Last Updated: 30/08/08 5:15pm
It is all over at The Riverside. Boro were given an almighty scare after numerous missed chances, but got away with their wastefulness following Tuncay's late strike.
Boro look comfortable as they knock the ball around. Stoke have given their all, but it does not look like being enough.
Wilkinson is in the book for a daft challenge. Boro will surely not throw their position away this time...
GOAL for Boro! It is Tuncay with the goal, poking past the keeper from Didier Digard's pass when he looked in an offside position. Replays show he was definitely on.
The home fans are bitterly frustrated. Boro should have put this game to bed but a dogged Stoke could be set for what could prove to be a vital point.
Alves is denied expertly from Sorensen as the Danish keeper pulls of an agile low save. So close for Boro. In other news, Mido is about to come on...
GOAL for Stoke!!! In a rare attack for Stoke, Lawrence swings in a ball from the right and, under pressure from Kitson, Hoyte deflects past his own keeper.
Tuncay sees a shot roll agonisingly wide. The Turk had the ball laid to him on a plate after tidy work down the right from Aliadiere, but wasted the chance.
MIss by Downing! The winger steps up and sends the keeper the wrong way but his effort clatters off the bar. A potential lifeline for Stoke...
Boro are knocking the ball around with ease at present. Stoke are back in numbers so the home side are having to be patient as they look for a second.
Sitter. Alves is in from Hoyte's pass and gets his head up to cutback for Tuncay. The Turk has little time, but should really tap home, and skies his effort from eight yards.
Faye saves Stoke's bacon with an excellent interception. Alves dropped past his man easily and looked to slip in Tuncay, but was foiled by defender Faye.
O'Neil goes for glory as a corner falls high at his feet. The former Portsmouth man tries his luck first time but smashes his shot skywards.
It is Downing this time with the England man's strike zipping just wide of Sorensen's right-hand post.
Downing pulls Hoyte's cross down silkily, but his shot at goal is wayward. Chance for Boro here, free-kick on the edge of the box...
Aliadiere embarks on a positive run, however he is off balance when winding up to striker and the ball flicks wide of goal.
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Matt Craig, a Stoke fan, is backing his boys to come good and get something from the game. Andy Milburn, meanwhile, feels Mido will come off the bench to kill the game off.
Derek The Barber has got in touch again, voicing his hope that Boro can hold onto Wheather for many years to come. The defender has been impressive again this afternoon.
The first period draws to a close here. Faye's sending off well and truly messed things up for Stoke. Boro have dominated since going 1-0 up. Make sure you catch Alves' free-kick this evening - it was a cracker.
Stoke are all over the place as Boro pour forward. In other news, Olofinjana is very fortunate not to be handed a yellow card for an extremely rash challenge.
Aliadiere does really well to skin his man and pull a low cross back towards the edge of the are.a Tuncay is there, but his effort is blocked and bounce a yard wide. Boro really on top here.
Alves is urged to shoot from around 25 yards, and obliges. He rather scuffs his effort though, and the ball drags harmlessly wide.
Just seen a few more replays of Alves' goal. There was no chance for Sorensen, who stood flat-footed only able to watch the ball zip into the top corner.
It is all uphill for Stoke now, surely. Down to 10 men and 1-0 down. They had done really well up until Faye's red card. Disappointing for Pulis, but Southgate cannot afford a grin.
GOAL for Boro!!! A real beauty from Alves. The Brazlian steps up to the free-kick given away by Faye and curls a terrific effort past Sorensen. The ball kissed the top-right angle. No chance for the Danish keeper
Red card for Amdy Faye! The midfielder is dismissed for a two-footed challenge. He did win the ball but also clattered into Shawky's shin. A silly challenge really, there was no need to leap into the tackle with both feet of the ground.
Boro are giving away a number of needless free-kick in and around the box and you cannot help but feel one is going to come back to haunt them over the course of this game.
Hoyte is penalised by Mike Dean after apparently stealing 10 yards when looking to send a throw-in forward.
Boro defend a free-kick but the ball falls to Amdy Faye around 20 yards from goal. The Senegalese midfielder tees himself up before ballooning way, way over the bar. He never looked like he was going to send the back of the net rippling.
Well played Abdoulaye Faye as he uses his upper-body strength to shield the ball away from the racing Tuncay.
Griffin goes into book. He foolishly heads the ball out of Pogatetz's hands with the Austrian readying himself for a throw-in. Silly really, and hardly the best example to set if you are captain.
Smart football from Stoke, this time of the deck. Fuller was involved with a swish back-heel but Kitson's return lacked the correct angle.
That man Wheater again. Olofinjana tip-toes in the box and tees up Delap who smashes at goal only to be denied by a brave sliding tackle from the aforementioned centre-back.
Minor lull in the action here with both managers barking orders from the touchline. It has not been the prettiest of games so far, but moderately entertaining nonetheless.
Another long throw from Delap causes trouble with the ball bouncing around all over the place. Fuller is presented with a half-chance, but cannot quite wrap his foot around the ball.
Lawrence hits an awkward low free-kick at goal and Turnbull does well to get down and parry wide. It bounced just in front of the young shot-stopper, making it rather troublesome.
Horrible defending by Stoke. Truly terrible.Sorensen scuffs a kick before the centre-backs dally on the edge of the box. Alves tries to capatalise with a shot at goal but he slips on his backside. Shawky then follows up but his effort is straight into the keeper's chest.
Handball? Downing crosses from the left and the ball appears to strike the hand of Lawrence. There are a number of appeals but Mike Dean waves play on.
Ambitious. Fuller does well initially, rolling his man before attempting to curl one in the top right-hand corner. He fails to get his header over the ball and the strike floats high above bar.
Stoke can relieve some pressure following some Boro dominance as they thump a free-kick forwards. Good strength by the home side's defence, though, as they usher the ball out for a goal kick.
Chance for Alves as O'Neil fires a ball to the back post and the Brazilian heads towards the near post. His effort bounces just wide. He might have been better opting to head across goal.
It's rather flat so far. The Boro faithful could do with something to fire them up. Their side are gradually beginning to enjoy more possession.
Downing has a chance to drop a dangerous ball in the area, however his delivery is too low and Stoke clear with ease.
The corner is dealt with but falls to Olofinjana on the edge of the area. The Nigerian winds up a screamer but gets it all wrong and his effort zooms miles over the bar.
Turnball is a lucky boy after he rushes out of his goal to claim a high ball only to flap wildly. Stoke look to pounce but the rebound clatters wide for a corner.
Pretty even start so far with neither side managing to get a foothold in the game. Meanwhile, Delap winds up a trademark long throw, however the launch is headed away by Downing.
Alves hands Stoke a free-kick out on the right with Lawrence whipping in the delivery. Boro are comfortable, though, and head clear.
Lawrence is first to try his luck but he gets his effort largely wrong and Turnball sees it well wide.
Plenty of noise coming from the travelling support as both sides look to find their rhythm in the early stages.
Derek The Barber (lovely stuff there, Derek), is backing the now-trimmed Mido to enter the fray and strike the winner in the dying moments. Don't be shy 'the barber', be brave and get some money on that outcome. The previous sentence of course in no way condones gambling.
The teams are out on the turf with the crowd clapping with appreciation while readying their voices for the hour-and-a-half or so ahead of screaming and yelping.
Don Pidgeon makes the very good point that Boro have made a habit of conceding late goals of late while Stoke have made a habit of scoring them. Don also feels that Mido should be starting today after a number of impressive displays.
I currently have the delight of the panning of the camera to unsuspecting fans before the game. Unfortunately for me, so far whoever is in charge seems intent on identifying the, let's say, not particularly easy-on-the-eye individuals. Superb. Bring on the footy...
John Meredew has responded to Dennis' claim, and insists that Stoke will once again show they can cut it with the big boys.
So it is a Premier League debut for former Arsenal full-back Justin Hoyte. He is a fairly reliable defender and should slot in fine this afternoon. For the vistitors, I will be paying specific attention to Ricardo Fuller after his classy goal against the Villans last week.
Dennis Dury is fully behind The Teessiders and is sure Stoke will be taught a thing or two over the next 90 minutes. What say you Potters fans?
Now, I'll be honest. Boro and Stoke are two clubs that have surprised me during the early stages of this season. Gareth Southgate's men deservedly downed Tottenham on the opening day before going mighty close at Anfield last weekend. The Potters, meanwhile, steadied themselves after a shaky start to claim a shock win over Aston Villa. Therefore, I have my fingers and toes crossed for a belter of an encounter this afternoon. As you may have noticed below, the teams are in. So with around 30 minutes to kick-off, drop me a line with your thoughts on your side's starting XI. It is firstname.lastname@example.org to sling me an email or you can use the feedback button if that tickles your fancy.
Stoke team: Sorensen, Griffin, Cort, Abdoulaye Faye, Delap, Dickinson, Lawrence, Olofinjana, Amdy Faye, Kitson, Fuller. Subs: Simonsen, Whelan, Cresswell, Sidibe, Shawcross, Diao, Wilkinson.
Middlesbrough team: Turnbull, Hoyte, Wheater, Huth, Pogatetz, Aliadiere, Shawky, O'Neil, Downing, Alves, Sanli. Subs: Steele, Taylor, Riggott, Digard, Mido, Emnes, Adam Johnson.