WARBS’ SWEET RE­TURN

For­est boss gets bet­ter of Bees

The Football League Paper - - FRONT PAGE - By John Lyons

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.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

THUMBS UP: Mark War­bur­ton salutes the Not­ting­ham For­est fans FI­NAL NAIL: Not­ting­ham For­est’s Kieran Dow­ell cel­e­brates mak­ing it 4-2

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

RUDY GREAT: Mid­dles­brough's Rudy Gest­ede cel­e­brates af­ter he scores the win­ner, in­set

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