MIDDLESBROUGH kicked off their opening game of the season with a 1-1 draw against West Brom at the Riverside Stadium.

Boro stormed into an early lead when Isaiah Jones finished off a well worked move before John Swift was on hand to slam home from close range in the second half.

Digital Sports Writer Matty Jones was watching the game and rated the player’s performances…


8 Steffen – After quickly being called into action to deny a long cross, he made a series of crucial saves from counter attacks.

7 Lenihan – Led the defence really well and looked to play out from the back.

7 Dijksteel – Did well in getting Boro up the pitch on the right hand side and did his defensive duties well.

6 Bola – Did well in playing out of position but look tired as the game wore on. Got caught for West Brom’s equaliser.

7 Jones – Was a threat going forward and did his duties in defence. Found himself in the right place to take his goals.

8 Howson – Ran the midfield and crucial to stopping West Brom attacks. Made up the yards when Boro were caught on the counter.

6 Crooks – Was competitive and energetic in midfield but tired as the game wore on.

7 McGree – Was always wanting the ball and was trying to make things happen. A key player in this Boro side now.

8 Giles – Brilliant performance and did exactly what he was brought in to do. Played a key role in the goal and delivered some outstanding balls into the box.

7 Akpom – A hard working performance from the striker who did well to set up the goal for Jones.

6 Watmore – Was naturally very busy but should have scored before half-time with a glaring miss.


Forss 63’ – Energetic and bright when he came on but was perhaps weak when it came to some challenges. More game time may fix that.

6 Coburn 63’ – Had little impact on the game and was wasteful with a chance in the box when there was options around.

Subs not used: Roberts, Fry, Smith, Boyd-Munce, Hackney