Middlesbrough 2 Derby County 0: Two late goals keep ‘clean’ Boro top

Middlesbrough's Albert Adomah celebrates after scoring his side's first goal in the 2-0 win over Derby
Middlesbrough's Albert Adomah celebrates after scoring his side's first goal in the 2-0 win over Derby
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Two goals in the last seven minutes kept Middlesbrough top of the Championship after beating second-placed Derby County.

Albert Adomah put Boro ahead in the 83rd minute with George Friend sealing it inside two minutes.

With Derby failing to beat Dimi Konstantopoulos, it was a record eighth consecutive clean sheet for Aitor Karanka’s team who have now gone 727 minutes withoiut conceding a league goal.

Boro had the better of the first half, or certainly the majority of it.

They had the best chance in the 16th minute when Stewart Downing and George Friend combined superbly to set up Kike.

The Spaniard had time to pick his spot but the striker was thwarted by Lee Grant who dived full length to his left to save.

Derby had their first threat within seconds when they stormed straight to the home end but Tom Ince’s attempt looped up and was caught comfortably by Konstantopoulos.

Emilio Nsue had an opportunity in the 21st minute at the North End when he got on the end of an Albert Adomah cross from the left, but the right-back headed wide.

The Rams had been second best but in Johnny Russell they had a livewire out wide. He left Nsue for dead just after the half-hour but Konstantopoulos saved with his big left foot.

Derby finished the half on top and could, and should, have gone ahead in the 43rd minute but Russell could not finish from close range.

Play opened up in the second half more but despite both sides enjoying plenty of possession, neither keeper was tested.

Boro boss Aitor Karanka brought on David Nugent on the hour and the ex-Leicester man was involved in a good 75th-minute move started by Adam Clayton.

Nugent squared for Downing, whose curling shot went just wide of Grant’s right stick.

But Boro came up with a one-two to fell County.

ADOMAH’S exquisite finish seven minutes from time beat Grant after being played in by skipper Grant Leadbitter.

And Boro had their second within two minutes after another fine move, Nugent squaring to FRIEND who had marauded into the area and side-footed into the empty net.

Full-time

MIDDLESBROUGH 2

DERBY COUNTY 0

Boro: Konstantopoulos, Nsue, Gibson, Ayala, Friend, Stuani, Clayton, Leadbitter, Adomah, Downing, Kike (Nugent 59)

Unsed subs: Meijas, Amorebieta, Kalas, Fabbrini, Forshaw, Zuculini

Grant, Christie, Keogh, Shackell, Warnock, Thorne (Hendrick 23), Johnson, Butterfield (Weimann 76), Russell, Martin, Ince

Unused subs: Mitchell, Baird, Hendrick, Pearce, Shotton, Bent

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Att: 32,870 (3,008 Derby)