It was a tale of three wonder goals for Tony Mowbray as Middlesbrough sealed their first win of the npower Championship season in dramatic style.
Having named a youthful team to face Burnley, the Boro manager's gamble paid off as stunning long-range efforts from Nicky Bailey, Adam Reach and Luke Williams overturned a one-goal deficit, earned the lead late in the second half before ultimately clinching a 3-2 victory in the dying minutes.
Charlie Austin's headed effort was cancelled out by a Bailey daisycutter moments before the break, with Reach edging Boro ahead with a left-footed screamer in the 79th minute. Junior Stanislas looked to have taken the wind out of the hosts' sails with a late equaliser but Williams shattered the travelling fans' hopes with a dramatic first goal for his boyhood club.
And Mowbray was quick to praise the trio's heroics, saying: "Nicky struck his in from 20 yards but watching the last two goals back from Reach and Williams, it's good to see they've got that in their locker.
"Reach has got a rocket in his left foot, he showed everybody that. Luke Williams is a young guy who was in the team when I first arrived 18 months ago and through injury and lack of confidence he has drifted a little bit. But he scored quite a few goals in pre-season and it was a special night for him."
Counterpart Eddie Howe was not as eager to dwell on the strikes that undid the Clarets' good work.
"I don't quite know what to say (about the goals). Especially that second one, from that angle. What fantastic strikes," he said.
"(Goalkeeper) Lee Grant's not really had a lot to do. They were three strikes from well outside the area and I don't think he could have done anything with any of them. That's how it goes.
"From our perspective you're always disappointed because you feel you can do things to stop the build-up. We worked really hard to get our lead and it was the turning point when we conceded right before half-time.
"In the second half we ended up dropping very deep, trying to protect our lead, which wasn't really what we wanted to do. I felt that we were put under pressure by their passing and movement and it was difficult to contain them."
- Nicky Bailey
- Tony Mowbray