Pompey pinch a point at Boro

Debutant Luke Varney grabbed a late equaliser as Portsmouth twice came back to earn a 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

Last Updated: 06/08/11 at 18:00

Varney: Grabbed debut goal

Varney: Grabbed debut goal

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Dutch forward Marvin Emnes, who signed a three-year contract extension this week to end speculation linking him with Premier League Swansea, put Boro ahead midway through the first half, only for David Norris - another Pompey new boy - to level shortly after the interval.

Rhys Williams quickly restored the hosts' advantage after being played through by Nicky Bailey, but the hosts were unable to find a killer third goal and paid the price when Varney fired home in the second minute of added time.

The visitors will be delighted to have avoided a fourth successive opening-day defeat, having seen their opponents create a string of chances in difficult conditions.

Carl Ikeme made his debut in goal for Middlesbrough following his loan move from Wolves, while visiting boss Steve Cotterill, who named just four substitutes, handed first competitive starts to summer signings Norris and Varney.

Boro were the first to threaten as Barry Robson fired over from distance.

Former Middlesbrough loanee Dave Kitson then tested Ikeme at the other end before Robson spurned a clear-cut opportunity in the 18th minute.

Tony McMahon's free-kick picked out the former Celtic midfielder 10 yards from goal, but he directed his header straight at Jamie Ashdown.

The miss appeared unlikely to be costly as Tony Mowbray's side took the lead through Emnes six minutes later.

Strike partner Scott McDonald found his way to the byline before cutting the ball back to the Dutchman, who took a touch before swivelling and drilling a low shot into the bottom left corner, possibly with the aid of a slight deflection.

Emnes shot narrowly wide soon after as the rain grew heavier, while McDonald, Justin Hoyte and Robson also went close as Boro threatened to extend their advantage.

Pompey had a chance to draw level a minute before the break, but Hayden Mullins failed to keep his shot down after good work from Tal Ben-Haim.

It took the visitors less than two minutes to get on the scoresheet in the second half as Norris beat Ikeme with a powerful low shot from 20 yards.

However, Boro were soon back ahead as Williams collected a glorious through ball from Bailey before finishing coolly.

The goal once again led to a spell of home pressure, but the Teessiders failed to extend their lead.

Cotterill introduced veteran forward Kanu and Ryan Williams, the younger brother of Middlesbrough goalscorer Rhys, in a bid to find an equaliser, while Christian Dailly was also brought on with seven minutes remaining.

Emnes almost grabbed his second of the game moments later, but Ashdown reacted well to tip his shot over the bar.

Varney then popped up to shock the home support after Dailly's initial effort had been blocked.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Saturday, 20 September 2014
15:00
Brighton 0-0 Blackpool Report
Derby 2-2 Cardiff Report
Fulham 0-1 Blackburn Report
Leeds 3-0 Huddersfld Report
M'boro 4-0 Brentford Report
Millwall 0-0 N Forest Report
Norwich 2-2 Birmingham Report
Rotherham 1-1 Charlton Report
Sheff Wed 1-0 Reading Report
Wolves 1-0 Bolton Report

Sky Bet Championship

Position Team P GD PTS
1 N Forest 8 10 18
2 Norwich 8 10 17
3 Wolves 8 5 17
4 Watford 8 7 16
5 M'boro 8 6 15
6 Sheff Wed 8 4 15
7 Charlton 8 3 14
8 Derby 8 5 13
9 Blackburn 8 0 13
10 Reading 8 0 13
11 Leeds 8 0 13
12 Ipswich 7 3 11
13 Millwall 8 0 11
14 Brentford 8 -4 11
15 Bournemth 8 1 9
16 Cardiff 8 -1 9
17 Wigan 7 1 8
18 Brighton 8 -2 8
19 Rotherham 8 -4 8
20 Birmingham 8 -7 7
21 Bolton 8 -6 5
22 Huddersfld 8 -11 5
23 Blackpool 8 -7 2
24 Fulham 8 -13 1

Updated Sat, 20 Sep 2014

Footer 365

Premier League: Crystal Palace beat Everton 3-2 at Goodison Park

Crystal Palace came from behind to beat Everton 3-2 and pick up their first win of the Premier League campaign.

Premier League: Frank Lampard haunts Chelsea as he earns Manchester City earn 1-1 draw

Frank Lampard stepped off the bench to score against his former club and salvage a 1-1 draw for Man City at home to Chelsea.

Premier League: Frank Lampard has mixed emotions after scoring against Chelsea

Frank Lampard was almost speechless after scoring the equaliser for his Manchester City side in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

Mail Box

Liverpool Aren't Even Exciting This Season

Liverpool fans are seemingly resigned to slipping back into mediocrity, which in September isn't exactly ideal. Plus better Arsenal, Allardyce praise and an excited Saint...

Be Careful What You Wish For, Gooners

That's the message from a Man United fan in the mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Paul Lambert's new contract, the Alan Pardew dilemma at Newcastle and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property