The hunt for a win continues for Boro after going down 2-0 at Derby County.
Tom Lawrence’s first half strike coupled with a red card for George Saville effectively settled matters on a frustrating afternoon at Pride Park. And salt was rubbed in the wound when Lawrence scored a second goal five minutes from time.
It had threatened to be so different when Boro started like a train and Britt Assombalonga had a chance within the opening 90 seconds. Derby keeper Kelle Roos was stranded, but the Boro striker was denied by a timely block.
Assombalonga was also denied by an offside flag and curled a shot wide while good defending prevented him from releasing Marcus Browne on goal as Boro had Derby penned in for the early stages.
It was just the start Woodgate wanted, yet It was Derby who took the lead after 20 minutes with their first real attack. Lawrence played a one-two with Chris Martin before drilling the ball home to fire the home side ahead.
Lewis Wing sent a free-kick over the top in reply, but It took a fantastic save from Aynsley Pears to deny Curtis Davies with a glancing header from a corner which was destined for the top corner.
Dael Fry, Marcus Tavernier, and Wing all followed by making vital blocks, but as the ball was cleared for respite, Saville was shown a straight red card following a challenge on Krystian Bielik just inside the Derby half.
If the goal was a hammer blow, the red card was pivotal and left Boro facing an uphill challenge with an hour still left on the clock.
Duane Holmes went close twice for the visitors after the break, first shooting just wide from an acute angle before failing to hit the target when better placed, minutes later.
Pears was also called upon to make another good save while a defensive block also proved vital. And Boro’s young keeper also did well to deny Jayden Bogle from a tight-angle.
The 10-men of Boro toiled hard, but there was to be no way back into the game as Derby’s numerical advantage proved a huge difference. And the home side finally made sure with five minutes remaining when Lawrence scored his second goal of the game.