Middlesbrough

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Championship Verdict: The Observer fans' network on Saturday's matches
Observer fans' network - 4 years ago

Barnsley 1-0 PortsmouthWas it a good match? The first 10 minutes were fairly even until Garry O'Connor swung in a left-wing cross which Adam Hammill volleyed in. John Utaka was their most skilful player, but dirty with it – one bad tackle he wasn't even cautioned for. Otherwise we controlled the game for what was a fairly comfortable 1-0 win in the end – if you can ever have such a thing. Who played well/who had a nightmare? It was another very good team performance. It's worth mentioning that both benches had to be placated by the fourth official thanks to some bizarre decisions from an abysmal referee. He should have gone to Specsavers.

Paul Heggie, BarnsleyFC.org.uk

Bristol City 2-0 LeicesterWas it a good match? I'm certainly happy with the result, though the performance wasn't quite there. In the first half, the line-up just wasn't working – the manager clearly realised that and changed it to a 4-4-2, which made a difference. After David James saved their penalty they had the majority of the play, but we started to come into the game more. It's a cliche, but it really was a game of two halves, though we were lucky that their finishing was poor. Who played well/who had a nightmare? Christian Ribeiro at right-back played well, as did Steven Caulker. Other than that, no one stood out - we just hung in and got the three points.

Gareth Hodge, OTIB.co.uk

Cardiff 0-2 Nottingham ForestWas it a good match? It was a poor all-round performance against a Forest team who hustled, closed us down and took their chances. There were very few positives from our perspective and it's disappointing at home to have only one effort on target. We struggled to keep hold of the ball all game, and gave it away too often and too cheaply. Who played well/who had a nightmare? The City defence were pulled apart far too easily. I'd like to wish good luck to Dexter Blackstock for Forest – he took a nasty kick at the end which went unpunished, but it looked like a potential leg-breaker.

Michael Morris, CardiffCity-Mad.co.uk

Coventry 1-0 BurnleyWas it a good match? It was a big three points – we definitely needed that to get us back on track. Apart from the win, it was a pretty forgettable afternoon with a weird, almost pre-season atmosphere about it – like the players and supporters were going through the motions. Great goal to win it, though – Michael Doyle picked it up 25 yards out, went past a couple of players and powered it in to brighten up the day. Who played well/who had a nightmare? The Marlon King experiment isn't quite working at the moment. The best player was the kid who scored from the halfway line in the half-time competition.

Richard Owen, Observer reader

Derby 3-2 ScunthorpeWas it a good match? We made an excellent start, and took a deserved 1-0 lead. Scunthorpe relied on counterattacking moves and Jonathan Forte's fine individual goal drew them level. Alberto Bueno showed good skill in winning a penalty that Kris Commons smashed home, and a stunning strike from Luke Moore extended our lead. It looked a comfortable victory, but the match turned on its head with the penalty and sending-off. In the end, we hung on for all three points. Who played well/who had a nightmare? John Brayford is the new Colin Todd, and Dean Leacock was dominant.

George Glover, Observer reader

Doncaster 1-1 SwanseaWas it a good match? I'm disappointed not to get all three points, but a draw was a fair result, with Swansea slightly the better team. It was a really good game – both teams got the ball down and played football. We scored against the run of play with a good header from James Hayter, but I knew we needed another goal because they always looked like they had one in them, and so it proved. Who played well/who had a nightmare? John Oster and James O'Connor played well for us, and full credit to Angel Rangel of Swansea, who got the equaliser.

Chris Rumley, Observer reader

Hull 1-0 IpswichWas it a good match? It wasn't a great game, but I think we got what we deserved as the only team who wanted to play football. Ipswich were dire, and I can see why they're sliding down the table. We're still struggling a bit to get things rolling. We're lacking width, and seeing lots of the ball without turning it into chances. The goal was a fantastic strike – it was going to take something like that to open them up, but it was out of character with the rest of the game. Who played well/who had a nightmare? Robert Koren was probably our best player, but Kevin Kilbane is becoming a bit of a joke – some fans wonder why he gets a game.

Rick Skelton, HullCityOnline.com

Middlesbrough 0-1 MillwallWas it a good match? It was a very bad day at the office – not exactly first-class entertainment. There was no creativity whatsoever. We had a few half-chances but nothing concrete. Nothing really changed after they scored, either – we didn't really react to it either positively or negatively. Overall, there wasn't much quality from either side. Who played well/who had a nightmare? Most of our good play came from the kids, Joe Bennett and Luke Williams. Otherwise we were pretty poor all-round. Tamika Mkandawire played well for Millwall, but Steve Morison missed an open net.

Elle Brunton, Observer reader

Norwich 1-1 LeedsWas it a good match? It was excellent from start to finish – a real humdinger played at a frenetic pace between two committed teams. Leeds had the better of the first period and deservedly led at half-time. Our insatiable second-half appetite and total dominance should probably have secured more than a point. Who played well/who had a nightmare? Leon Barnett was a colossus at the back and a goal-scoring machine up front. Max Gradel for Leeds pulled out every trick in his locker, including a few our full-back couldn't work out.

Rob Emery, Observer reader

QPR 3-1 PrestonWas it a good match? The first half was very sloppy from both teams. We scored too early in some respects – after Rob Hulse bundled in, we took it too easy, and let them into the game with some half-chances. After half-time [Adel] Taarabt turned on the style, with two great goals – the second one in particular when he ran 15 yards, before hitting a beauty into the top left-hand corner of the goal. Who played well/who had a nightmare? Taarabt was the star man again, and Matthew Connolly did well in the holding midfield role. The crowd of around 13,000 was a disappointment, though.

Peter Davies, WeAreTheRangersBoys.com

Sheffield United 3-2 Crystal PalaceWas it a good match? It was a great match overall, after a controversial first half with a lot of big decisions for the referee. We started to control it in the second half, although they looked threatening on the break. After their second, I thought they'd shut up shop because they were away from home and that they'd hold on for at least a draw. But we kicked it up a gear and seemed to go forward with real purpose from that point onwards. Who played well/who had a nightmare? Andy Reid and Ched Evans were great – they showed plenty of skill but battled really hard, too.

Charlie Batho, TheBladesOnline.com

Watford 1-1 ReadingWas it a good match? I wouldn't have given you tuppence for the first half, despite it containing both goals. Reading were more incisive, but after the break, by and large, we bossed it in an absorbing second period. A draw was about right – had Reading snatched it, they'd have had Watford skipper Adrian Mariappa to thank for another defensive howler. Who played well/who had a nightmare? Troy Deeney's close control and his goal were good. Our centre-back Martin Taylor was outstanding, and showed Mariappa exactly how it should be done. Jobi McAnuff for the visitors became increasingly anonymous.

Steve Cox, Observer reader

This is not a news report and may contain views expressed by the author which are not supported by GNM.

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