AN old footballing cliché was on show at the Riverside Stadium as a pulsating game of two halves saw Middlesbrough on the receiving end of a sickening defeat to Blackpool who came from behind to win 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium.

The defeat will feel like a blow to Boro's progress this season as they drop to 16th in the table after failing to record back to back wins. 

The ground wasn’t exactly packed out but they definitely made their voices heard in the opening exchanges and were witness to a very lively start as Boro took the game to Blackpool.

The midfield and forward areas were in complete unison and caused Blackpool plenty of problems with their new signings ready to make their mark in front of the home crowd after Neil Warnock named an unchanged team from the midweek win over Nottingham Forest. It didn’t take long for those heroes to show their promise again.

The goal came from a well worked corner as Onel Hernandez played the ball short and received it back before laying it out to James Lea-Siliki. His curling cross to the back post was met by the lighthouse that is Dael Fry who prodded the ball back across the face of goal to Marcus Tavernier who slammed the ball home from barely three yards out. The Tangerines made their voices heard and appealed for an offside but they fell on deaf areas as the Tavernier opened his account for the season and got that particular monkey off his back.

The Championship has an unpredictable nature and it almost came to the fore when Blackpool should have found a route back into the game. A floating cross glanced off the head of Dael Fry and the ball fell to Tyreece John-Jules who jinked inside in the box but lashed an effort over the bar from twelve. It’s fair to say that was a big let-off.

Andraz Sporar told the Boro boss in midweek he couldn’t believe the noise from the travelling away support in midweek when he scored his first goal for the club. He almost blew the lid off the Riverside when Tavernier almost turned provider nicking the ball in the Tangerines defensive third and teed up Sporar in the box. His curling effort smacked the angle of bar and post and cannoned behind for a goal-kick. That would have been some way to introduce yourself to the home crowd and double Boro’s lead on 22 minutes.

The game lulled for the remainder of the half as Boro’s rearguard were happy to sit in and stop Blackpool from playing but there was a sense that a second goal would have just eased a bit of lingering tension around the Riverside.

The second half came and as Boro were struck with an injury to Anfernee Djiksteel, they were almost struck with a double blow. A corner routine, similar to the one Boro scored from in the first half, saw Joe Lumley come out to punch but completely miss the connection. The ball dropped to Shayne Lavery who stabbed an effort towards the empty net but the ball rolled off the outside of the right post. That should have gone in.

The tension grew and the crowd started to jump on referee David Webb who made a few decisions that angered the Riverside. One of which was a free-kick where Blackpool found their route back into the game just after the hour mark.

A ball was clipped into the box and Marvin Ekpiteta showed the strength and poise of a striker to control the ball, roll Fry in the box and fire home from close range. Based on the second half showing, it was fair scoreline given Boro were just struggling to get into the game.

They almost provided an immediate answer to Blackpool when Sporar was threaded in behind the Blackpool defence but his low effort was thwarted at the near post by Tangerines keeper Chris Maxwell.

However, Blackpool’s tails were up and there was a sense of expectation on the Boro to overcome a side recently promoted from League One. It was a Boro player who provided a dagger to the hearts of his own team.

An curling corner into the box from Josh Bowler inadvertently struck the top of the head of Boro centre-half Grant Hall and the ball flew passed Lumley into the back of the net. After cruising in the opening 20 minutes, Boro had twelve minutes plus stoppage time to get anything from the game.

Martin Payero had been readying himself to come on from the bench during Blackpool’s second goal and there wouldn’t be more ideal of a time for the Argentine to properly announce himself on the Teesside stage. He came within inches of doing so when his curling effort from the edge of the box looped over Chris Maxwell and kissed the crossbar and came back out. What a moment that would have been.

Boro threw on Uche Ikpeazu amongst other numbers up the pitch with all game plans going out the window. They huffed and puffed against a determined Tangerine side but in the end they just couldn’t get over the line as Warnock’s men fail to follow up there midweek win over Forest.