Matchwinner Jacob Butterfield in action at Burnley - Photo by Getty Images

Burnley 0 Middlesbrough 1

The walls in the press room at Turf Moor are adorned with blown up front covers of newspapers telling stories of bygone glories. Burnley fans arrived hoping today's game would bring similar headlines.

The Boro side showed four changes from the line-up that beat Birmingham. Ben Gibson and Kenneth Omeruo were suspended after being sent-off in that game, George Friend was injured 19 minutes into it and missed this one, while Jozsef Varga dropped to the bench.

Jonathan Woodgate, Daniel Ayala, making his first start since early February, and Nate Chalobah lined up in a three-man defence. Emmanuel Ledesma and Albert Adomah were deployed as wing-backs. Dean Whitehead played in a defensive midfield role, Lee Tomlin more advanced, with Grant Leadbitter and Jacob Butterfield more central, but wide across the pitch.

Sean Dyche made just one change from the side that won at Barnsley on Tuesday, Kieran Tripper returning to replace Chris Baird. It was Trippier's first start since the middle of March, five games ago.

A minute's silence in respect of those who lost their lives in the Hillsborough tragedy 25 years ago was interrupted towards the end by a small section of Boro fans who started to applaud and sing, "Justice for the 96", a reference to the 96 fans who lost their lives. It seemed to stem from one Boro fan behaving disrespectfully and being shouted down by others. The applause and singing was designed to drown that out. Most Boro fans behaved impeccably.

Much of the early pressure was directed towards the Boro goal. For all their pressure, though, the home side didn't work Dimi Konstantopoulos that much in the opening 20 minutes but their play always seemed to carry a threat.

Shortly after Danny Ings volleyed well over when meeting a deep cross from the right, Burnley almost opened the scoring. A deep cross from the left from Ben Mee was headed over Konstantopoulos by Michael Kightly but his effort came back off the bar. Ashley Barnes followed up but headed over.

When Dean Marney cut in to the Boro penalty area danger signs were flashing brightly, but a superbly-timed sliding challenge from Adomah turned the ball behind for a corner.

Boro's best effort came when Adomah crossed from deep from out on the right and Danny Graham wasn't far off target with a shot that just cleared the bar.

That was until the 40th minute when controlled passing took Boro to the edge of the Burnley box, Tomlin laid into the path of Graham just up from the left-hand edge of the penalty area and a stinging drive brought an excellent save from Tom Heaton.

The goalkeeper was quickly back in action as Butterfield shot from 20 yards, tipping over as Boro looked to close the half strongly.

Ledesma was next to pose a threat, a curling, low shot from 25 yards whistling through the penalty area and just wide as Boro's players insisted it had taken a deflection.

Half-time: Burnley 0 Middlesbrough 0

Rain which had swept across the adjoining cricket field, forcing the players off, had never been far away in the first half. Thankfully it held off during half-time as Gary Parkinson was introduced to a standing ovation from both sets of fans. Parky took the field with David Eyre

Burnley applied pressure right from the start of the second half and almost opened the scoring with Chalobah blocking from Marney and Adomah clearing an Ings follow-up almost off the line.

The home side won a corner, but from that Boro took the lead as Whitehead launched a clearance long upfield. Tomlin read the bounce better than Michael Duff and Jason Shackell and sped away towards the edge of the Burnley penalty where Jacob Butterfield took over and curled a delightful shot past Heaton.

As the rain swept back across the pitch, once more forcing the cricketers to run for cover, Burnley continued to press and from a left-wing corner Ings headed just over.

Konstantopoulos then produced an acrobatic save to deny Barnes and Graham cleared off the line from Shackell.

Boro's goalkeeper was quickly back in action as Burnley poured forward, this time tipping away a curling 20-yard free-kick from Tripper; from the corner the referee waved away appeals for a penalty with Adomah looking to have taken a tug on a light blue sleeve.

With 72 minutes played Aitor Karanka made a change, with Varga replacing Butterfield. The shape remained the same with Varga dropping to the right of the three-man defence, Chalobah moving to midfield.

A delightful ball out of defence from Ledesma set Adomah away on the right. A teasing low cross from way out wide caused flutters in the Burnley defence which scrambled it clear.

Konstantopoulos was soon back in action, this time producing a fine tip over from a David Jones free-kick.

With 84 minutes played Jones shot from well outside the box, Konstantopoulos saved away to his right but couldn't hold on and Barnes flashed the loose ball through the six-yard box.

He was beaten by his own man a couple of minutes later as Woodgate, trying to clear, almost put the ball in his own net - it flashed across the face of goal and just wide.

Another flying save from Konstantopoulos denied Burnley once more, then Boro broke and it was Heaton in action, diving away to his left to turn away a shot from Chalobah.

Deep into injury-time Duff shot from close range at an angle and Leadbitter blocked - it typified Boro's afternoon.

There was still time for drama as Ayala was shown two yellow cards in less than two minutes, the first after reacting to what he thought was a dive, and was sent-off.

It was the first time since November 2012 Boro had won four in a row, this one took them to within six points of the play offs.

Scorer: Butterfield, 50.

Burnley: Heaton; Trippier, Duff, Shackell (Capt), Mee, Marney, Jones, Kightly (Wallace 79), Arfield (Stanislas 79), Ings, Barnes. Subs: Cisak (gk); Baird, Edgar, Long, Treacy. Order of subs on 79: 1) Wallace 2) Stanislas.

Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos; Chalobah, Woodgate (Capt), Ayala, Whitehead, Adomah, Leadbitter, Butterfield (Varga 72), Tomlin (L Williams 82), Ledesma, Graham (Main 90). Subs: Steele (gk); Atkinson, Jackson, Morris.

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Sent-off: Ayala, 90+6, second yellow card.



Boro: Whitehead, 78, foul; Ayala, 90+4, unsporting behaviour (reacting to what he thought was a dive) and 90+6, kicking the ball away.

Attendance: 16,661 (1,086 Boro)

Conditions: Cold, wet and windy

Possession: Burnley 70% Middlesbrough 30%

Website Boro Man of the Match: Dimitrios Konstantopoulos




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