Lee Tomlin celebrates his goal against Barnsley - Photo by North News

Middlesbrough 3 Barnsley 1

Boro made four changes to the side that lost at Reading. George Friend (groin) and Grant Leadbitter (back), missed out, while Nate Chalobah and Emmanuel Ledesma dropped to the bench.

Jonathan Woodgate returned to captain the side, Jacob Butterfield and Lee Tomlin moved from the bench at the Madejski to starting, while there was a surprise start for Adam Reach following his return from a loan spell with Bradford City.

Danny Wilson made three changes to a Barnsley side beaten at Derby on Easter Monday, Ryan McLaughlin, Kelvin Etuhu and Marcus Pederson coming in for Lewin Nyatanga and Paddy McCourt, who missed out, and Tomasz Cywka, who dropped to the bench.

A lively start saw Boro with most of the ball, although shots from Butterfield, Reach and Danny Graham were well intended but all well off target.

The visitors almost had a stroke of luck which would have put them in the lead with around 10 minutes played as Pederson shot from close to the edge of the penalty area. The effort took a deflection but the reactions of Dimi Konstantopoulos were sharp enough to allow him to change direction and save to his left.

Breaking free from period of largely unthreatening Barnsley possession, Boro worked their way into the opposition penalty area and a smart shot from Reach was deflected into the path of Lee Tomlin, who brought a smart save from Luke Steele with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Just after Graham shot over, Boro created another opportunity as another Tomlin shot caused problems and Reach smashed a low cross-shot through the six-yard box.

Albert Adomah shot low from the edge of the penalty, then two penalty appeals followed in quick succession as both Adomah and Butterfield claimed to have had goalbound shots blocked by hands.

With five minutes of the half remaining Aitor Karanka was forced into a change as Jonathan Woodgate was replaced by Daniel Ayala.

It failed to knock Boro out of their stride. They were now working up a head of steam and went close with long-range shots from Butterfield (tipped onto a post) and Tomlin, while a neat pass from Tomlin set up Ayala, who had remained in a forward position. The Spaniard failed to take advantage and Steele was grateful for the indecision.

Half-time: Middlesbrough 0 Barnsley 0

Both sides were off target with their first efforts of the second half, Pederson shooting from 30 yards and Tomlin from the edge of the box.

The opening goal came after 53 minutes.

Misjudgement from Ayala led to a corner being conceded on Boro's right. That was cleared but only at the expense of another and this time it counted. It was almost like watching in slow motion as a left-wing corner was met by Jean-Yves M'Voto, who peeled away from anyone thinking of marking him and shot home from around 10 yards.

Hope was raised in the travelling ranks that maybe there was a way they could survive in this division - but they were dashed just 90 seconds later.

Lee Tomlin was fouled as he approached the penalty area but referee Darren Drysdale played a good advantage as Tomlin recovered quickly and drilled a low shot across and beyond Steele.

A flurry of changes, two per side, kept reporters busy but did little to alter the shape of the game. The final Boro sub was another enforced by injury as Kenneth Omeruo limped off to be replaced by Seb Hines, who was making just his third appearance of the season, one of those coming at Oakwell. This was his first under Karanka.

Barnsley, as they had to, went for it and M'Voto headed over when he should have done better from a corner, then Varga needed to clear a couple yards off the goal line.

With just over four minutes of normal time remaining Boro had a chance to wrap up the points as Chalobah, on for Butterfield, edged forward but delayed a pass to Tomlin just too long and what should have been a simple finish had complications added and a low shot was saved.

Boro fans didn't have long to wait.

With 20 seconds of normal time remaining Boro broke through the middle, Chalobah had a shot saved but Danny Graham was in the right place at the right time to crack home a low shot.

Three minutes into injury- time Graham tried to set up Adomah. That didn't work, but not long after Lee Tomlin cut in from the right, skipped past a challenge and curled a low shot beyond the reach of Steele.

Those two goals in injury-time, plus the other 72 they had conceded this season, contributed to a goal difference of -32, which was enough to condemn Barnsley life in League One next season. We wish them well and speedy return to the Championship.

*Boro's U18s won 5-2 away to Leicester earlier today, the goals coming from Bradley Fewster (2), Scott McCarthy (2) and Tom McAloon.

Scorers: M'Voto 53; Tomlin, 54; Graham, 90; Tomlin 90+3.

Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos; Varga, Woodgate (Capt to 40) (Ayala 40), Omeruo (Hines 66), Gibson, Adomah, Whitehead (Capt from 40), Butterfield (Chalobah 60), Reach, Tomlin, Graham. Subs: Steele (gk); Morris, Ledesma, Main.

Barnsley: Steele; Kennedy, McLaughlin (Rose 81), Crainey, Mvoto, Dawson, Lawrence (O'Brien 60), Jennings, Etuhu, Pederson (Proschwitz 60), O'Grady. Subs: Turner (gk); Ramage, Cywka, Mellis.

Order of subs on 60 minutes: 1) Chalobah 2) Proschwitz 3) O'Brien.

Referee: Darren Drysdale


Middlesbrough: Gibson
, 70, handball; Chalobah, 89, foul.

Attendance: 14,867 (751 Barnsley)

Conditions: Dry and sunny with a cool wind.

Possession: Boro 55% Barnsley 45%

Website Boro Man of the Match: Lee Tomlin




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