Sunday Mirror

Marvin’s mar­vel mission


- By CLIVE HETHER­ING­TON at the River­side Sta­dium Sports · Soccer · England · England national football team · Middlesbrough F.C. · Nottingham Forest F.C. · Nottingham · Neil Warnock · Nuneaton Borough A.F.C. · Nobby Stiles · Dael Fry · Ryan Yates · Marcus Tavernier · Sam Morsy · George Saville · Chris Hughton · Middlesbrough · Cafu · Shola Ameobi · Lee Mason

MARVIN JOHN­SON was Mid­dles­brough’s mar­vel with the win­ner three min­utes af­ter com­ing off the bench.

On the day the Teessiders re­mem­bered Nobby Stiles, the Eng­land World Cup win­ner and for­mer Boro mid­fielder, with a minute’s ap­plause fol­low­ing his death on Fri­day, they ex­tended their un­beaten run to eight games.

And util­ity man John­son popped up in the 81st minute to grab his first league goal this sea­son at Not­ting­ham For­est ’ s ex­pense as Boro climbed to fifth. Boss Neil Warnock, who handed Eng­land Un­der- 18 cen­tre- back Nathan Wood his first league start, said: “It was sim­i­lar to the win here aga inst Coven­try the other night.

“It took us as long to score and I said it might take 90 min­utes this time. But there’s a goal in us if we keep play­ing like we are – and re­jected Marvin comes on and scores!’’

Warnock brought in Wood, son of for­mer Boro left- back Dean Gor­don, af­ter Dael Fry went down with a sick­ness bug. “It wasn’t worth risk­ing Dael,’’ said Warnock. “Young Woodsy came in. I asked him if he slept last night and he said, ‘ Yes’. And I said, ‘ Well, I didn’t think about you play­ing, son!’ I’ve seen him have nightm a r es in train­ing, but he’s done re­ally well .’’ Britt As­som­ba­longa should have bro­ken the dead­lock on 33 min­utes.

The Boro skip­per to­tally lacked con­vic­tion when Ryan Yates’ back-pass left

Brice Samba ex­posed. But As­som­ba­longa could only shoot straight at the keeper and when the ball ran to Mar­cus Tav­ernier, the winger blazed over.

Warnock in­tro­duced Djed Spence in place of Sam Morsy, with the mid­fielder al­ready booked and in dan­ger of talk­ing him­self into deeper trou­ble.

For­est’s best chance fell to Yates, who glanced nar­rowly wide on 65 min­utes.

And Boro struck when Ge­orge Sav­ille swung the ball in from the right and John­son fin­ished first time, just in­side the far post.

It was For­est’s first de­feat in five games since Chris

Hughton took charge last month. He said: “It’s dis­ap­point­ing to con­cede a poor goal. Mid­dles­brough have a way of play­ing and they do it very well.

“For the ma­jor­ity of the game we coped de­fen­sively.

“We just needed to show more qual­ity of­fen­sively.” MID­DLES­BROUGH: Bet­tinelli 7; Di­jk­steel 6, Wood 7, McNair 8, Bola 6; How­son 7; Morsy 4 (Spence 34, 6), Sav­ille 6; Tav­ernier 6, As­som­ba­longa 5 (Akpom 70, 5), Coul­son 6 (John­son 78, 7). Un­used subs: Sto­janovic, Wing, Roberts, Browne NOT­TING­HAM FOR­EST: Samba 7; Christie 6, Figueiredo 6, McKenna 6, Bong 6; Yates 5, Col­back 5; Knock­aert 5, Freeman 5 (Cafu 64, 5), Ameobi 5 (Lol­ley 46, 5); Guer­rero 5 (Tay­lor 78). Un­used subs: Mbe Soh, Smith, Jenk­in­son, Sow MAN OF THE MATCH: Paddy McNair. Boro de­fender was a threat with cor­ners and as­sured at the back.

REF­EREE: Lee Ma­son 6

 ??  ?? STUN GUN Sub John­son floors For­est with a strike late in the sec­ond half
STUN GUN Sub John­son floors For­est with a strike late in the sec­ond half

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