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Middlesbrough 1 Millwall 2 – match report

Middlesbrough 1 Millwall 2: Boro's play-off chances dealt major blow after home defeat

PUBLISHED:

19:31 GMT, 23 February 2013

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UPDATED:

19:31 GMT, 23 February 2013

Middlesbrough's play-off hopes were dealt another crushing blow as they went down to defeat against Millwall at the Riverside Stadium.

Tony Mowbray's side slipped out of the top six for the first time since October prior to kick-off following Brighton's win over Burnley, and Boro's performance did not match that of a side striving for promotion to the Premier League.

However, Millwall, who had lost their last five in the npower Championship, did not look like a side struggling for form as they dominated throughout in a thrilling encounter.

An own goal from defender George Friend and Lions midfielder Martyn Woolford sealed a first away win for Kenny Jackett's side since November with Curtis Main pulling one back for the hosts.

Doubled: Martyn Woolford slotted home Millwall's second goal

Doubled: Martyn Woolford slotted home Millwall's second goal

MATCH FACTS

Middlesbrough: Steele, Bailey, McManus, Bikey, Friend, Dyer (Miller 46), Rhys Williams (Carayol 46), Leadbitter, McEachran, Emnes (McDonald 69), Main.

Subs Not Used: Ripley, Ledesma, Hines, Smallwood.

Goals: Main 75.

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Shittu, Osborne, Beevers, Henry, Abdou, Wright, Woolford, Marquis, Afobe.

Subs Not Used: Maik Taylor, Trotter, Tyson, Keogh, N'Guessan, Adam Smith, Malone.

Booked: Osborne, Wright, Forde.

Goals: Friend 25 og, Woolford 40.

Att: 15,377

Ref: Michael Naylor (Sheffield).

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Kieron Dyer and striker Main were the
only changes to the Boro side that drew a blank at Burnley in midweek
while Jackett recalled five players including Benik Afobe, Alan Dunne
and skipper Danny Shittu following their 5-1 defeat at home to
Peterborough last time out.

The first real chance arrived on 15
minutes when Karleigh Osborne tripped Main on the edge of the box. Grant
Leadbitter took the kick and Jason Steele was struggling to get across
as it narrowly flew over the crossbar.

Main was appealing to referee Michael
Naylor again shortly after when he went down under pressure from Dunne
inside the penalty area. Naylor waved away the protests as he became
increasingly unpopular with the home supporters.

His reputation did not improve when
the Lions, virtually straight after the incident, took the lead on 25
minutes. James Henry delivered a pin-point cross from the left and an
unfortunate Friend headed into his own goal under pressure from Afobe
and John Marquis.

Friend along with his team mates felt he was fouled in the build up, only adding to the now toxic atmosphere inside the ground.

Hope: Curtis Main scored for Middlesbrough but it was too little too late

Hope: Curtis Main scored for Middlesbrough but it was too little too late

However, Boro almost replied
immediately when Main met a Leadbitter corner full only to see his
powerful header well blocked on the line by Nadjim Abdou.

The visitors looked rattled by
Middlesbrough's response and goalkeeper David Forde almost gifted them
an equaliser when he spilled a cross only for Mark Beevers to again
clear off the line.

But Kenny Jackett's side took full
control five minutes before the break when Jason Steele pushed Afobe's
original effort into the path of Woolford who enjoyed the simplest of
finishes to double the advantage.

Boro tried to rally a response after
the break following the introduction of Ishmael Miller and Mustapha
Carayol, and it was the latter who tested the reflexes of Forde on the
hour mark as the Republic of Ireland international made a smart stop at
his near post.

A goal was coming though, and Friend
went some way to making amends when he skipped into the area on 75
minutes before pulling the ball back for Main who tapped into an empty
net from six yards.

That strike clearly energised them as
Main fired a golden opportunity wide with five minutes remaining before
late drama erupted deep into stoppage time when substitute Scott
McDonald's apparent equaliser was ruled out for offside.

A melee ensued and referee Naylor was
almost caught in the middle of it before bringing the game and
Millwall's slump to an end, condemning Boro to a seventh league defeat
in their last nine outings.

Peterborough 2 Middlesbrough 3: Posh denied by sub Miller

Peterborough 2 Middlesbrough 3: Posh denied by sub Miller

PUBLISHED:

17:42 GMT, 8 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:42 GMT, 8 December 2012

Middlesbrough substitute Ishmael Miller came off the bench to snatch
the winner and deny rock-bottom Peterborough their first point from a
losing position this season.

Faris Haroun returned from the calf injury which had kept him out of
Boro's last four fixtures and soon made up for lost time with a
first-half brace.

Super sub: Ishmael Miller (R) scores the winner

Super sub: Ishmael Miller (R) scores the winner

Match facts

Peterborough: Olejnik, Little, Zakuani, Bostwick, Newell, Rowe (Ferdinand 78),Knight-Percival (Swanson 90),Thorne, Boyd,
Tomlin, Gayle. Subs Not Used: Day, Alcock, Brisley, McCann, Kearns.

Booked: Tomlin.

Goals: Gayle 37, 52.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Halliday, Parnaby, Woodgate, Bikey,
Leadbitter, Haroun (Smallwood 69), McEachran (Thomson 78), Ledesma, Emnes (Miller 73), McDonald. Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Bailey, Hines, Jutkiewicz.

Goals: Haroun 9,20,Miller 76.

Att: 6,612

Ref: Carl Berry (Surrey).

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His first goal came after nine minutes when he provided a cool finish to a blistering counter-attack which left Posh stunned.

Any home supporters privy to the knowledge Peterborough had not taken a single point after going behind would not have been surprised to see Haroun head home the second shortly afterwards.

However, Peterborough staged an unlikely comeback when on-loan striker Dwight Gayle struck either side of half-time to turn the game on its head.

Both sides pushed hard for a winner but Miller's speculative effort surprised Posh stopper Robert Olejnik to extend Darren Ferguson's side's winless run to eight games.

Peterborough could scarcely have imagined how their first spell of sustained pressure would end as Middlesbrough executed a devastating counter-attack to break the deadlock.

Scott McDonald dispatched a diagonal ball right into Haroun's path and the Belgian midfielder strode forward with purpose before slotting past Olejnik.

Their wait for that second goal did not last long as Haroun made it 2-0 inside 20 minutes.

Stuart Parnaby delivered from the right and Haroun proved he was the hungriest man inside the box by running across his marker to meet the cross and nod home.

Tommy Rowe snatched at a chance as Peterborough looked to get themselves back in the contest, but Boro were looking comfortable until Gayle's thumping finish seven minutes prior to the break.

The striker, who grabbed the first goal of his loan spell from Dagenham last week against Blackpool, feigned one way then shuffled the ball on to his right foot before rifling into the top corner.

Gayle's moment of magic rocked Tony Mowbray's men and Peterborough almost reached half-time all square but George Thorne's sweetly-struck strike fell narrowly wide.

The London Road faithful were taking a shine to Gayle's work ethic and he endeared himself to them even more with the leveller seven minutes into the second period.

The 22-year-old won the corner himself, drawing Jason Steele into a smart stop from a tight angle, before he prodded home Lee Tomlin's set-piece delivery.

Gayle was inspiring those around him too and a break similar to the one which led to Boro's opener almost nudged the hosts in front for the first time.

Tomlin released the overlapping Rowe and his drilled effort just missed the target.
Gayle just missed out on an inviting cross in his quest for a hat-trick but it was the visitors who were to provide the killer blow 14 minutes from time.

Miller, who had been on the pitch for only three minutes, tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area and Olejnik was beaten by a shot which lacked any great deal of power or pace.

Birmingham 3 Middlesbrough 2 – match report

Birmingham 3 Middlesbrough 2: King doubles up to seal comeback and end winless run

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UPDATED:

22:11 GMT, 30 November 2012

Birmingham twice fought back against high-flying Middlesbrough before Marlon King's well-taken finish claimed only a second home win in seven attempts at St Andrew's.

Boro captain Grant Leadbitter headed his first npower Championship goal of the season to put the visitors ahead before King, who had earlier hit the outside of a post, picked himself up to draw level from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time, an equaliser City scarcely deserved.

Scott McDonald capitalised on some shambolic defending from Pablo Ibanez to nudge Boro back in front just after the hour mark but, again, the home side drew level courtesy of substitute Wade Elliott's lob, which really should have been kept out by Jason Steele.

At the double: Marlon King scored a penalty and a super second

At the double: Marlon King scored a penalty and a super second

Match facts

Birmingham: Butland, Caddis, Ibanez, Davies, Robinson, Morrison (Elliott 46), Mullins, Spector, Hall (Burke 69), King, Zigic (Lovenkrands 75).

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Caldwell, Redmond, Diop.

Booked: Robinson.

Goals: King 45 pen, Elliott 66, King 81.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Hines, Bikey, Halliday, Ledesma (Smallwood 67), McEachran (Zemmama 83), Bailey, Leadbitter, Jutkiewicz (Miller 67), McDonald.

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Thomson, Emnes, Parnaby.

Booked: Halliday.

Goals: Leadbitter 14, McDonald 62.

Att: 15,322

Ref: Roger East (Wiltshire).

But there was nothing fortunate about King's matchwinning second, a sublime low finish across Steele in the 81st minute to claim three much-needed points for Lee Clark's side, ending a four-match winless run.

Lowly Birmingham's joy came on a night in which frustrated home fans had earlier unfurled a banner which read 'Clark out, Carson out', referring to Hong Kong-based owner Carson Yeung and the club's ongoing takeover talk.

Middlesbrough went into the clash knowing victory would take them joint top of the Championship and they will have felt hard done by as they slipped to a third defeat in four games.

Boro certainly went into the clash as the more impressive side this season but history was not on their side having won just one of their previous 15 visits to St Andrew's.

Blues were first to threaten courtesy of towering Serbian striker Nikola Zigic but his header from the free-kick of loanee Rob Hall, making his full debut, went narrowly wide.

The visitors' attractive passing style was certainly easy on the eye and it was they who broke the deadlock after 14 minutes.

The ball was recycled to Andy Halliday out on the left and, with unorthodox Blues right midfielder Jonathan Spector out of position, Leadbitter, back from suspension, nodded home from six yards.

Lukas Jutkiewicz should have made it 2-0 after 21 minutes but his header from Justin Hoyte's cross flew off target.

Tucked away: King puts away the spot kick

Tucked away: King puts away the spot kick

Birmingham came within inches of a leveller soon after when Steele's fingertips nudged King's low effort on to the outside of a post following a flowing counter.

Boro were playing the ball around well, with Leadbitter and Nicky Bailey pulling the strings, but Birmingham were certainly struggling to find any kind of rhythm.

Jack Butland twice saved from Emmanuel Ledesma before, out of nowhere and with half-time approaching, the hosts drew level.

King turned Andre Bikey, who tripped the striker in the penalty area, and King himself stepped up to convert.

On his way: Middlesbrough's Scott McDonald breaks through the Birmingham defence and goes on to score, celebrating below

On his way: Middlesbrough's Scott McDonald breaks through the Birmingham defence and goes on to score, celebrating below

Scott McDonald celebrates

England prodigy Butland twice came to Birmingham's rescue at the start of the second half, saving close range from Josh McEachran's cross and then clawing away McDonald's attempted lob.

But McDonald was to beat Butland just after the hour mark, capitalising on defensive hesitancy from Ibanez before firing home in a goalmouth scramble.

Boro keeper Steele saved well from Spector but was soon at fault for Birmingham's equaliser as he failed to keep out Elliott's 25-yard lob.

And it was left for King to have the final say, finishing superbly after Boro had given the ball away to sub Peter Lovenkrands in the middle of the park.

Middlesbrough 3 Sheff Wed 1: Buoyant Boro go top of the Championship

Middlesbrough 3 Sheff Wed 1: Buoyant Boro go top of the Championship

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UPDATED:

01:30 GMT, 10 November 2012

Middlesbrough went top of the
Championship for the first time in 14 months in front of the Riverside’s
biggest crowd since they were relegated from the Premier League three
seasons ago.

A rare gem from Justin Hoyte, a
tap-in from Ishmael Miller and a thumping header from substitute Lukas
Jutkiewicz secured three points in front of 28,229.

Stunner: Justin Hoyte (L) scores the first goal for Middlesbrough

Stunner: Justin Hoyte (L) scores the first goal for Middlesbrough

Match facts

Middlesbrough: Steele, Friend, Bikey, Woodgate (Hines 46), Hoyte, Emnes (Haroun 73), McEachran, Leadbitter, Ledesma, Miller (Jutkiewicz 66), McDonald. Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Zemmama, Bailey, Parnaby.

Goals: Hoyte 13,Miller 60, Jutkiewicz 76.

Sheff Wed: Kirkland, Buxton, Llera, Gardner, Jones, Bothroyd (Jermaine Johnson 73), Barkley (McCabe 83), Semedo, Corry (O'Grady 82), Antonio, Madine. Subs Not Used: Davies, Taylor, Rodri, Mattock.

Goals: Madine 48.

Att: 28,229

Ref: Carl Boyeson (E Yorkshire).

Although Sheffield Wednesday striker Gary Madine threatened to spoil the party, Boro were not to be denied.

Boro boss Tony Mowbray said: ‘It was great to have such a big crowd. We have had woeful crowds this season. That is what I know the Riverside can be like.

‘We picked a team to score goals. We have to maintain it for another 30-odd games.’

Boro made a nervy start in front of their largest home crowd since May 2009. Hoyte blocked a drive from Miguel Llera, Jonathan Woodgate blocked Michail Antonio’s shot following George Friend’s misplaced pass and Jay Bothroyd mis-hit a drive.

But Hoyte’s first goal in three years — the fourth of his career — into a top corner from Emmanuel Ledesma’s through ball lifted Boro fans who had taken advantage of half-price tickets.

On-loan Chelsea midfielder Josh McEachran, 19, produced an outstanding piece of skill when he picked up the ball midway inside the Wednesday half, beat four men and weaved into the area but was denied by Chris Kirkland’s save at his feet.

Woodgate was forced off at half-time with a calf injury and Wednesday took advantage, although Madine was offside before touching Antonio’s lay-off home.

Hand off: Lewis Buxton (left) and Ishmael Miller of Middlesbrough

Hand off: Lewis Buxton (left) and Ishmael Miller of Middlesbrough

Mowbray was planning to bring on Jutkiewicz for McDonald or Miller when they combined for the decisive second.

Aussie striker McDonald rightly felt his strike partner had stolen his glory and was still moaning after the game.

Mowbray said: ‘Scott lives for goals and his opinion was it was going in and Ishmael disagreed. I’m not bothered as long as we score.’

When Jutkiewicz did appear, he took 10 minutes to score his fifth goal in seven games, heading home Grant Leadbitter’s near-post corner.

Sunderland 0 Middlesbrough 1 – match report: Scott McDonald stuns Black Cats

Sunderland 0 Middlesbrough 1: McDonald stuns Black Cats and grabs Teeside glory

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UPDATED:

21:42 GMT, 30 October 2012

Martin O'Neill's halo is in danger of slipping after his side crashed out of the Capital One Cup in an embarrassing defeat to near-neighbours Middlesbrough.

The Championship side were thoroughly good value for their victory and a place in the quarter-finals, less than a year after they nearly pulled off an FA Cup triumph at the Stadium of Light.

Former Celtic striker Scott McDonald, who once denied O'Neill the Scottish title as a Motherwell player, scored the dramatic winner in the first half as the visitors totally outplayed their shot-shy hosts.

More to follow.

Aussie rules: Middlesbrough striker Scott McDonald (centre) celebrates scoring with Emmanuel Ledesma (left)

Aussie rules: Middlesbrough striker Scott McDonald (centre) celebrates scoring with Emmanuel Ledesma (left)

Back of the net: McDonald (centre, part obscured) flicks Middlesbrough into the lead at the Stadium of Light

Back of the net: McDonald (centre, part obscured) flicks Middlesbrough into the lead at the Stadium of Light

Close contest: McDonald (left) and Sunderland striker Stephane Sessegnon battle for the ball

Close contest: McDonald (left) and Sunderland striker Stephane Sessegnon battle for the ball

Committed: Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter (right) tries to stop Sunderland's Lee Cattermole

Committed: Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter (right) tries to stop Sunderland's Lee Cattermole

Match facts

Sunderland: Westwood, Bardsley, O'Shea, Cuellar, Colback, Johnson (Campbell 82), Cattermole, Vaughan, Sessegnon, Fletcher, Saha (McClean 69).

Subs not used: Mignolet, Wickham, McFadden, Kilgallon, Meyler.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Hines (Parnaby 65), Bikey, Friend, Ledesma (Reach 79), Leadbitter, Bailey, Haroun, Miller, McDonald.

Subs not used: Leutwiler, Zemmama, Halliday, Park, Smallwood.

Goal: McDonald 39

Booked: McDonald

Referee: Phil Dowd.

Attendance: 32,535

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Pressure mounting: Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill endured a difficult night for his side

Pressure mounting: Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill endured a difficult night for his side

Tricky: Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher, (right) attempts to get past Middlesbrough's Nicky Bailey

Tricky: Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher, (right) attempts to get past Middlesbrough's Nicky Bailey

Watford 1 Middlesbrough 2 – match report

Watford 1 Boro 1: Sub McDonald punishes Hornets after Vydra sees red

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UPDATED:

16:41 GMT, 6 October 2012

Scott McDonald came off the bench to score the winner as Middlesbrough defeated 10-man Watford in the npower Championship clash at Vicarage Road.

The Australian, who held clear-the-air talks with manager Tony Mowbray earlier this week after not figuring all season in the senior set-up, struck with 13 minutes remaining to give Boro their first triumph in three matches.

The Hornets made a fantastic start as Troy Deeney notched his second goal in three matches in the first minute after a horrendous defensive error from Andre Bikey.

Aussie rules: Scott McDonald came off the bench to score the winner for Boro

Aussie rules: Scott McDonald came off the bench to score the winner for Boro

MATCH FACTS

Watford: Almunia, Pudil, Neuton (Murray 81), Hall, Cassetti, Hogg, Abdi (Yeates 68), Hoban, Chalobah, Deeney (Geijo 57), Vydra. Subs Not Used: Bond, Doyley, Smith, Ekstrand.

Sent Off: Vydra (43).

Goals: Deeney 1.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte (McDonald 39), Bikey, McManus, Friend, Leadbitter, Bailey, McEachran, Haroun (Ledesma 65), Emnes, Jutkiewicz (Luke Williams 76). Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Hines, Halliday, Smallwood.

Booked: McEachran, Ledesma.

Goals: Emnes 30,McDonald 77.

Attendance: 12,006

Referee: Steven Rushton (Staffordshire)

Click here for the latest npower Championship results, fixtures and table

Matej Vydra – returning in place of
the suspended Fernando Forestieri – had a shot blocked and then hit the
bar, but Watford failed to make their dominance count as fit-again
Marvin Emnes levelled after 30 minutes with his third goal of the
campaign.

Two minutes before half-time,
Gianfranco Zola saw his side controversially reduced to 10 men for the
second successive match as Vydra was surprisingly given his marching
orders by referee Steven Rushton for an apparent stamp on Nicky Bailey.

And Boro made their numerical
advantage count deep into the second half when McDonald, a 39th-minute
substitute for the injured Justin Hoyte, converted from 12 yards to end
Watford's two-match winning streak.

The hosts wasted little time in
breaking the deadlock as Vydra, who has four goals to his name this
season, intercepted a short backpass from Bikey and after his shot was
parried out by Jason Steele, Deeney converted from close range.

Vydra was proving to be handful in the opening exchanges as Bikey had to block the striker's effort from 20 yards.

Daniel Pudil tested Steele from 20
yards before Vydra lashed a shot from a tight angle which clipped the
crossbar as the Hornets continued to dominate.

However, Watford failed to build on their impressive start as Boro equalised thanks to the returning Emnes.

Manuel Almunia tipped George Friend's
effort round the post and, from Grant Leadbitter's resulting corner,
Emnes turned and found the net from six yards.

With their next attack, Josh
McEachran brought the best out of former Arsenal goalkeeper Almunia, who
superbly kept out the on-loan Chelsea midfielder's 25-yard shot.

The Hornets were rocked after 43
minutes as the lively Vydra was shown a red card for a clash with
Bailey, which looked to have no malice in it.

The home side came out after the
break fired up and Steele had to push away a 25-yard free-kick from
Almen Abdi, who then delivered a ball into the box and Deeney headed
over from close range.

Bikey almost headed Boro ahead, only
to miss the target from six yards, while Almunia had to be at his best
to deny Leadbitter from 25 yards.

Boro finally went in front after 77 minutes when McDonald struck from 12 yards and the visitors held on for the three points.

Middlesbrough 2 Derby 2: Match report

Middlesbrough 2 Derby 2: Coutts leaves it late to grab Rams a point after Jutkiewicz brace

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UPDATED:

20:47 GMT, 3 October 2012

Paul Coutts rescued a point for Derby late on after Lukas Jutkiewicz's brace looked to have earned Boro all three points.

Coutts struck three minutes from time after Jutkiewicz had netted twice for Tony Mowbray's men.

Theo Robinson gave Derby an early lead in the first half from the penalty spot but their advantage lasted just three minutes as Jutkiewicz grabbed his first of the night.

More to follow…

Double trouble: Middlesbrough's Lukas Jutkiewicz scored both his sides goals

Double trouble: Middlesbrough's Lukas Jutkiewicz scored both his sides goals

Match facts

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte,Hines, Bikey, Friend, Leadbitter, McEachran (Ledesma 65), Thomson (Zemmama 65), Bailey, Luke Williams, Jutkiewicz, Zemmama (Haroun 83).

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, McManus, Parnaby, Smallwood.

Booked: Leadbitter.

Goals: Jutkiewicz 19, 81.

Derby: Fielding, Brayford, Keogh, Buxton, Roberts (O'Connor 88), Coutts, Hendrick (Jacobs 83), Bryson, Hughes, Tyson (Sammon 58), Robinson.

Subs Not Used: Legzdins, Bennett, Gjokaj, Freeman.

Booked: Brayford.

Goals: Robinson 16 pen, Coutts 87.

Attendance: 13,377

Referee: Michael Naylor

Latest Championship results, fixtures and table

Blackburn 1 Middlesbrough 2: Lukasa Jutkiewicz turns screw on Steve Kean

Blackburn 1 Middlesbrough 2: Jutkiewicz turns screw as Kean fails to hit points total

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UPDATED:

20:59 GMT, 21 September 2012

Steve Kean will spend a nervous weekend sweating on his future after a Lukas Jutkiewicz double condemned his Blackburn side to a surprise defeat.

The Rovers manager was set a tough target of 16 points from the opening seven games by the club’s Indian owners Venky's and has come up two short.

The fact Blackburn have produced a table-topping total of 14 will go in his favour, but director Shebby Singh was brought in during the summer with a mandate to shake things up at the relegated club and he is not expected to extend the kind of sympathetic hearing Kean enjoyed last season.

Missed the target: Steve Kean was told he had to earn 16 points from Blackburn's first 7 games - they only got 14

Missed the target: Steve Kean was told he had to earn 16 points from Blackburn's first 7 games – they only got 14

Game over: Lukas Jutkiewicz scores the second goal

Game over: Lukas Jutkiewicz scores the second goal

Match facts

Blackburn: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Givet, Martin Olsson (Grant Hanley 48), Ribeiro (Formica 46), Murphy, Etuhu, Nunes, Nuno Gomes, Rhodes.

Subs Not Used: Kean, Lowe, Dunn, Pedersen, Rochina.

Booked: Martin Olsson, Givet, Orr.

Goals: Grant Hanley 89.
Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte,
Woodgate (Hines 84), Bikey, Friend, Thomson, Carayol (Zemmama 88),
Leadbitter (Bailey 88), McEachran, Emnes, Jutkiewicz.

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Ledesma, Arca, Luke Williams.

Booked: Steele.

Goals: Jutkiewicz 7, 61.

Att: 13,405

Ref: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire).

Blackburn came into the game boasting their best start to a season in 18 years having gone six games unbeaten.

The last time they kicked off a
campaign so successfully they finished as Premier League champions.
Those days are long gone. Kean did have high expectations of hitting his
points target, a optimism founded partly on the fact that he possesses a
dyanmic strike force of Jordan Rhodes and Nuno Gomes.

The Portuguese was recalled here to
take on a Middlesbrough defence that shipped four goals in losing at
Blackpool on Tuesday — a third away defeat for Tony Mowbray’s men.

But Middlesbrough turned up in the
form that has seen win all four of their home games this term and were
ahead in the seventh minute.

Justin Hoyte made sure he got distance
on his clearance from inside the Boro area and 1.3m signing Jutkiewicz
rose above Gael Givet to win the ball.

He cleverly found Marvin Emnes with
his flick on and by the time the Dutchman returned a pass, Jutkiewicz
was away from the leaden-footed Givet and slotting past Paul Robinson.

Punishment: Jutkiewicz (right) celebrates his first goal

Spin: Grant Leadbitter turns away from Danny Murphy

Punishment: Jutkiewicz (right) celebrates his first goal while Spin: Grant Leadbitter dodges Danny Murphy

Minutes later keeper Robinson
misjudged Grant Leadbitter’s inswinging free-kick and was relieved to
see it fly past his post as the visitors took control.

The players left to a round of boos at
the break and things didn’t get much better in the second half. Within
seconds of the restart Mustapha Carayol’s cross was cleared off the
line but there was no denying Jutkiewicz on the hour mark.

The lively
Carayol cut in from the left and delivered the ball to the far post
where Jutkiewicz sent a header into the top corner. Grant Hanley sparked
hopes of a comeback when he headed in from six yards with two minutes
left but Blackburn failed to find an equaliser in the closing stages.

Thriller: The few fans who did show up got to see an entertaining game

Thriller: The few fans who did show up got to see an entertaining game

Blackpool 4 Middlesbrough 1

Blackpool 4 Middlesbrough 1: On-loan Villa striker Delfouneso at the double on debut

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

21:22 GMT, 18 September 2012

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UPDATED:

21:43 GMT, 18 September 2012

Brace yourself: Delfouneso scored two goals

Brace yourself: Delfouneso scored two goals

Nathan Delfouneso enjoyed a full debut to remember as Blackpool stormed past Middlesbrough.

The on-loan Aston Villa striker netted twice in the first-half before laying on in-form winger Tom Ince to coolly finish 10 minutes after the interval.

By that point Andre Bikey had headed home to hand Boro a lifeline, but Tony Mowbray's side were second best for long periods as they fell to a third consecutive away loss.

Blackpool substitute Elliot Grandin was brought down by Bikey and rounded off the scoring from the penalty spot, despite Delfouneso being on the pitch to claim a hat-trick denied to him by the linesman's flag moments earlier.

MATCH FACTS

Blackpool: Gilks, Eardley, Cathcart, Osbourne, Crainey, Ince (Matt Phillips 71), Ferguson, Baptiste, Gomes (Grandin 70),
Taylor-Fletcher (Dicko 70), Delfouneso.
Subs Not Used: Halstead, Robertson, Evatt, Kevin Phillips.
Goals: Delfouneso 10, 36, Ince 56, Grandin 86 pen.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Friend, Woodgate, Amougou, Leadbitter,
Thomson, McEachran, Carayol (Zemmama 72), Emnes (Jutkiewicz 59), Miller (Ledesma 77).
Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Hines, Arca, Smallwood.
Booked: Leadbitter, Thomson, Amougou.
Goals: Amougou 45.
Att: 12,746
Ref: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire).

Returning to winning ways after a draw and a loss, Blackpool remain second in the table – four points and six places above Boro.

Ian Holloway rang the changes in his well-stocked, fully-fit squad, recalling captain Barry Ferguson as one of six changes.

Mustapha Carayol made a first league start for Middlesbrough, coming in alongside fellow forward Marvin Emnes as Adam Reach and Luke Williams made way.

The home side started on the front foot with Gary Taylor-Fletcher driving speculatively wide before Ince stung the palms of Jason Steele.

It was not long until Delfouneso sprung the Boro defence to collect Taylor-Fletcher's pass and slide beyond the Middlesbrough goalkeeper.

Grant Leadbitter gave Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilks his first work of the evening in the 12th minute, but opposite number Steele was far busier as he did well to thwart Taylor-Fletcher and Delfouneso.

Blackpool continued to pepper Steele's goal as recalled duo Stephen Crainey and Thiago Gomes joined the list of players to test him, but in the 34th minute Boro striker Ishmael Miller wastefully thrashed into the side netting when he had time and space to bag a scarcely merited equaliser.

Two minutes later Delfouneso side side-footed in from Ince's to give the scoreline a more deserving slant.

The 21-year-old passed up a glorious chance for a first-half hat-trick, blazing over after Ferguson and Taylor-Fletcher combined, before a flurry of pressure brought Middlesbrough back into the game as the interval approached.

Josh McEachran's corner was met by Bikey and struck the bar via a clip off defensive colleague George Friend.

Blackpool failed to completely clear their lines and, when Leadbitter put the ball back into the box, Bikey made no mistake.

Mowbray's men resumed with similar intent, but the Seasiders restored their two-goal advantage when, played in by Delfouneso, Ince calmly rounded Steele to finish.

Boro enjoyed more of the ball in the second half but, having conceded the third on the counter attack, displayed understandable caution and were rarely able to threaten Gilks.

Delfouneso stooped to head home Grandin's cross-come-shot, only for the celebrations to be cut short by the linesman's flag, before the latter added gloss to the scoreline four minutes from time.

Andre Bikey signs Middlesbrough deal

Cameroon international Bikey signs one-year deal at Boro

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 11 September 2012

Middlesbrough have signed former Reading defender Andre Bikey, 27, on a free transfer.

The 27-year-old Cameroon international has penned a one-year deal with the option of a second year after a successful stint training with Tony Mowbray's squad.

Mowbray has added the former Burnley centre-half as cover for captain Rhys Williams who is out for several months with a knee injury.

On the move: Bikey has signed a one-year deal with Middlesbrough

On the move: Bikey has signed a one-year deal with Middlesbrough