Fluke of Yorke

FOOTBALL

Any game decided by a single penalty is bound to be deemed unsatisfactory, but the term would be an undue compliment to this match. As the pay-per- view era dawns, this would have been one spectacle to have domestic subscribers demanding their money back.

True, they would have needed several action replays to detect the offence which created Aston Villa's match-winning penalty six minutes before the interval, because most of the crowd seemed baffled by the decision.

But the cameras finally picked up an innocuous tug on the left sleeve of Dwight Yorke by the former Villa defender Neil Cox, which seemed unlikely to have caused Yorke to drop dramatically on one knee as he did.

The Tobagan striker duly stroked home the penalty low past Gary Walsh's right hand, but the sourness of the incident infected the remainder of the match.

"All I saw was the reaction of the Villa team," the Middlesbrough manager Bryan Robson said afterwards. "And they didn't even appeal for it."

Grievances aside, this defeat extended Boro's winless run of Premiership games to nine, their last victory coming at Everton on 14 September. They were without their Brazilian engine Emerson again yesterday as he completed the last game of his suspension, and Alan Wright's crude foul on Juninho on the hour removed Boro's main creative force with an ankle injury.

Villa's energy in midfield - supplied by Mark Draper, Andy Townsend and Ian Taylor - stifled most of Middlesbrough's attempts to get forward with the home goalkeeper Michael Oakes not even called into serious action until well into the second half when Phil Stamp swerved past two challenges and drove a shot straight at him.

At the other end of the field, the main focus of interest was the form of the one foreign player who very nearly did get away recently, the Italian transfer reject Savo Milosevic.

There are those who see the Yugoslav striker as a sort of Stan Laurel to Yorke's Oliver Hardy, so many are the poor touches and pratfalls which he normally produces. But to his credit Milosevic had a header and a pass in the build-up to the penalty and posed more of a threat as the game went on.

For Villa, now out of two competitions, a win was vital to restore credibility to their failing Premiership challenge. "We needed to get a few results like this," Brian Little conceded, "even if it was a sloppy one."

Boro, meanwhile, will cling to the Coca-Cola Cup to keep the fizz in their season.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
Alexander McQueen A/W 2014
fashionPolitics aside, tartan is on-trend again this season
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Sport
Joel jumps over the board...and into a giant hole
footballFrom joy to despair in a matter of seconds
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Life and Style
i100

Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

MFL TEACHER, SUPPLY VACANCY, LOVELY SITTINGBOURNE SCHOOL

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: The Job We are currently recruit...

NQT Teachers

Negotiable: Randstad Education Crawley: Randstad Education can provide you wit...

MATHS TEACHER, PERMANENT VACANCY, TONBRIDGE SCHOOL

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Randstad Education is currently ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week