Ben Gibson celebrates his first Boro goal - Photo by North News

The Boro line-up showed two changes from the side defeated at QPR.

Rhys Williams returned to captain the side in place of injured Jonathan Woodgate, while Muzzy Carayol came in for Jozsef Varga, who dropped to the bench.

Mark Robins also made two changes as Oliver Norwood and Jon Stead were among the subs, replaced in the side that drew 1-1 at home with Blackpool on Friday night by Sean Scannell and Oscar Gobern.

A fast start from Huddersfield had them passing the ball quickly. They fizzed and buzzed and probed for an early breakthrough but Boro covered well.

It was a nervous opening and although retention of the ball wasn't a problem, creating a chance was more troublesome. That could equally be said of the visitors and James Vaughan showed his frustration at two overhit long balls.

Consequently neither Jason Steele nor Alex Smithies were overworked, until Muzzy Carayol thumped one goalward from the D and the Huddersfield goalkeeper was called into action.

Boro seemed to grow, gradually, from that and were handed a chance when a backpass was picked up and in indirect free-kick was played short to Grant Leadbitter, whose shot was blocked.

Shortly after one-time Boro loanee Adam Hammill hit the bar with a cross, Boro broke. A low, angled shot from Carayol brought a fine save from Smithies away to his left.

Kei Kamara's follow up attempt was turned round for a corner, from which the same player brought another save, this time from a header.

If not gushing, confidence was at least seeping back in and Boro were certainly the dominant force.

A delicate chip from Frazer Richardson had Smithies back-peddling to tip over, then a low shot from the once again overlapping full-back was thumped away by Terriers' skipper Peter Clarke at the expense of a corner.

Half-time: Middlesbrough 0 Huddersfield Town 0

It was a positive start to the second half from Boro and Leadbitter brought a save from Smithies with a low drive from 20 yards.

Either side of two corners won by his side as they looked to impose themselves on the game, Robins replaced Scannell with Danny Ward with only seven minutes of the second half played.

With their first shot on target Huddersfield took the lead. Steele misjudged a deep cross from the right, not realising what was behind him. Ward took advantage but smacked a shot hard off the goalkeeper's right-hand post.

The ball came back in to play, Gobern shot, the ball hit James Vaughan and flew in for his 11th of the season.

With just over an hour played two Boro fans unfurled a flag in tribute to lifelong Boro fan Frankie "Bam Bam" Bointon, who passed away recently. There was loud applause and cheering from the Boro fans as the flag made its way round the ground and a touching standing ovation from the Huddersfield fans as the flag passed in front of them.

As the game continued Boro did their best to hit back and Kamara wasn't far off target.

Two substitutions brought a change in formation as Carayol and Butterfield made way for Lukas Jutkiewicz and Andy Halliday and Boro went 4-4-2.

With 78 minutes played Boro drew level. Before the game Ben Gibson said it would be a dream come true to make his home league debut. Tonight he capped a performance he could be proud of with an excellent header from a right-wing Leadbitter corner to score his first goal for Boro.

Boro went for the winner and Williams rounded off a move he started on the halfway line when cracking a shot from inside the penalty area which flew back off the bar.

Entering the final minute of normal time Adam Clayton took a darting run at the Boro defence but met stubborn resistance on the edge of the box.

A stray pass from George Friend deep into injury-time gave Town a corner which thankfully amounted to nothing.

The final attack of the game ended when Leadbitter saw a low shot on target but deflected out of harm's way.

Huddersfield took their time in the closing minutes, seemingly happy to hold out for a point.

At the end of the game Tony Mowbray, so angry with his players at Loftus Road, made a point of shaking the hand of them all as they left the pitch. His side tonight, lacking in confidence to start, had managed 20 shots.

Scorers: Vaughan, 58; Gibson, 78.

Middlesbrough: Steele; Richardson (Hoyte 77), Gibson, R Williams (Capt), Friend, Adomah, Leadbitter, Whitehead, Butterfield (Halliday 72), Carayol (Jutkiewicz 62), Kamara. Subs: Leutwiler (gk); Parnaby, Smallwood, Varga.

Huddersfield: Smithies; Clarke, Lynch, Gerrard, Gobern, Hogg, Clayton, Hammill (Woods 80), Richards, Vaughan (Stead 90), Scannell (Ward 52). Subs: Bennett (gk); Norwood, Holmes, Paterson.

Referee: Jeremy Simpson


Huddersfield: Clarke, 74, shirt pulling; Hogg, 81, foul.

Attendance: 12,793 (599 Huddersfield)

Conditions Cool and dry with a gentle breeze.

Website Boro Man of the Match Ben Gibson

Possession: Middlesbrough 52% Huddersfield Town 48%




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