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Middlesbrough settle for the draw
Middlesbrough 3 Bournemouth 3
MIDDLESBROUGH squandered another Riverside advantage and had to settle for a point against Bournemouth.
A frenetic start to the game saw the hosts 2-0 down after 12 minutes, with both goals coming from Brett Pitman penalties. Kei Kamara clawed one back on 19 minutes, then Mustapha Carayol fired home on 32 minutes to level the game. Grant Leadbitter thought he had won it with a 74th minute goal but Jonathan Woodgate's own goal brought Bournemouth level, before Rhys Williams was dismissed in the 86th minute.
Early on, Middlesbrough's defenders could not deal with the pace of new signing Tokelo Rantie – a player who they had spent the summer pursuing - skipper Williams tripped the Cherries striker as he trailed a leg. Pitman's first penalty went straight down the middle.
Moments later, it was two. Again, Pitman scored from the spot, this time Jason Steele getting a hand to it, after Lewis Grabban's header was handled by Frazer Richardson.
Boro were on the ropes and could have gone three down had Steve Cook's effort from distance not whistled over the crossbar.
But the hosts dragged themselves back into the game on 19 minutes when Kamara, making his home debut, bundled home in a goalmouth scramble after Albert Adomah was felled by goalkeeper Ryan Allsop.
Boro's equaliser on 32 minutes had a huge slice of fortune – and a huge deflection when Carayol's effort came off Cook and looped into the top corner beyond the despairing arm of Allsop.
Rantie saw a shot deflected off George Friend two minutes before half-time but the teams went in at the interval on level terms.
Boro looked comfortable in the second half, and looked to have won it when Leadbitter slotted home from Kamara's pass, but Bournemouth grew back into the game and Elliot Ward's run was finished off inadvertently by Woodgate.
Moments later, Williams saw red for a foolish challenge on substitute Wes Thomas. Arguably, referee Salisbury should have awarded a penalty earlier in the game when Williams fouled the same player. This time, his luck ran out.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Boro worked hard to get the winner, with Kamara going close with a header which Allsop saved at the death.
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