HARTLEPOOL-born pair Matty Dolan and Ryan Brobbel enjoyed their senior debuts as Middlesbrough ran out 2-0 winners at Morecambe.
The 20-year-old duo are both hoping to make the breakthrough into Tony Mowbray’s first-team squad this season and were second-half introductions at the Globe Arena.
Dolan and Brobbel could now be involved against their hometown team at Victoria Park on Saturday.
Boro began brightly last night and Muzzy Carayol saw a dangerous centre turned to safety by defender Alex Kenyon.
But the opener was a moment of true quality from Marvin Emnes.
The Dutch striker collected possession inside the penalty area before leaving two defenders in his wake and rounding goalkeeper Andreas Arestidou for an easy tap-in.
The Shrimpers did press for a leveller after the break but failed to take advantage of a free-kick in a good position.
Boro broke to set up a chance as Joszef Varga fed Lukas Jutkiewicz, who brought a smart save from Arestidou with a low shot away to the goalkeeper’s right.
Stuart Parnaby then played a long ball which picked out Jutkiewicz’s run and he set up Emnes whose shot from the edge of the area was deflected over.
Jutkiewicz should have scored when set up at the back post but fired just wide when unmarked. Boro were in control and Andy Halliday forced a flying save from Arestidou with a drive from 25 yards.
A few minutes later Emnes set up Jutkiewicz but again he failed to trouble the goalkeeper and his shot was blocked.
Dolan, Brobbel and Andre Bennett then arrived for their senior bows on 77 minutes.
And it didn’t take Brobbel long to threaten when his shot was deflected over the crossbar.
The scoring was completed one minute from time as Adam Reach’s corner was headed against the woodwork by Adam Jackson with Scott McDonald on hand to turn home the rebound.