Sirrell 18mins, Brobbel 75mins
Rekik 38mins, Lopes 47mins
- Match reports
- 26 October 2012 15:01
- Posted by Mark Booth
City EDS left Middlesbrough with a hard-earned point on Friday afternoon after goals from Rekik and Lopes were cancelled out by the hosts.
Dutch youth international Karim Rekik returned to the field after his lengthy injury absence to inspire City to an entertaining draw, firing home a first-half equaliser for the Blues at a chilly Rockliffe Park.
City were beginning to think that they might have done enough to snatch all three points when in-form Portuguese forward Marcos Lopes poked home after 47 minutes but the hosts rallied and ended Attilio Lombardo's hopes of doing the double over Middlesbrough when they equalised after 74 minutes.
Lombardo's last win in the Barclays U21 Premier League came back in August against Middlesbrough.
On that day, City dominated from start to finish and ended up 4-0 winners but this time, on their own patch, Middlesbrough were a far tougher proposition.
Under the watchful eyes of Patrick Vieira and Brian Marwood, City nearly took the lead when Alex Nimely struck from 25 yards early on but the shot was deflected wide and Boro took full advantage.
Boro's impressive Lewis Sirrell slotted past Johansen calmly after a brief spell of possession in City's final third and they nearly extended their lead just minutes later through Matthew Dolan.
City picked themselves up and found an equaliser on the 38 minute mark and it was Rekik who powered home, firing across Ripley in the Middlesbrough goal.
Devante Cole, a goalscorer for England U18s in mid-week, was introduced at half-time and his presence told when Lopes was granted the opportunity to slide home after a goalmouth scramble.
The game's ebb and flow continued after the break, with neither side able to wrestle any dominance, making the fourth goal crucial to the destination of the points.
Unfortunately for Lombardo's men, it was the hosts that found it, with Ryan Brobbel finding the back of the net after the ball rebounded off the post into his path.
Louis Hutton nearly found a winner in the closing seconds but was denied, meaning City had to settle for a draw.
City EDS are next in action in the NextGen Series away at Juventus on 31 October. We'll bring you a full report on how they got on shortly after full-time here on mcfc.co.uk.