Boro down after Hammers defeat

24 May 2009 06:19
Middlesbrough suffered the agony of relegation from the Premier League after a mistake from goalkeeper Brad Jones gifted West Ham a 2-1 victory. Gareth Southgate's men needed a big victory and for results to go their way. What they did not account for was Junior Stanislas' weak shot sneaking past Jones for the winner at Upton Park. Carlton Cole had given the Hammers a first-half lead but Boro were given encouragement when Gary O'Neil levelled and their relegation rivals were losing. Without the injured Afonso Alves and Stewart Downing, the odds were stacked against Boro winning today and getting the five-goal swing they needed to overtake Hull. The focus will now be on whether Southgate will remain as manager and whether players will have to be sold. Then when the ball broke in the penalty area after Robert Huth challenged Hammers goalkeeper Robert Green it fell to the wrong person, with David Wheater hooking it over the crossbar. The Hammers were far more dangerous in front of goal, and Stanislas had struck the crossbar early on. The opener came in the 33rd minute, when Herita Ilunga's cross from the left went between Justin Hoyte and Huth, allowing Cole to fire across goal into the left corner of the net. Boro were level within five minutes of the start of the second half, when Tuncay passed to O'Neil who found the bottom corner with an angled drive. West Ham's winner came eight minutes later when Stanislas shot weakly but saw his shot squirm past goalkeeper Jones. It was a howler from Jones and Boro could not recover.

Source: Eurosport