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Match Report: Derby 0-1 Middlesbrough (Boro Fan's Perspective)

Sunday 15th April 2012
Boro snatched their first victory in five weeks as teenage star Curtis Main hit a spectacular 80th minute winner to keep their play-off hopes alive.

Tony Mowbray made two changes from the side that lost at Hull on Monday; with Faris Haroun and Lukas Jutkiewicz returning to the starting eleven in place of Julio Arca and Richard Smallwood.

The home side made one change from the side that won at Leeds on Easter Monday with Steven Davies replacing Nathan Tyson, who dropped to the bench.

The Teessiders have been slow starters this season with the majority of their goals coming in the second half, however that nearly changed after a couple of minutes at Pride Park.

Lukas Jutkiewicz almost made an instant impact following his recall to the starting line up, but his powerful volley was saved by an alert Frank Fielding.

The former Coventry man went even closer minutes later after he showed some neat footwork in the Derby box to go round keeper Fielding, but his right-footed effort was cleared off the line by Derby captain Shackell.

Boro defender Tony McMahon then went close soon after, but his curling free-kick rattled the bar and Barry Robson could only head the rebound over.

The hosts then showed they were perfectly capable going forward too as Theo Robinson forced a sprawling save from Jason Steele and Paul Green forced another stop from the England U21 keeper with a powerful effort from distance.

Boro then got themselves back in the ascendancy and Aussie striker Scot McDonald dragged his shot narrowly wide and Faris Haroun stabbed just wide from six yards.

The menacing Jutkiewicz then headed just wide of Fielding's near post from a Robson corner as the visitors continued to be wasteful infront of goal.

It was Derby however who came close just before the interval with Robinson and Green shooting just wide to bring a surprisingly goalless first half to an end.

The visitors started the second half as they had left off – on the front foot.

Jukiewicz forced an excellent sprawling save from Fielding and Haroun could only fluff the follow-up.

Barry Robson then tried his luck from distance but failed to find the net as the frantic pace of the game started to slow.

McDonald then hit a rasping drive from the right that went narrowly wide and the hosts went close when Hendrick forced a smart save from Steele as both sides went in search of a winner.

Tony Mowbray then withdrew Lukas Jutkiewicz for Main in an attempt to get a decisive first goal and the change had an immediate effect.

Barry Robson played a defence splitting ball to release Main on the left and as the Derby defenders approached the South-Shields born striker he unleashed an unstoppable drive in to the bottom corner to send the visiting fans in to raptures.

Derby applied some pressure of their own as the game came to a close and very nearly rescued a point, but Jason Steele somehow managed to save Paul Green's six yard effort and the Teessiders took all three points back to the north-east.

The win moves Boro up to seventh place two points behind Cardiff and Blackpool in the play-off places.
Matthew Nixon

Total articles: 28

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