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Official Club Website of Middlesbrough FC

Full Fixture List

FT

EFL Championship

Griffin Park

9,430

Ref: John Brooks

Matchday

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There was just one change to the Boro side which started the 2-0 win over Wigan, with Marcus Tavernier starting a league game for the first time this season, replacing Martin Braithwaite.

Thomas Frank made two changes to the side that started the 3-2 defeat away to QPR in the Bees' last match. Alan Judge and Lewis Macleod replacing Said Benrahma and Romaine Sawyers.

Before the game there was an emotional tribute paid to Robert Rowan, the technical director of Brentford who tragically passed away through heart failure aged 28.

A floral tribute was placed on his seat, he has been named as the number 5 on the back of the programme for the remainder of the season and as both teams stood around the centre circle, both wearing black armbands, loud applause from everyone rang round the ground. The thoughts are prayers from everyone at Middlesbrough Football Club are with Robert’s family and friends.

Wins for Leeds and West Brom earlier in the day had dropped Boro to fourth, five points behind leaders Norwich who extended their impressive run with a 4-1 win at Swansea.

Not long after Stewart Downing was inches away from a Tavernier cross, Mo Besic had a shot from the edge of the box deflected for a corner, from which Aden Flint sent a shot well over.

It was a promising start from the side with the best defensive record in the EFL.  

Brentford found their way into the game and had plenty possession without stretching Boro’s back line and they were grateful for Daniel Bentley’s position as the goalkeeper blocked an on-target shot from Hugill who was set up with a well-weighted pass from Besic.

It wasn’t until the half-hour mark that Darren Randolph was called into action, tipping over a 20-yard shot from Moses Odubajo.

No-one has scored more from corners than Brentford’s six, only QPR can match Boro’s zero conceded, but it was from one such set piece at the other end that Danny Batth headed just wide.

The first chance of the second half fell to Hugill, but he sent a header over the bar when connecting with a Besic free-kick.

It proved a rare chance in the opening ten minutes as Brentford stepped up a gear, though the rock-solid defensive unit dealt with everything thrown at them.

The breakthrough came at the other end courtesy of the third goal in two games from Hugill, who was left the simplest of chances when Jonny Howson got on the end of a Besic delivery and the ball ran loose.

Just five minutes later a goal with its roots in the Academy put Boro two up as Dael Fry sent over an excellent cross from the right and Tavernier headed home from the edge of the six-yard box.  

Brentford’s response was energetic and they wasted a chance to reduce the arrears when Neil Maupay headed at Randolph from a central position in the box. The leading scorer in the Championship knew he should have done better.

Sergio Canos was the next to test Randolph, but it was Alan Judge who pulled one back as Boro failed to close down from a left-wing corner and low shot fizzed through a crowded box.

The introduction of Emiliano Marcondes had certainly made a difference, but it was another (very smart) save that prevented Josh Dasilva’s low angled drive from finding the bottom corner.

The game could have been put to bed a minute from the end of normal time when George Saville set up fellow sub Lewis Wing on the edge of the box in a central position but he shot wide.

Scorers Hugill 56, Tavernier 61, Judge 75

Brentford Bentley, Dalsgaard, Konsa, Mepham, Odubajo (Henry 86), McEachran (Marcondes 64), Yennaris, Canos, Macleod (Da Silva 74), Judge, Maupay. Subs: Daniels (gk), Clarke, Barbet, Oksanen.

Boro Randolph, Fry, Batth, Flint, Friend (Capt.), Tavernier (Ayala 89), Besic (Saville 79), Clayton, Howson, Downing (Wing 87), Hugill. Subs: Dimi (gk), McNair, Assombalonga, Gestede.

Referee John Brooks. Leicestershire
Yellow cards
Brentford Mepham 90+4
Boro Hugill 29, foul; Flint 48, foul

Conditions Cool and breezy