-minute clearance.
Both sides had started the game with intent, John Fleck’s slalom through the Boro defence in the eighth minute testament to this. His effort, however, was blocked by Dael Fry before tamely finding Darren Randolph’s gloves.
Then came the breakthrough for an increasingly confident home side. With Patrick Bamford and Britt Assombalonga causing panic, it was the former who dinked a ball over the United back-line. That was headed up, rather than out, allowing Gestede to send a looping header over the stranded Jamal Blackman and into the back of the net for a 20th minute advantage.
The visitors struggled to conjure a comeback. If anything the hosts were looking the more likely to score again, Gestede glancing a header across goal and against the far post in the 38th minute, before Bamford and Adam Forshaw blazed wide and high of goal from the edge of the area.
The Blades had to change things at the break and came out in the second period with more attacking intent. But it took them until the 62nd minute to test Randolph in the Boro goal, Paul Coutts drawing a fine one-handed save from the stopper after striking from 25 yards.
The Blades had failed to score on their previous two league visits to Teesside and they made it a hat-trick despite a dramatic finale full of misguided joy when fans and players alike thought they had rescued an unlikely point.
“There is a lot of work to be done but in that first half, you saw what we were capable of,” said Monk, whose Middlesbrough side haven’t conceded more than once in their previous 44 Championship games.
“I felt a really good energy in the stadium and that filtered into the players. We started with really good intensity. We put on a sign of what we are capable of in that first half.
“Overall we controlled it. To get three points and get our season up and running is always going to be pleasing.”
As for the controversial ending, Monk didn’t agree with his opposite number. “I am told it is the correct decision,” said the Boro boss.
THUMBS UP: Mark Warburton salutes the Nottingham Forest fans FINAL NAIL: Nottingham Forest’s Kieran Dowell celebrates making it 4-2
RUDY GREAT: Middlesbrough's Rudy Gestede celebrates after he scores the winner, inset