Middlesbrough led twice, and were twice pegged back by a Portsmouth side who named only four substitutes – such is the nature of their plight – in their opening day Npower 2011/12 fixture at the Riverside on Saturday 6th August 2011.
Boro got off the mark when Emnes scored with a cool finish on 24 minutes, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead they carried through to half time.
Early in the second half, however, Norris (47) hit home a low drive from 20 yards which new Middlesbrough goalkeeper Ikeme could just touch at full stretch, but only onto the inside of the post.
Seven minutes later, though, Middlesbrough took the lead once more when Williams ran through onto a good pass from Nicky Bailey on 54 minutes.
The few home fans who had turned out to watch this first match of the season – only 18,186 had filed into the Riverside to watch this match, leaving rows of empty seats – could have been forgiven for beginning to think of three points well won when debutant Varney burst their bubble in the second minute of second half injury time.
|Emnes 24||Norris 47|
|Williams 54||Varney 90+2|