Dean Whitehead tackles Millwall's Alan Dunne - Photo by North News

Middlesbrough 1 Millwall 2

Boro made just one change to the sdie that beat Burnley, Kenneth Omeruo returning from suspension to replace Daniel Ayala, who took his place on the naughty step following his dismissal at Turf Moor.

Millwall, unbeaten in four, were unchanged from the side that drew 2-2 with Watford last Saturday.

The visitors arrived knowing a win would take them out of the bottom three and they started with purpose.

It was Boro, though, with the first real chance of the game as Danny Graham pounced on a loose ball a couple of yards outside the penalty area and shot low for goal. David Forde produced a diving save away to his right and tipped the ball onto the post.

That proved to be a rare moment of hope as Boro struggled to get to grips with the game and with 15 minutes played Millwall made the breakthrough their pressure suggested they might.

From a half-cleared corner Shaun Williams swung over a dangerous-looking cross from the left and Stefan Maierhofer rose in a crowded penalty area to power home a header from seven yards.

Boro reshaped, Omeruo dropping to right back, Lee Tomlin edging further left as Emmanuel Ledesma looked more like an orthodox left-back. The impact was almost immediate as Boro worked their way quickly upfield. Jacob Butterfield, Danny Graham and Lee Tomlin combining to set up Jacob Butterfield who struck low for goal on the volley, the effort was blocked and Millwall were soon back on the offensive.

A passage of play where miscontrol and the wrong option were the order of the day led to Millwall's second goal as they quickly pounced to intercept another loose ball, Lee Martin crossed from the left to an unmarked Stefan Maierhofer, who headed home from a similar distance to his first.

When Nicky Bailey, like Scott McDonald, booed when his name was read, slid in slightly late on Tomlin the referee waved play on. Tomlin wasn't hurt, but like his team-mates was annoyed. This boiled over a couple of minutes later when Dean Whitehead slid in on Alan Dunne and was shown a yellow card for the 13th time this season.

Half-time: Middlesbrough 0 Millwall 2

Boro certainly saw more of the ball from the start of the second half, but rarely was Forde called into action and it wasn't until the 58th minute that Boro won their first corner of the game.

Aitor Karanka made a change with an hour played as Butterfield was replaced by Luke Williams. Further changes for both sides failed to have the desired impact, although Morison should have put the game beyond doubt.

Sent clear when latching on to a long punt upfield, Morison was left with Dimi Konstantopoulos to beat, but he couldn't do it as the goalkeeper saved well away to his right, just as he did a few minutes later to deny Martyn Woolford.

Emmanuel Ledesma scores with a free-kick against Millwall - Photo by North News

Boro kept plugging away and with ten minutes remaining pulled one back in fine style when Emmanuel Ledesma curled a free-kick left-footed beyond Forde when just right of centre on the edge of the penalty area.

Millwall tried to hit back immediately and it took a decent stop from Konstantopoulos to bring to an end a mazy dribble from Woolford.

The Boro goalkeeper was in action again in the closing minutes, diving away to his right to deny McDonald, who had the last laugh on the Boro fans who booed him as his side edged out of the bottom three.

Scorers: Maierhofer, 15, 30; Ledesma, 80.

Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos; Chalobah, Woodgate (Capt), Omeruo, Whitehead (Friend, 85), Adomah, Leadbitter (Main 73), Butterfield (L Williams 60), Tomlin, Ledesma, Graham. Subs: Steele (gk); Hines, Varga, Morris.

Millwall: Forde; Dunne, Beevers, Williams (Morison 61), Malone, Bailey, Woolford, Martin, Garvan (McDonald 84), Edwards, Maierhofer (Abdou 73). Subs: Bywater (gk); Robinson, Easter, Jackson.

Order of subs on 73: 1) Abdou; 2) Main

Referee: Darren Bond


Middlesbrough: Whitehead, 39, foul; Tomlin¸ 59, unsporting behaviour.

Millwall: Malone, 71, foul; Martin, 74, foul; Forde, 80, dissent.

Attendance: 15,342 (335 Millwall)

Conditions: Bright and sunny but with a cold breeze.

Possession: Middlesbrough 50% Millwall 50%

Website Boro Man of the Match: Dimi Konstantopoulos




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