Report: Middlesbrough 2 Bolton Wanderers 0

The Whites were defeated against Middlesbrough 1-0 on Wednesday evening, with George Saville's goal being the difference maker at Riverside Stadium.

Team News

Three changes for Phil Parkinson’s side from Saturday against Queens Park Rangers.

Sammy Ameobi and Christian Doidge were replaced by Josh Vela and Josh Magennis, with Jack Hobbs replacing Craig Noone.  

First Half

Twenty minutes into the game and Boro had shouts for a penalty, with a Jonny Howson through ball finding Jordan Hugill.

The local lad went down in the area, but referee David Coote waved protests from the home side.

George Friend got the better of Joe Williams down the left shortly after that, but his cross was blocked well by skipper David Wheater.

Boro’s Howson went for goal himself on the 25 minute mark, with a driven effort from distance never troubling Ben Alnwick.

Jack Hobbs was forced off just after the half hour mark with a head injury, replaced by Marc Wilson at the back.

Boro took the lead soon after, as a Gary O’Neil pass deflected off Mark Beevers into the path of George Saville, who curled the ball into the back of the Wanderers’ net.

Ryan Shotton nearly doubled the deficit for the Whites minutes later, but his narrow effort was saved well by Alnwick at his near post.

Tony Pulis’ side were banging down the Wanderers’ door with five minutes to go in the first half, with a Martin Braithwaite strike flying inches over the crossbar.

Second Half

As the second phase began, Boro picked up from where they left off as an Adam Clayton half volley went narrowly wide of the mark three minutes into the restart.

Former Boro left back Jonathan Grounds nearly had Wanderers back into the game, when a Pawel Olkowski darting run on the opposing flank caused the ball to fall to Grounds.

From the edge of the area, the full-back’s curved shot was just off target.

Just under an hour gone Olkowski was causing problems down the right hand side for Bolton, producing a floated cross into the area for Josh Magennis to an overhead kick on goal.

However, the Northern Irishman’s acrobatics came to no avail.

The home side had the ball in the back of the net on the hour, with George Friend darting the ball across goal, hitting the post with Aden Flint following up to tap it in.

But, Flint was adjudged to be offside and the goal was ruled out.

Bolton put together a lovely flowing move down the left flank with twenty minutes to go, as Willliams and Grounds linking up, to provide a cross-field pass to Magennis, whose shot was blocked by George Saville.

Ten minutes left on the clock and second half substitute Britt Assombalonga nearly made it two, as the ball fell to him from eight yards, before a David Wheater last ditch block stopped the striker from scoring.

From the resulting corner, Aden Flint rose highest of them all, powering down a header which just missed the far post.

As the match headed into added time, Wanderers had the lion share of the possession in that period, but were caught on the break as Britt Assombalonga was allowed to be through one-on-one with Ben Alnwick.

The striker made no mistake, as he calmly placed the ball low to the right to seal all three points for Middlesbrough.

Full time                           

Wanderers XI: Alnwick, Lowe, Beevers, Vela (Oztumer 65), Hobbs (Wilson 32), Olkowski, O’Neil, Williams, Magennis, Grounds (Wildschut 78), Wheater (C)

Unused substitutes: Williams, Little, Donaldson, Noone

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