Middlesbrough caretaker boss Mark Venus gets off to a fly start

Middlesbrough caretaker boss Mark Venus got off to a flying start last night as his inherited Boro side beat Doncaster 4-0 at the Riverside

Mark Venus is a serious contender to follow Tony Mowbray as Middlesbrough manager
Mark Venus is a serious contender to follow Tony Mowbray as Middlesbrough manager

Venus was making his dugout debut after taking over from Tony Mowbray in midweek.

He took the shackles off his side and sent them out to attack from the off and was rewarded with a sizzling show in the televised clash.

Albert Adomah scored twice in the first half as Boro took complete control, then Kei Kamar and on-loan new boy Daniel Ayala added two more after the break in front of the Riverside’s biggest crowd of the season.

Venus made six changes to the line-up that had slumped to a 3-2 defeat at lowly Barnsley in Mowbray’s final game before the axe fell on Monday.

Jonathan Woodgate returned from injury wearing the armband while Rhys Williams, Richie Smallwood, Mustapha Carayol and Marvin Emnes were restored to the starting line-up and centre-back Ayala, signed on loan from Norwich this week, made his debut.

Liberated Boro showed some early intent and went close on four minutes as a quick ball out of defence sent Carayol down the left to wriggle inside through three defenders but his low 20 yard shot flew just wide.

Rovers responded as Teessider James Coppinger cut in from the right to send an angled 25-yard effort a foot outside the far post.

But Boro were back to take the lead and take control with an Adomah goal after eight minutes as Kei Kamara scooped over a static defence for Adomah to dart through and deftly chip over over the advancing keeper.

Boro made the pressure count with a second on 36 minutes as Richard Smallwood swung in a cross from the left for Adomah to make a darting run into the box.

He sent a diving header into the net. Doncaster threatened on 44 minutes as they won a corner and when Duffy’s flag-kick somehow squeezed through the crowd to the far post, Jones and Khumalo came charging in but both missed by a fraction.

Boro almost grabbed a third in first-half stoppage time as Carayol burst through onto a touch from Kamara, but Turnbull was quickly off his line to block the shot..

Boro started shakily after the break and there were some nervous moments in their box.

But they broke quickly on 59 minutes when a ball down the flank sent Carayol tricking towards the box. However his square ball towards Kamara was blocked.

Then when Emnes tried to fire the loose ball straight back in it was charged down.

Boro sealed the game with a third on 67 minutes. Leadbitter whipped in a free-kick from wide on the left towards the back post, where Kamara stretched to steer it home.

Boro almost had a fourth on 73 minutes as Smallwood instigated a move that ended with Kamara sending a curler just beyond the far post.

But they wrapped things up from a corner on 83 minutes as Leadbitter dipped it into the crowd and Ayala climbed to head home a debut goal.


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