Fly Me To The Moon column: I would love to have been at Ashton Gate to savour George Saville's goal against Bristol City

FMTTM COLUMN: Robert Nichols looks back on Middlesbrough’s 1-0 win over Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
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How impressive was that? A victory away at league leaders Bristol City followed taking the first point from runaway Reading at the weekend.

Neil Warnock's Boro might be down to one fit striker but the organisation and application brought rich rewards from the most difficult of back to back fixtures. The wily Warnock knows all about poaching points in the second tier. Long may it continue.

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Boro can hardly thank the fixture computer for a pretty intense start to the season, in fact Neil Warnock gave the EFL a phone call about it. As he does. Yet, so far we are looking quite good having come through all that has been thrown at us in terms of first facing teams relegated from the Premier and then taming the early pace setters. This despite being largely unsuccessful in the transfer market.

George Saville scored the winner for Middlesbrough against Bristol City on Tuesday night.George Saville scored the winner for Middlesbrough against Bristol City on Tuesday night.
George Saville scored the winner for Middlesbrough against Bristol City on Tuesday night.

One of the few incomings was the return of Patrick Roberts and The Manchester City man made an immediate impact at Ashton Gate. So, confident on the ball, he runs at and between players, drawing mistakes and opening up space and opportunities for others to attack. He is just the sort of players opponents hate and fans adore. Welcome back Patrick.

Talking of space and opportunity, George Saville surged into a wide open space in the Robins box after gratefully accepting a gift wrapped chance when he caught Taylor Moore napping. He made no mistake sweeping the ball home for what was a priceless goal.

In a game of so few chances, in fact none at all on target for the league leaders, the first goal was always likely to be all-important. It was then a question of closing down all the space for the home side to operate in. We certainly stifled their attacking, long before the end they were reduced to punting high and hopeful balls into our box. Food and drink for the commanding Dael Fry.

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I would love to have been at the ground to savour Saville's goal and lend my support as Boro withstood the late pressure and devoured the six minutes plus of time added on. As Neil Warnock no doubt pointed out to the fixtures guru it would not have been kind on supporters to send us down to the South West twice inside a week, if Bristol City on a Tuesday isn't far enough then how about Cardiff on a Saturday?

But I would love to have been moaning about it up and down the M5. Well, maybe not the actual driving but once I had arrived at the two stadia; my car is enjoying semi-retirement this year.

It must be difficult for the players to reach the same levels without the atmosphere generated from the fans in the stands. No doubt, Saville would have loved to have shared his goal celebrations with the away end. Mind you, there are times when players might be thankful for the empty ground, Taylor Moore must have wished the pitch would open up and swallow him, small mercies in that he was spared even more embarrassment of having his pockets picked in front of his own fans.

Up The Boro

Robert Nichols

Fly Me To The Moon fanzine

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