Despite a superb all round team performance at the Riverside Stadium last night, David Artell saved some special praise for his winger Owen Dale, who was making his full debut for the club. The Academy graduate has had to waited patiently for his first full start after previously coming off the substitutes' bench on 23 occasions.
The 20-year-old thrived on his opportunity and was a thorn in the side of the Middlesbrough defence with his directness and pace. He played a major role in creating Charlie Kirk’s second goal on the stroke of half-time in our 2-2 draw after 90 minutes.
After our dramatic but deserved win on penalties, Artell said of his full debutant: “Owen was outstanding.
“His energy, work-rate, his pause for Kirky’s goal - it looked easy but it’s not.
“And that was just one big moment in the game.
The boss concluded: “He has given his man a tough night, he was immense.”