Baggies enjoy overdue change of Fortune

West Bromwich Albion 3 Middlesbrough 0

Early though it is, West Bromwich Albion are seeing something from the strikers they have had to beg, steal and borrow this month that Middlesbrough are struggling to extract from one who cost them £12.7m last January.

Afonso Alves has been putting few defenders to the sword other than those in the Blue Square Premier League with Barrow and continues to bemuse with his wastefulness. No side, least of all one now without a win in 10 top-flight games, can afford to spurn four openings of the quality he did.

How the Brazilian must have envied the easy and fortuitous manner in which goals came at the other end in a game which left these sides level on points.

While Middlesbrough's looks a troubled camp, with key players wanted by other clubs and the manager, Gareth Southgate, admitting he is stretching the patience of his famously loyal chairman, Steve Gibson, Albion have new hope as well as new forwards.

Three successive home wins, a first-ever Premier League double and a biggest victory of 2008-09 have opened the door to possible safety and confirmed the season-long belief of their manager, Tony Mowbray, ironically a Teesside legend, that all they needed was another goal or two.

Jay Simpson is showing the dash and class that mark him out as another Arsenal star in the making and, on Saturday, a second loanee provided much promise only two days after arriving from Nancy.

Marc-Antoine Fortune got lucky with the in-off from Robert Koren's shot that established Albion's comfortable lead but was a mobile operator in an attack previously exposed as pedestrian.

"I could see in his first two days that he's got lovely appreciation of the ball," Mowbray said. "He uses his body well and has been finishing well in training. I like good footballers and this kid is a good player. We tried to bring him in last August but it didn't quite happen."

Like Cyrille Regis, who 32 years ago also scored his first league goal for the club at home to Middlesbrough, the 27-year-old is from French Guyana. And he was not the only Fortune they had.

Just how much this was Albion's day was underlined by the fact their first goal, from the former Middlesbrough youngster Chris Brunt, was both offside and deflected. The third, by the excellent Koren, was unblemished, albeit soon after Didier Digard had been debatably red-carded for lungeing in on Borja Valero.

Manchester United are the next Hawthorns visitors but West Bromwich are back in touching distance of so many sides they might have lost contact with. Among them are these latest victims, who should have led at the interval and who have now lost four successive away matches.

"We were halfway up the table seven or eight weeks go," Southgate said. "Now there is a loss of confidence. It may sound ridiculous but we are not that far away from a decent run of results. To read 3-0 in print is a nightmare, but it doesn't reflect the game."

Goals: Brunt (4) 1-0; Fortune (54) 2-0; Koren (68) 3-0.

West Bromwich Albion (4-4-2): Carson; Hoefkens, Barnett (Pele, 39), Donk, Robinson; Koren, Valero, Greening, Brunt; Simpson (Moore, 77), Fortune (Beattie, 68). Substitutes not used: Kiely (gk), Cech, Kim, Teixeira.

Middlesbrough (4-4-1-1): Turnbull; McMahon (Bates, 70), Wheater, Riggott (Huth, 36), Taylor; O'Neil (Mido, 57), Digard, Shawky, Tuncay; Downing; Alves. Substitutes not used: Jones (gk), Emnes, Johnson, Bennett.

Referee: M Halsey (Lancashire).

Booked: Middlesbrough Huth, Shawky.

Sent off: Digard (62).

Man of the match: Koren.

Attendance: 25,557.

For Premier League highlights, click here .

FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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