Miserable start for Mowbray

Middlesbrough 1 Bristol City 2
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The Independent Football

Fly Me To The Moon? Save us from League One, more like. At the moment, the subject of the Middlesbrough fanzine named in honour of Tony Mowbray looks rather more attainable than keeping them in the Championship.

You've got to hand it to those bookmakers. They had the Teesside club down as strong favourites to exit this division in May. They look increasingly like doing just that, although downwards rather than up aftertaking one point from the last 21.

Bristol City are heading in the opposite direction, leapfrogging their hosts thanks to a stunning 49th-minute winner from Marvin Elliot, the impressive midfielder pouncing on Barry Robson's clearance to beat Jason Steele with a 25-yard volley.

"He might not hit another one like that again in the rest of his career," Mowbray said. It was a goal worthy to settle any contest, and it leaves Middlesbrough joint-bottom with Crystal Palace, who visit the Riverside on Saturday. On his return after a 19-year hiatus, Middlesbrough's prodigal son added: "This wasn't the start we wanted, we know we need to get those points on the board to restore the confidence."

A wholly different scenario looked set to unfold as the visitors waited in vain for an offside flag as Kris Boyd volleyed in a Scott McDonald cross from close range in the 30th-minute.

Boyd and his forward partner Scott McDonald were guilty of spurning several chances to extend the lead. In addition, David James more than earned his money in the City goal, as a shot-count of 25 to four in favour of the hosts might suggest.

Albert Adomah levelled five minutes later when the midfielder's angled drive found the bottom corner thanks to a deflection off defender Matthew Bates. "We've showed plenty of resilience because after going a goal down I feared the worst," Keith Millen, the Bristol City manager, admitted after his side climbed to third from bottom.

The margin of victory might have been more had the unmarked Jon Stead not headed wide from five yards early on. Millen added: "We had to defend for our lives at times and it could have been a tough afternoon but equalising so quickly was a massive boost."