Forget the olympics, tonight the focus was on a ‘Teesside derby’ down at the vic. It didn’t have the feel of a friendly, with fans of both sides seemingly more active than your average pre season game. The Boro side included some trialists, Correa and Justin Hoyte played the first half and it was Boro who nearly took the lead, Ledesma nearly embarrassed Scott Flinders lobbing the ball over him only for it to drop wide. But, it was pools who took the lead, Anthony Sweeney headed it in to send the pools fans into pandemonium. Although the Boro fans saw light in it all dancing to the song that is regularly played on the darts. Boro did have something to shout about just after the half hour mark, Scott McDonald added to his pre season goal haul by slotting the ball Flinders following the ball from Correa. Boro then had the lead minutes later, Adam Reach showed neat footwork in the area before placing past Flinders to send the fans in Nimarax stand delirious.

Half time saw Boro make 11 changes, with trialists Dudu and Romeo Castelen coming on. Pools started the brighter in the second, big Steve Howard stung the palms of Connor Ripley with a low volley. The game remained quite flat for the most part, Boro seemed satisfied with a lead, while pools struggled to conjure up much. Castelen struck me as a decent purchase if Mowbray was to sign him, possessing pace that had the pools players hacking at him. Pools did have their moment with 10 minutes to spare, Collins towered over the Boro defence to bullet a header past Ripley. Boro did have a chance to seal a win, but Flinders pulled off a save from the on rushing Emnes.

Ft 2-2.

It was enjoyable encounter for the most part with both sides played some neat stuff, and it was played in a good sporting manner. However I was less impressed by the behaviour of some of the fans who of course need to remember its only a game.

James Cartwright.