Last Time We Met....Middlesbrough!
It surpised me when I looked back and found out the last time we played Middlesbrough. For some reason, I had it at the back of my mind it was sometime in the early 2000s but amazingly it was back in the 1994-95 season.
This was the season of course that Middlesbrough under Bryan Robson were promoted to the top flight as Champions with Burnley under Jimmy Mullen going in the opposite direction and being relegated to the third tier of English football after finshing third from bottom.
Our paths would not cross again (apart from a friendly)until this season. We will play them in a Championship game at the Riverside on Tuesday night (14th September).
Back in 1994-95, Boro were still based at Ayresome Park but would move to their new Riverside Stadium in August 1995. Clarets fans therefore going to the match on Tuesday night could be visiting the Riverside for the first time.
So what happened in our games against the ultimate League champions back in 1994-95? Most Clarets fans will want to instantly forget the results with Boro getting the double over us. We actually played them at Ayresome Park in the opening game of that season but went down 2-0 thanks to two first half goals after 28 and 35 minutes.
We lined up as follows that day in front of a crowd of 23,343:
Beresford, Parkinson, Vinnicombe, Davis, Winstanley, Joyce, A.Harper, Deary, Heath, L.Robinson, McMinn. Lancashire came on as a sub replacing Joyce during the game.
By the time of the return match at Turf Moor four days before Christmas 1994 the Clarets were in 18th spot and desperate to move clear of the relegation zone looming over their shoulders.
Middlesbrough though had other ideas and in front of a crowd of just 12,049 fans won convincingly 3-0. They took a 1-0 lead at half-time scoring a goal in the 14th minute. Two second half goals after 64 and 90 minutes finished us off.
The team that day lined-up as follows:
Beresford, Parkinson, Davis, Winstanley, A.Harper, Heath, L.Robinson, Eyres, Randall, Hoyland, Dowell. Substitutes Gayle and Mullin also saw action that day.
Boro would be relegated in 1996-97 after controversially being deducted three points for failing to fulfil a fixture against Blackburn Rovers. They were however then promoted the following season and spent eleven consecutive seasons in the top flight before relegation at the end of the 2008-9 season. Burnley managed to avoid them yet again being of course promoted to the Premier League that same season but now at long last the rivalry is restored.